Thailand: DTM Population Mobility Monitoring Province Report: Tak



To better understand health and screening capacities in Thailand, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), with support from the US Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), is implementing Population Mobility Monitoring (PMM) along the Myanmar-Thai border. Border provinces selected for data collection include Ranong and Tak. The following report focuses on Tak.


Points of Entry (POEs) include the following classifications:


Formal POEs: Recognized by the Royal Thai Government as legitimate entry points to enter Thailand. Government officials including police are present to check and validate documents and monitor crossings.


Semi-formal POEs: Presence of a few government officials to check and monitor the entry and exit of incoming migrants, but with less extensive infrastructure than in formal POEs.


Informal POEs: Not recognized by the Royal Thai Government and crossings are irregular.


Congregation points are defined as sites where migrants congregate shortly after crossing the border into Thailand to access various services. These sites include markets, hotels, hospitals and taxi/bus stations, among others.


The PMM methodology, developed by IOM to help inform preparedness and response efforts during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, generates information about cross-border movements among mobile populations and supports the development of forecasting capacities in target locations. It consists of three phases: Phase I is a participatory mapping exercise with key informants to identify POEs and congregation points; Phase II is a site observation activity involving visits to POEs and congregation points identified in Phase I to generate more granular information on the presence of health screening mechanisms, WASH facilities, government and NGO personnel etc.; Phase III comprises Flow Monitoring surveys to better understand the volume, drivers and intention of people on the move at identified POEs. PMM has been adapted to suit the context in Thailand and help inform a better understanding about mobility dynamics along the borders of Thailand and its neighbouring countries.


The participatory mapping exercise (Phase I) in Tak took place in May 2022. IOM’s DTM team began by identifying GPS coordinates of various POEs and congregation points in the province and plotting these locations on a map. Two focus group discussions with key informants were then organized to identify which of the mapped POEs and congregation points are the most significant. Key informants included representatives from the government, local and migrant communities and NGOs. Discussions were recorded with participants’ permission. IOM DTM staff guided the focus group discussions using a set of questions targeted at two areas of interest: firstly, POEs and secondly, congregation points. For both, points were ranked by volume of human mobility. Participants discussed their best estimates of number of entries per day, main destinations of the migrants moving through these points, primary modes of transportation, among other indicators. As a result of these discussions, DTM identified seven POEs and 22 congregation points for further assessment in Tak.


Site observation (Phase II) was conducted in October 2022. A mixed method approach using both direct observation and key informant interviews was used to implement site observation. The following report is an overview of the site observation data from October 2022 with insights from key informant input.


Source: International Organization for Migration