In 2016, IOM established the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in Libya to fill critical data, analysis, and reporting gaps on migration and internal displacement. The availability of reliable data driven evidence on migration to, from, and within Libya, and on internal displacement within Libya is crucial for policy makers and practitioners alike to inform migration and displacement related policy and programming. 

DTM is a system designed to track human mobility on the ground, which through its wide array of assessments also gathers a range of situational data aimed at understanding humanitarian needs and context of locations where internally displaced people (IDPs), returnees, and migrants are present. Furthermore, to enhance sustainable implementation of knowledge management activities in Libya, DTM also builds the capacity of local Libyan organizations and of counterparts in Libyan line ministries through capacity-building workshops. 

Building upon DTM’s successful implementation of systematic field data collection, analysis and reporting, in 2018 IOM further enhanced its knowledge management in Libya via implementation of migration research activities aimed at supporting its migration management programming, enhancing focus on the Sustainable Development Goals and supporting the cooperative framework set up under the Global Compact for Migration. 

DTM and Migration Research activities in Libya cover the whole spectrum of internal and international migration in, to, and from Libya ranging from humanitarian to development contexts. The research activities implemented in the form of in-depth studies also aim to engage and empower migrants, particularly women and youth. Studies implemented seek to highlight migrants’ aspirations, capabilities and conditions with an aim of understanding their contribution to the local economy, factors enabling these contributions and to identify challenges faced in the process. 

The availability of country-wide evidence on migration, including trends on mobility and living conditions of migrants and IDPs is critical to enable policymakers at national and regional levels to design evidence-based policies. Furthermore, the evidence generated by DTM and Migration Research not only facilitates direct interventions, but also allows humanitarian responders to identify geographic and thematic priority areas. DTM’s bi-monthly information packages on migrants and IDPs provide a common operating picture for both immediate and longer-term humanitarian response planning. 

IOM is also a co-chair of the Libya Assessment Working Group (AWG) where findings from its various DTM humanitarian assessments and reports are presented. 


DTM and Migration Research at IOM Libya has established itself as a one-stop-shop for evidence on migration to, from, and within Libya, through mobility tracking, flow monitoring, emergency tracking, rapid humanitarian needs assessment, and in-depth research studies. DTM collects primary data on a regular basis through a data collection network comprised of 90 field enumerators and over 2,200 key informants across Libya. Research produced contributes to evidence-based programme development and the DTM and Migration Research Unit works hand in hand with the Project Development Support Unit.

Areas of Intervention

Mobility Tracking & Flow Monitoring

The Mobility Tracking Assessment is a tool designed to track the numbers, locations, demographics, vulnerabilities and priority needs of migrants, returnees and IDPs across Libya.Data is gathered through key informant interviews at municipality and community levels and is used in bi-monthly Migrant and IDPs reports, amongst other information products.Flow Monitoring Surveys (FMS) and Thematic Migrant Surveys, conducted as individual interviews with migrants, provide insight into their profiles, migration aspirations, intentions, living conditions, capabilities, humanitarian needs and vulnerabilities amongst other topics of interest. 

Facilitating Humanitarian Assistance Provision

Timely identification of affected populations and their priority needs is critical for the delivery of life-saving assistance. During crises, DTM provides updates to humanitarian actors through: 

  • Emergency tracking of displaced populations and flash updates; 
  • Rapid needs assessments of displaced populations and urban migrants; 
  • Tailored assessments for Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) (IOM, WFP, UNFPA and UNICEF).
Thematic Studies and Assessments

IOM provides humanitarian responders with data and reporting on the overall humanitarian situation through: 

  • Sharing of population and humanitarian needs datasets with OCHA informing Libya’s Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC) 
  • Movement Restrictions Dashboards which map mobility restrictions due to COVID-19 and their impact on local residents and migrants. 
  • COVID-19 Mobility Tracking Assessments, which are aimed at understanding the socio-economic impact of mobility restrictions on vulnerable populations on the move in Libya.
Technical Assistance to Government 

IOM has been undertaking thematic research studies and in-depth assessments to shed light on specific issues related to migration in Libya to facilitate evidence-based programming. Recently published thematic assessments include: 

  • Internal Displacement in Libya (2019-2020), a joint IOM-Ministry of IDP Affairs analysis; 
  • Circular Migration to Libya; 
  • Labour Migration to Libya - Remittances Amidst Conflict and Pandemic; 
  • Mapping Labour Skills of Migrants in Misrata, a joint IOM-Georgetown University study of migrant abilities and skills relevant to the labour market. 

These reports are based on research studies and in-depth assessments and call attention to key trends and findings that guide the humanitarian assistance and longer-term transitional and development programming of IOM and its partners.

Understanding the Effect of Covid-19 on Population Mobility 

DTM Libya, together with the Libyan authorities, most particularly the Ministry of Local Governance, the Ministry of Displacement (IDP Affairs) and Human Rights, and the Ministry of Agriculture are working towards addressing information management needs and capacity gaps. This includes training of government counterparts on electronic data collection, assessments and other information management topics.