The IDP and Returnees Master Lists collect information on numbers and locations of IDP and returnee families through an ongoing data collection system that identifies and routinely updates figures through contacts with key informants. The unit of observation is the location.
Master Lists are fully updated in one calendar month, which means that information on all locations is updated once a month. In two weeks, approximately 50% of the locations are updated, data is sent to the IOM Information Management Unit, and the dataset with partial updates is released after quality control, while the teams continue to update information from the remaining locations. By the end of the month, the update is complete and the DTM report is published with fully updated information on IDPs and returnees.
Core information routinely collected is:
- Geographical (governorate, district, sub-district, location and GPS coordinates of the place of displacement/return where the population is identified).
- Governorate of origin for IDPs, and governorate of last displacement for returnees.
- Wave of displacement (the DTM conventionally identifies six displacement waves or periods: pre-June 2014; June-July 2014; August 2014; post-September 2014; Post April 2015; and Post March 2016 onwards).
- Shelter type (the DTM identifies four shelter category: Camps; critical shelter arrangements (informal settlements, religious buildings, schools; unfinished or abandoned buildings; and other formal settlements/ collective centers); private dwellings (host communities, rented houses, and hotels/motels); and unknown (applies to locations not accessible when the shelter type cannot be identified).
The DTM Master lists also collect additional operational information:
- Name, position and contact details of the key informant.
- Status of the update (i.e. new location; old location with updated information weather changed or unchanged; or not assessed in the current round).
- Date of the update.
- Location accessibility.
- Notes from the field.
The Master Lists collects information on the total number of families displaced or returned to a location at the time of data collection, not on new cases. Therefore, at every round of updates, the new count replaces the old count. The new count can be lower/higher than the previous count if the inflow is smaller/bigger than the outflow, or it can be zero if all IDPs/returnees left the place where they were previously identified. Once a location stops hosting IDPs or returnees, the DTM does not track personal IDP movements; that is, if specific families returned home, moved to a different shelter in the same location, or moved to a different location still away from home. Instead, the DTM methodology is designed to regularly monitor and update all IDP locations, thus enabling a continuous countrywide coverage of the main characteristics of the IDP population.
The IDP Master List was launched in December 2013 and the Returnee Master List in April 2015 (although returnee figures have been retroactively reported since October 2014).