As disasters continue to displace large and diverse populations around the globe, tracking the movements and assessing the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is crucial to protecting and assisting them. This was particularly evident after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti where thousands were displaced and the capital city was virtually flattened. Tracking and housing the 1.5 million people displaced by the earthquake and its aftershocks required new tools from the humanitarian community. One key development from this was the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), a monitoring tool designed to track the movements of IDPs and provide up-to-date information on basic demographics and conditions in IDP camps throughout the cycle of displacement.
On December 13, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement and the International Organization for Migration hosted a discussion of some of the innovations used in responding to Haiti’s IDPs, with a particular focus on the DTM as a humanitarian community tool and on innovative housing solutions developed to respond to a complex situation. Panelists included: Vincent Cochetel, representative from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Lorenza Rossi, data analyst for the International Organization for Migration in Haiti; Charles Setchell, senior shelter, settlements and hazard mitigation advisor, Office of US Foreign Disasters Assistance; and Vlatko Avramovski, data management and registration program coordinator for the International Organization for Migration Haiti mission. Senior Fellow Elizabeth Ferris, co-director of the Project on Internal Displacement, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.