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“Local authorities have no choice but to contend with migration’s real-world challenges. 
They should play a greater role in designing and implementing policies that amplify the development impact of migration.“

                 Sir Peter Sutherland, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for International Migration and Development




The Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) reflects the commitment of the United Nations, the European Commission and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to make migration work for development and to establish a comprehensive approach to migration at the local level. This joint effort, which has started in 2012, marks the start of a new migration and development agenda which aims to establish a sound management of migration at decentralized levels across regions in order to maximize its development impacts.


JMDI’s main objective is to bring the development agenda forward by giving local governments, migrants and local actors a central role in the larger debate of migration and development. The programme’s activities are geared towards sensitizing and mobilizing a wide range of actors in order to establish a framework that supports the mainstreaming of migration issues into local development planning. These goals are in line with the larger global trend of decentralization, and the JMDI seeks to reinforce the cooperation efforts at the local level so that local actors are empowered to make migration an enabler for local development.  The JMDI has set out to specifically address the needs and raise the profile of local actors active in the field of migration and development through targeted activities and support. 



  • Increasing the development impact of M&D initiatives implemented by local authorities in partnership with civil society organization. Go beyond isolated experiences on M&D and move towards systematic local development strategies.
  • Reinforcing the capacities of local administrations.
  • Connecting local authorities to each other and with local stakeholders to facilitate dialogue and partnership.
  • Up-scale a limited number of initiatives through targeted financial and technical support in JMDI’s eight target countries (Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Morocco, Nepal, Philippines, Senegal, Tunisia).
  • Develop training and knowledge tools that supply relevant information for achieving significant and coherent impact of M&D initiatives, through tutorials for M4D members and constituencies of local stakeholders.
  • The M4D Net and its established online Community of Practice JMDI: a platform for further exchanges, and mutual support, increasingly so with and to representatives from local administrations.


Through technical and financial support

The programme targets local authorities  as well as local organizations that have a stake in local development and migration issues, both in countries of origin and destination of migration.  These are civil society organizations, workers’ and employers’ organizations, chambers of commerce, cooperatives, universities, education and training centres, business and financial service providers and public employment services who are active in the field of migration and development. (To understand JMDI’s funding mechanisms and to see the projects we currently fund, please click here).

Through the M4D Net

The M4D Net reaches out to a global audience working on or with an interest in migration and development. For the JMDI this is a unique tool to facilitate exchanges between a dedicated M4D Community of Practice which consists of more than 4000 migration and development practitioners from across regions.


The JMDI is funded by the European Commission and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The programme is implemented by UNDP(link is external) in joint collaboration with six UN agencies: IOM(link is external)ITC-ILO(link is external)UNHCR(link is external)UNFPA(link is external)UNITAR(link is external) and UN WOMEN(link is external). This unique inter-agency approach allows for the JMDI to tap into the institutional knowledge, expertise and extensive networks of each partner for enhanced programme effectiveness.