When disasters such as earthquakes happen, governments and humanitarian organisations need to rapidly allocate aid resources to facilitate recovery, minimise the number of people displaced and reduce the long-term effects. This is a complex task that needs be undertaken in a very short space of time, with potentially serious consequences if not done well.
Being able to predict more accurately where people go in the wake of a disaster could be transformative for disaster management: it allows those coordinating the response to ensure shelters are placed in the best locations for the right number of people. Researchers at Department of Statistics, University of Oxford, in collaboration with the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), have developed an open source software package to estimate displaced populations post-disaster, currently with a focus on earthquakes and cyclones. The software tool has been developed by Dr Hamish Patten and Prof David Steinsaltz, who form part of the department’s bio-demography group. The project, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Impact Acceleration Account (EPSRC-IAA) grant, has recently been published with the Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID) 2021.
You can read more about the work here: https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/science-blog/oxford-researchers-develop-tool-predict-human-displacement-post-disaster.