Migration Governance Indicators

As part of IOM’s approach to assessing and promoting “well-governed migration” IOM is collaborating with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to develop the Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) on which basis IOM can conduct capacity building on national migration policies. The MGI’s more than ninety questions build on the six dimensions of good migration governance as articulated in IOM’s Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF), the first and so far only internationally adopted definition for “well-managed migration policies”.  The six dimensions are:

1. Adherence to international standards and fulfillment of migrants’ rights: Indicators in this domain look at the extent to which migrants have the same status as citizens in terms of access to basic social services such as health, education, and social security. It also looks at the rights of migrants to family reunification, to work, access to residency and citizenship.  

2. “Whole of government” approach to migration policies: Indicators in this area assess countries’ institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks related to migration policies. This area also looks at the existence of national migration strategies that are in-line with development objectives and overseas development efforts, as well as institutional transparency and coherence in relation to migration management.  

3. Engagement with partners to address migration-related issues: This category focuses on countries’ efforts to cooperate on migration-related issues with other states and with relevant non-governmental actors, including civil society organisations and the private sector. The international conventions signed and ratified are also included.  

4. Advancement of the socio-economic well-being of migrants and society: Indicators in this area assess countries’ policies for managing the socioeconomic well-being of migrants, through aspects such as the recognition of migrants’ educational and professional qualifications, provisions regulating student migration and the existence of bilateral labour agreements between countries. Aspects of diaspora engagement in the country of origin and migrant remittances are also under this domain.  

5. Effective action on the mobility dimensions of crises: This category looks at the type and level of preparedness of countries when they are faced with mobility dimensions of crises.  The questions look at the processes in place for nationals and non-nationals both during and after disasters, including if humanitarian assistance is equally available to migrants as it is to citizens.   

6. Assurance that migration takes place in a safe, orderly and dignified manner: This area looks at countries’ approach to migration management in terms of border control and enforcement policies, admission criteria for migrants, preparedness and resilience in the case of significant and unexpected migration flows, as well as the fight against modern day slavery, as outlined in Sustainable Development Goals 5.28.710.7 and 16.2    

In May 2016, a report with the MGI findings for fifteen pilot countries was published. The results of a second phase with fourteen new countries will be published online as Migration Governance Profiles in early 2018. Subsequently in 2018, the MGI will be conducted in another ten countries. Country selection is based on economic level of development, type of migration profile and geographic scope.

The MGI is a tool for governments to assess the comprehensiveness of their migration policies and to help them identify gaps and priorities to build institutional capacity and programmes on migration.  Far from establishing a ranking, the purpose of the MGI is to advance conversations on migration governance within participating countries. In this sense, it plays an essential capacity-building role in that it offers insights into existing good practices as well as areas where countries can strengthen their migration governance and to make progress in the migration-related aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Compact on Migration. For both of these international processes, the MGI can be used to develop baseline assessments and to conduct future follow-up reviews.

Pilot countries (MGI assessment in 2016):        

Costa Rica           
South Africa       
South Korea      
The Philippines

To download the 2016 Migration Governance Index report please click here.       

Second round of countries (MGI assessment in 2017):

Dominican Republic       
El Salvador         
Sri Lanka             

Third round of countries (MGI assessment in 2018): To be announced