Caribbean States Prepare to Improve Data during Emergencies

(L-R) Col. Kester Craig, Deputy Executive Director, CDEMA. Fabián Solano, Information Management Officer, IOM. Marianela Guzman, USAID Contractor, ESC Policy and Regulatory Reform for Resilience (PROSE). Col. Jerry Slijngard, National Coordination Center for Disaster Relief (Suriname).

Suriname, 18 April 2023. Participating states of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) met this week in Paramaribo, Suriname for the 14th meeting of CDEMA’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). As part of this event, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) collaborated to present a workshop to national disaster coordinators from across the participating member states of CDEMA on the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) methodology, which has been used to collect data on human mobility to support disaster and crises responses in several Caribbean countries, including Dominica, Haiti, the Bahamas and Guyana, and most recently in Antigua-and-Barbuda.

This training seeks to strengthen the capacities of counterparts by providing tried and tested methodological tools to reduce information needs, support policy development and monitor policy implementation. DTM is a well-accepted source and methodology used to inform governments, humanitarian agencies including other UN agencies, and partners in times of emergencies or crises. The methodology can be used to guide disaster relief including distribution of non-food-items, support for recovering people’s homes, and other emergency decisions.

The DTM is a system for collecting and analyzing data to disseminate important multi-layered information about the mobility, vulnerabilities and needs of displaced and mobile populations. As a result, capacity building on this methodology could be crucial in preparing for an accurate crisis and emergency response, the coordination of key stakeholders, and facilitating information collection and sharing, which is essential to support evidence-based decision-making.

Some of the topics in this session included the explanation of the DTM methodology, the contexts where it can be applied, the types of resulting products and how they can support decision making and crisis response. The workshop also explored how IOM cooperates to develop DTMs on behalf of key counterparts and how to create a data analysis plan.

The session also included a practical exercise in which participants were able to learn how to identify their organizational information needs, how to choose the appropriate method of data collection, and how to use DTM methodology to fill data gaps.

Maria Harrinaraine, Mitigation and Recovery Manager (Ag), Civil Defense Commission in Guyana expressed that she enjoyed the DTM workshop, which helped her to understand more about the critical information that the IOM methodology can provide to her office. She expresses that it can be challenging for her national government to collect the data that they need, because of human resource and other constraints, so it was very important for her to note that IOM can provide support in data collection and analysis.

The participation of IOM in this activity was made possible under the Western Hemisphere Program (WHP) which is generously funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. To learn more about DTM, visit . For more information on this activity, please contact Project Support Officer, Brendan Tarnay


Contribution to Global Goals

This activity contributes to attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), targets (5.1, 5.5, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 8.8, 10.2, 10.7, 16.1, 16.7, 17.18), and responds to objectives (1, 2,3, 7, 14 and 17) of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

International Organization of Migration / IOM

Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is part of the UN System, and is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of Migration, committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.

IOM supports migrants across the world, developing effective responses to the shifting dynamics of migration and, as such, is a key source of advice on migration policy and practice. The Organization works in emergency situations, developing the resilience of all people on the move, and particularly those in situations of vulnerability, as well as building capacity within governments to manage all forms and impacts of mobility. The Organization is guided by the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, including upholding human rights for all. Respect for the rights, dignity and well-being of migrants remains paramount.

SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
SDG 13 - Climate Action