The Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) reflects the acceptance of and growing interest in the strong links between Migration and Development (M&D) and aims to support M&D actors to effectively harness the potential of migration for development. The programme is implemented by UNDP and five agencies IOM, ILO, UNHCR, UNFPA and UN Women contribute to the programme with their institutional knowledge, expertise and extensive networks to ensure its success.
In 2008, the JMDI embarked for the first time on a programme that sought to provide policy-makers and practitioners with evidence-based recommendations in the field of M&D. These recommendations were based on the practical experiences drawn from the small scale actors having received financial and technical support through the JMDI. Building on the accomplishments and lessons learned from the implementation of this four-year pilot, the European Commission and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation expressed their interest to fund a new programme that would focus on the role and needs of local authorities to effectively link migration and development. As a consequence, the JMDI started implementing new activities as of December 2012 with a view to strenghtening the contribution of migration to development by reinforcing its local dimension.
The JMDI has found that the effectiveness of interventions in this field largely depends on the identification and establishment of strategic partnerships between civil society organisations and governments at decentralised levels. The most successful and sustainable M&D interventions identified by the JMDI are those with strong anchorage with the local governments in countries of origin and destination, in line with the essential local-to-local dimension of the M&D nexus. When local authorities share a common vision with civil society partners, they develop a sense of ownership over projects that lead them to commit time, energy and resources, which effectively contribute to the success and sustainability of an M&D initiative. For these reasons, the drivers and impact of migration are often most strongly felt at the local level, be it in terms of effects on the local labour market, the size and demographic of the local population, or the need for public service provision. This is why provinces and local authorities are strategic levels of governments to be involved, making consultations and agreement with sub-national levels of governments particularly important for the civil society.
However, in general terms, local governments have not received the same level of attention as other stakeholders, while their involvement and potential impact on the connections between migration and development is crucial. Against this background and with the aim to move towards a territorial approach to M&D, the JMDI is currently designing activities that will scale up a limited number of existing initiatives, specifically targeting local authorities that have a stake in local development and migration issues.
The expected outcomes of the new programme are:
- To move from isolated and individual approaches towards more structured forms of interventions through the identification of promising initiatives from local authorities in partnership with civil society organisations in selected countries that will be scaled up to maximise impact on local development.
- To reinforce the capacities of selected local administrations to effectively link migration and development, with a specific focus on facilitating increased coordination within local authorities’ administration in order to maximise their ability to grasp the potential of migration for development;
- To connect local authorities globally with each other and with other stakeholders and facilitate partnerships (between local authorities in countries of origin and destination of migration, migrant and refugee associations, the private sector, the social partners etc.) to reinforce local authorities’ potential to become active players in the field of migration and development.
These initiatives will be monitored to ensure successful delivery and collection of lessons learned and then disseminated at international level. In doing so, the JMDI will be able to identify real capacity building needs for both local governments and civil society and design a state of the art training material for interested local actors based on these. This training tool will be adjusted to a global audience and specfic modules will be made available through the M4D Net.
Throughout the programme, the JMDI will ensure that governments – both at national and local level – feel ownership over the activities and that a stronger dialogue and cooperation with the civil society is established, thereby maximising the impact and sustainability of the JMDI-funded projects.
During 2008-2012 the JMDI, with the financial support of the European Union, set up and reinforced networks of actors working on M&D, identified good practices in this field and shared information on what actually works at the local and international level among those who are active in this field. It also embarked on a mainstreaming migration into development policies pilot project scheme in order to promote the development of a context-specific, evidence-based, participatory and holistic approach to migration and development at the national level. To consult the 51 projects implemented in 16 countries, please click here. The lessons learned and experience were fed into policy-making and helped shaping the M&D agenda. Furthermore, the approach and the objectives set out for the new phase of the programme are build on this knowledge.
This website puts at your disposal a Migration for Development Network (M4D-Net) where you can become an active member and interact with other professionals and academics, share knowledge and good practices and find contacts and information on essential M&D issues. The JMDI warmly encourages you to join the network by registering as an individual or an organization here. The featured projects, knowledge products and documents, news, and the e-learning tool, are useful resources that can support your M&D initiatives.
In line with the objectives of the new phase, the JMDI has added a new section to the website, M4D Goes Local which explores the local dimensions of migration and development. The website aims to stimulate dialogue, facilitate the exchange of ideas about current M&D debates through regular e-discussions and blogs.
The JMDI Facebook page also provides you with day to day snippets of news, articles, publications and is a space where our M4D-Net members can promote their initiatives or share information.