How migration data can deliver real-life benefits for migrants and governments

How migration data can deliver real-life benefits for migrants and governments

How migration data can deliver real-life benefits for migrants and governments

As countries have joined together on a path toward increased cooperation and action on migration, investment in data will be crucial for its success.

Migration is a complex global challenge. Around 258 million people are currently estimated to be residing outside their country of birth—a number that has almost tripled in the past 50 years. This has policy implications across a myriad of dimensions ranging from border management to labor-market participation and integration.

Decision makers absolutely need one thing to devise appropriate policies: reliable information. Relevant, high-quality data is critical for designing, implementing and evaluating policies that can generate substantial economic, social, and humanitarian benefits for countries and migrants alike.

Despite widespread consensus on the importance of data to manage migration effectively, the current availability of relevant and reliable data is still very limited. Unfortunately, the current debate focuses far too much on how to get more and better data—a technical debate for experts in the engine room of politics. This report aims to shift this debate from theory into practice. Decision makers need to be convinced of the value that migration data can deliver.

The report, More than numbers: How migration data can deliver real-life benefits for migrants and governments, urges governments to put data at the center of the debate on migration using a value-driven approach. Produced by a joint team of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Center and McKinsey, this report illustrates how a strategic focus on and investment in quality data can maximize the value of migration and address its current challenges. It describes the value at stake across various dimensions of migration and provides guidance on where investments in data should be directed to deliver the most impactful outcomes.