Home location indicators describe the change in the number of people recorded as staying or residing in an area.
This is usually relative to a baseline, for example the median number of residents in the previous three months.
How are they calculated?
These indicators can be calculated using a number of methods. The change in the number of subscribers can be calculated from the aggregated numbers of subscribers in each area during a given period of time. Alternatively, the change can be calculated from home relocation indicators.
An important consideration when interpreting home location indicators is the methodology used to assign subscribers as resident to a given area.
There are a number of ways in which we could define subscribers’ home locations, such as the area in which subscribers were most often recorded or were most often last recorded each day during a given time period. Each of these make assumptions about subscribers’ relationships with the area in which they are staying or residing.
Understanding the change in geographic distribution of where people are residing has a range of useful applications in the humanitarian and development sector.
For example, we can use these indicators to study seasonal changes associated with internal migrations in response to seasonal labour. This may have implications for labour policy, but also for the provision of services such as health care and housing.
In the context of disaster and humanitarian crisis management, understanding the variation in the number of people staying in an area over time may be important to preparedness, while changes in the geographic distribution during and after a crisis provide important insights into the numbers of people who have been displaced and where they have been displaced to and from.