Comparing population displacement estimates from mobile network data and other sources

Abstract

Accurate and timely measurement of population displacement due to natural hazards and other drivers of displacement has proven to be complicated. This research paper explores anonymous mobile network data as a source of insights on displacement and compares the findings to the current good practice for displacement tracking, namely IOM’s displacement tracking matrix. We also compare the insights against information on the targeting of humanitarian resources, finding that the targeting of surveys and the allocation of humanitarian assistance are respectably efficient. The findings offer new perspectives on the quantification of displacement and underline the potential of mobile network data to offer highly valuable information during what are often chaotic days and weeks following a natural disaster.

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