IOM, OECD and UNDESA organise the second International Forum on Migration Statistics (IFMS)


Migration remains at the top of policy agendas in many countries worldwide. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) recognize the need for reliable, disaggregated statistics on migration that are nationally relevant and internationally comparable. However still today, there is scarcity of basic data on international migration and existing data are not fully analysed, utilized or shared.

About IFMS

The International Forum on Migration Statistics (IFMS) is a unique, global platform devoted to improving data on migration in all its dimensions. Organised by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the IFMS offers space for dialogue for a broad range of actors, from national and regional authorities, NGOs, international agencies and the private sector. The first meeting of the IFMS, took place in Paris, France, from 15 to 16 January 2018, and it included 240 speakers and over 350 participants from 90 countries, representing national statistical offices, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions.

IFMS 2020

The second IFMS aims to mobilise expertise from a wide range of disciplines – such as statistics, economics, demography, sociology, geospatial science, and information technology – to improve the collection and analysis of migration data worldwide. The Forum will take place in Cairo, Egypt on 19-21 January 2020.

It will explore innovative ways to measure population mobility and to generate timely statistics, by bringing together a broad range of participants to share and to discuss new data initiatives and examples of success in the field of migration data. The Forum will also provide a unique opportunity for policy-makers to have direct contact with migration data experts and to use their expertise to feed policy evaluations and to identify best policy options.

The focus on data capacity building comes from the recognition that implementing the commitments of international processes comes with significant challenges for National Statistical Offices, which often have limited capacities to collect, analyse and manage data relevant to migration.

The plenary sessions of the Forum will be organised around the following six themes:

  1. Strengthening data for policy: ensuring effective data communication and examining existing gaps in migration statistics to determine what is needed to address policy concerns;
  2. Data collection and innovation: Lessons and new approaches to the collection of migration data, including from 2020 censuses and administrative sources, and the potential of technologically-driven solutions, including big data;
  3. Cooperation and data governance: exploring ways to strengthen stakeholder coordination and the exchange and sharing of data;
  4. Capacity development and financing: identifying strategies to enhance data literacy as well as institutional capacities to collect, analyse and disseminate data;
  5. Measuring progress on the SDGs and other global commitments: data challenges, initiatives and indicators-based approaches to monitoring;
  6. Improving the availability of data on migrants in vulnerable situations: disaggregating statistics by migratory status, age and sex - analysing challenges, opportunities and best practices.

Call for papers and parallel sessions

The IFMS 2020 will include between 15 and 20 parallel sessions, in addition to plenary sessions with high-level experts. The application deadline was on 9 September 2019.

How will the selection be made?

Proposals will be assessed by the IFMS 2020 Programme Committee on the following criteria:

•  Full application according to the submission guidelines
•  Importance of the topic to advancing the statistical agenda on migration and its impacts 
•  Credential and experience of the session organizer and proposed panelists (session) or of presenter (paper) 
•  Gender balance of proposed panelists  
•  Adequacy of available experience and knowledge on the topic allowing exploration of the proposed issues in sufficient detail and with reference to concrete examples  
•  Complementarity of the topic with other accepted session proposals, to allow for a diverse and well-balanced programme.

Practical Information

Participation in the IFMS 2020 is free of charge but attendees are expected to cover their own travel costs. A limited number of grants will be available for participants from developing countries.

The Forum will be held in English with interpretation in French, Arabic and Portuguese available during plenary sessions. 

For general inquiries about IFMS 2020 please write to: [email protected]


See what happened during the first IFMS in Paris here.