The high levels and varied nature of migration dynamics in Jamaica have meant that the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) has considered migration as a priority for many years and which led to their decision to develop an Extended Migration Profile in 2010 and focus on migration mainstreaming. The programme has therefore supported the government in its efforts to successfully mainstream migration into its national development strategy as well as develop a national strategy and related implementation strategy on migration and development. The coordination body responsible for overseeing this has also been successfully institutionalized showing leadership and ownership from the government. The eight sub-committees of this mechanism have also been merged into four for greater coherence across thematic areas. Implementation of these strategies have also started in earnest through pilot projects in four priority areas. Thanks to its experience in the M&D field, Jamaica has been invited by three countries (Belize, Cabo Verde and Mauritius) to share good practices and lessons learned on this. This experience was also fed into global processes, including the Global Forum on Migration and Development and the Global Compact for Migration through the national consultations).


The evidence base on M&D was strengthened for enhanced planning, policy development and M&E at national level through:

  • A National Migration Database was developed by the Data and Research Sub-Committee of the National Working Group on International Migration and Development (NWGIMD), with the technical support of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). The database was functioning by 2017. The indicators for this were refined and aligned to development priorities and then included in the National Medium Term Socio-Economic Framework 2015-2018 to facilitate monitoring.
  • The Extended Migration Profile was updated in 2018 and served to support and inform strategic recommendations to govern migration in Jamaica, as well as to improve the human development outcomes and to mitigate the risks for migrants and their families, and for countries of origin and destination.
  • The NWGIMD participated in the completion of the survey on the KNOMAD’s Dashboard of Indicators for measuring policy coherence in relation to M&D, which looks at 5 policy dimensions with 120 indicators.


Jamaica achieved the mainstreaming of migration into policy planning as per the following:


  • Development of the International Migration and Development Policy (IMD), which contains nine thematic areas: (i) governance and policy coherence, (ii) human rights and social protection, (iii), diaspora and development, (iv) labour mobility and development, (v) remittance and development, (vi) return, integration and reintegration, (vii) public order, safety and security, (viii) family, migration and development, and (ix) data, research and information system.
  • Development of the five-year Strategic Implementation Plan 2017-2022 (SIP) for the IMD, which includes a framework for M&E complete with indicators. The Plan outlines 24 priority actions on six thematic areas: 1 on social protection, 4 on diaspora and development, 6 on labour mobility, 5 on remittance and development, 2 on family, migration and development, and 6 on data, research and information systems.
  • These plans and the work of the NWGIMD responsible for their implementation have been aligned with the goals and objective of the overall national development plan Vision 2030.


Jamaica also kick-started implementation of the new policies with the following activities:


  • The idea of issuing Global Jamaican Immigration Card for the Jamaican Diaspora has been supported by a feasibility study on the possibility of its introduction in Jamaica, as well as by a comparative study of the practices in countries that have attempted the implementation of diaspora cards. The report provided the GOJ with three different options, the third option being to implement a Diaspora Card. The report however highlighted that the relevant institutional capacity within Government is not currently in place for the implementation of this card.
  • A Jamaican Diaspora Mapping Report has been produced based on the data gathered by an online platform supported by IOM, which has been handed over to the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) in 2017. The report aims at guiding the GoJ plans and actions in relation to diaspora engagement.
  • A Reintegration Action Plan has been developed and launched in 2017, following a request to the ACP-EU migration action to support the development of a plan of action for readmission. This action plan is aimed at strengthening existing structures to ensure the sustainable reintegration of forced returnees. The plan of action provides a guide to key stakeholders within Government on the steps/processes for integration, reintegration and rehabilitation at three stages: pre-arrival, arrival and resettlement.


In order to achieve greater institutional coherence and sustained coordination by government and other stakeholders, the following actions were carried out:


  • In Jamaica, the Programme developed synergies with three other initiatives:

-ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement and ACP-EU Migration Action Project

-Cities Alliance project on reintegration and rehabilitation of involuntary returned migrants

-OECD Perspectives on Global Development 2016 International M&D Reintegration Questionnaire

-EU’s Joint Consultations Paper on Migration and Mobility

  • The NWGIND was created in 2014 to coordinate and provide overall guidance and oversight on matters relating to IMD. It acts as a multi-stakeholder platform, which includes the private sector, the public sector, academia, the international community and NGOs.
  • A monitoring board for the IMD was developed, meant to act as a technical advisory board for mainstreaming activities, and composed inter alia of the PIOJ, the Office of the Prime Minister, MFAFT and the Ministry of National Security. Due to several challenges as well as what was deemed to be a duplication of duties for several members of the board who are also members of the NWGIMD the working modality of the board was readjusted. Members of the board who also sit on the NWGIMD are now tasked with liaising with and updating members of the Cabinet on matters relating to Mainstreaming Migration into Development Strategies as well as sharing feedback from cabinet with the working group.


Challenges, solutions and lessons learned

Jamaica faced several challenges: administrative changes, lack of interest from some NWGIMD members, turnover of representatives from some entities of the NWGIMD, or lack of qualified consultants for certain tasks. These challenges were mitigated through efforts to ensure continued engagement for the NWGIMD (communication with GoJ to ensure ownership, newsletter to ensure awareness, letter to ensure members representation), as well as with technical support by IOM.

Another challenge faced by the project was the impact of a change in Government administration in 2016 and the resultant loss of high level Government leadership (Minister of State). The loss of the Minister of State within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who was committed to the project and its goals saw a loss of a direct communication line to the Government Cabinet and therefore a delay in the decision-making process for matters that required Ministerial approval.

In addition to the challenges detailed above, project implementation was adversely affected by the availability of qualified and available local consultants. In an effort to respond to this challenge, IOM accessed its global network of consultants as well as sought approval to sole source upon the recommendation of the Government when necessary. IOM Kingston has since then begun to not only compile a list of qualified consultants in the Caribbean but has also been contributing to a compendium of consultants being compiled at our regional office.

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