How to collect and share Data for Urgent Action


Jan 03 2020 Print

Data for Urgent Action

Partners need specific datasets right away, even before data is analysed by DTM. DTM should therefore develop a Process for Urgent Action.

When designing DTM’s internal urgent action process, it is important to differentiate between:

  • information that must be immediately reported to DTM Management because it requires organizational urgent action (such as safety risks to humanitarian staff, increased protection risks that will affect IDPs/Migrants/Host Communities in the near future; and/or human rights abuses currently affecting groups of people), versus
  • disclosed protection incidents that have already occurred or will occur imminently, in which a DTM staff member has been asked by an individual for support in accessing urgent life-saving assistance (such as medical, judicial, police protection, psychosocial support).

The following table provides examples to differentiate between information that should lead to organizational urgent action (either by IOM programmes, through advocacy, or negotiation with external parties); versus protection incidents requiring urgent life-saving assistance for an individual, and that will have to be referred following the referral pathways specific to a location.


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Protection Incidents Requiring Life-Saving Urgent Action:

DTM does not seek to obtain information on specific protection incidents or individual cases of violence, abuse or neglect. In some circumstances, however, details of a protection incident are disclosed, sensitive information is shared, or a request to support a victim/survivor of violence, abuse or exploitation may reach a DTM enumerator.

It is important to remember that DTM is not responsible to establish referral pathways: this is the responsibility of protection actors. DTM, though, should establish a Process for Urgent Action and train enumerators on the process and the referral pathways in their locations of concern.   

DTM has developed a guide on Developing an Urgent Action Process, providing guiding notes on how to set up the DTM Urgent Action Process to safely and ethically handle protection incidents requiring life-saving urgent action.

The DTM Coordinator is to decide whether enumerators should only provide a victim/survivor with information on available services (no consent required), or whether enumerators may also refer the case to a service provider (informed consent required). The decision should be based on the perceived capacity of the enumerators to navigate the process without doing harm, the opportunity to provide adequate training to enumerators, and whether there are established referral pathways and/or available services in the DTM implementation area(s).

Specific field guidance is also provided by Shelter Cluster and IASC Task Force on GBV, on how to safely respond to a protection /GBV incident disclosure, including when GBV actors are not there. A video by Global Shelter Cluster on what to do when meeting people disclosing GBV incidents during a crisis is available at:


Information Requiring Organizational Urgent Action

In many cases, the information requiring Organizational Urgent Action must be only shared through bilateral data-sharing mechanisms that safeguard the confidentiality of data.

It is therefore important to discuss with partners when developing data collection tools (Questionnaire and Data Analysis Plan) dissemination modality of each dataset, so that DTM is able to identify what information should be shared to which partners for urgent action, and through which means.

When filing the Data Analysis Plan, remember to fill with partners Column B, “Dissemination Category” of the Data Analysis Plan template.

Also, Data Sharing agreements can be developed early, in the planning phase, so that data can be shared quickly and safely once collected. 



Available Tools