Displacement Tracking Aids Disaster Response in Papua New Guinea’s Autonomous Region of Bougainville
Port Moresby – Disaster management actors in Papua New Guinea (PNG)’s Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) have adopted IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) to better manage data when responding to natural disasters. The remote region experiences earthquakes, volcanic activity and tropical cyclones.
A two-day DTM training, funded by USAID and held in Buka town, the interim provincial capital, attracted 26 participants from the AROB government, PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority, NGOs, the UN, churches and media.
The workshop focused on field level data collection and how to generate information products that better inform planning and evidence-based responses to the multi-sectoral needs of internally displaced people. It also addressed the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse and gave participants an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience of conducting assessments in crisis situations.
“Participants learned the skills necessary for tracking population displacement and gathering the critical data that is needed to effectively respond to an emergency and save lives,” said IOM PNG Chief of Mission Lance Bonneau.
AROB Deputy Chief Secretary Shardrach Himata also welcomed the training. “Systematic data collection and analysis is essential to shaping emergency preparedness and response,” he said.
IOM’s DTM is designed to capture, process and disseminate information systematically to provide a better understanding of the movements and evolving needs of mobile populations in places of displacement or transit. It also profiles the displaced for better targeting of relief assistance, especially to the most vulnerable, including people living with disabilities, chronically ill people, and women and children.
“We rely very much on the Displacement Tracking Matrix tools that are provided by IOM to help us coordinate international assistance following disasters,” said UN Humanitarian Coordination Specialist Richard Higgins, who leads the PNG Disaster Management Team Secretariat.
“We look to IOM and the Shelter Cluster to utilize the DTM tools to help us have a better picture of not only where people are located, but who are the most vulnerable, what types of assistance do they want, and what type of assistance do they need,” he added.
IOM, in close cooperation with PNG’s national and provincial Disaster Centres, UN and NGO partners, has successfully deployed DTM in various PNG emergencies, most recently displacement caused by the eruption of Mt. Ulawun in June 2019.
The training was part of a USAID-funded IOM project: Strengthening Early Warning Systems and Preparedness Actions for Disaster Risk Reduction in Papua New Guinea.