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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

1. How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the priorities of your organization?

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented great challenges from a mobility perspective and highlighted the importance of migration for prosperity, wellbeing and sustainable development around the globe.

COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated how the exclusion of migrants, displaced populations, and communities has negative impacts for not only migrants and the displaced themselves, but also for societies as a whole. The pandemic has further highlighted the importance of not leaving anyone behind in global health and social protection policies, which includes vaccination efforts. No one is safe until everyone is safe.

For IOM, the pandemic therefore brought new needs, and new challenges. From the outset, IOM rapidly mobilized its staff and resources to respond to the needs of those directly affected by the disease and its consequences, delivering essential health services to millions of migrants, including displaced persons. In close coordination with governments, other United Nations agencies, the private sector, communities, and implementing partners, IOM quickly scaled up to address the needs of migrants, displaced populations, and communities, anchoring the Organization’s response in its comprehensive understanding of population mobility and its cross-sectoral expertise. IOM swiftly adapted its programming in accordance with the latest guidelines to help control the spread of COVID-19, integrating COVID-19 considerations such as bolstering Infection Prevention and Control efforts, procuring and distributing supplies including personal protective equipment, and ramping up health promotion and risk communication efforts.

At the same time, IOM continued to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to migrants, IDPs and host communities affected by crises, whose precarious situations were exacerbated by COVID-19 and other disasters: in Syria, Yemen and the Sahel region, where protracted conflict continues to have devastating consequences for the lives of millions; in countries hosting high numbers of the Venezuelan migrants; in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has also grappled with two Ebola virus disease outbreaks; in Libya, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mozambique, and Ethiopia, and many more locations. IOM, along with other UN organizations, provided humanitarian assistance to the millions of migrants working in the informal sector globally where migrants, and especially undocumented migrants, would not have access to any sort of social assistance or social protection because of their status. Throughout, the Organization demonstrated its adaptability and agility, working hand in hand with national authorities and the United Nations system, building strong partnerships and facilitating effective coordination at all levels.

IOM’s Global Strategic Response Plans to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 reflected the adjustment of the organization and its rapid response to evolving needs. For instance, as of November 2021, IOM was assisting 38 Member States with COVID-19 vaccination efforts for migrants, including with the administration of COVID-19 vaccines distributed by the COVAX Facility in five countries. This assistance is further supported through critical activities such as social mobilization and outreach, including demand generation and risk communication and community engagement activities, to address vaccine hesitancy and support uptake improvement. IOM is also providing operational support national government vaccination efforts through the COVAX facility and beyond, ensuring service delivery, including transport and logistics, cold chain support and supply chain enhancement.

Building on the 2020 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, IOM’s approach in 2021 used a robust Strategic Response and Recovery Plan which encompassed life-saving assistance and response to humanitarian needs, initiatives to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on migrants and societies, as well as support to recovery and resilience integrating longer-term sustainable development planning.

For further information, access: IOM’s institutional statement on COVID-19 (…)

IOM’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Achievement Report (release date March 2021) (…)

IOM’s 2021 Strategic Response and Recovery Plan (…)

IOM DG Report to the 112th session of the IOM Council (November 2021) (…)

Ensuring migrants equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines (

2. In 2020/2021, how has your organization endeavored to support Member States to build back better from COVID-19 while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda? Please select up to three high-impact initiatives to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. How has your organization cooperated with other UN system organizations in those efforts to achieve coherence and synergies?  

Initiative  IOM’s 2021 Strategic Response and Recovery Plan
Partners UN System, Member States, Civil Society, Migrants, IDPs
Relevant SDGs  SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative Global
Description Building on the 2020 UN frameworks to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic – health, humanitarian and socioeconomic – and in continuation of IOM’s own 2020 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, IOM’s 2021 Strategic Response and Recovery Plan aimed to continue providing life-saving assistance and response to humanitarian needs, mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on migrants and societies, as well as provide support for recovery and resilience for longer-term sustainable development.




Initiative  IOM First Line of Defence (FLoD) project
Partners UN System
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative Indirect contribution through enhancing the UN capacity to stay and deliver; project implemented in the following countries: Burundi, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, North Macedonia, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the United Republic of Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
Description The IOM First Line of Defence (FLoD) project aimed to contribute to the operational continuity of UN humanitarian work in the context of COVID-19 pandemic, support the United Nations’ duty of care for their personnel, and to ensure the safety and health of the UN workforce and their families through provision of COVID-19-related and other health-care services, particularly in contexts where national healthcare systems may be overwhelmed. IOM worked closely with the UN Medical Directors (UNMD) and UN Country Teams (UNCT) to offer the UN and other humanitarian actors access to its network of health centres and laboratories as a way of enhancing the capacity of existing UN clinics or of treating UN personnel at IOM health centres in duty stations where there are no UN health facilities available. Activities encompassed a range of clinical care services across 18 countries, including: Laboratory services: Testing for COVID-19 and other laboratory tests. Clinical services: Management of COVID-19 patients and contacts, medical prescribing, isolation and quarantine facilities, primary care for other conditions, mental health and psychosocial support, women’s and children’s health, preventive health care and health promotion, radiology and referral for higher levels of care, including hospitalization and medical evacuation, where needed. Tele-health: In-home monitoring and treatment of COVID-19 patients and patients with other medical conditions (either within countries or internationally) and specialist consultations. Medical movement support: Assisting COVID-19 patients to the airport, provision of medical escorts for non-COVID-19 patients. The project was initially centrally funded by the UN and continues to be funded by UNCTs through local cost-sharing arrangements. It is also supported by the US Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration (BPRM) and the Government of Germany.


Initiative  Global IOM-UNDP Joint Programme on Making Migration Work for Sustainable Development (Phase III) (M4SD)
Partners IOM and UNDP-led, SDC-funded. Partners vary by country and include national and local governments, diaspora, private sector, local implementing partners and civil society organizations
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12, 16, 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative Bangladesh, Ecuador, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nepal, Philippines, Republic of Moldova, Senegal, Serbia, Tunisia
Description M4SD aims to harness the development benefits and reduce the negative effects of migration for host and home communities, migrants and their family members. To achieve this, the initiative supports national and local governments to integrate migration considerations, including how COVID-19 has impacted these, into key policy areas or design new policies that aim to ensure inclusion for all, so far with a focus on four priority sectors: employment, education, health and human rights and social security. Activities range from reforming health services in Morocco to supporting community entrepreneurship in Ecuador, piloting a tool to measure the economic contributions of diaspora beyond remittances in Moldova to developing a new diaspora engagement policy in Jamaica and up-skilling marginalised persons to access the labour market in Serbia. The Programme has been conceptualised to support socio-economic recovery from COVID-19 based on a review of the impact of COVID-19 and in line with government priorities on the same. For example, in Nepal, a recent study found that 83% of migrants who returned to Nepal due to the pandemic were unemployed. The Programme thus supports returning migrants and local communities to create (self)-employment opportunities for sustainable reintegration, strengthening labour markets and local businesses. The Programme has a robust results-monitoring framework that is aligned to the indicators and targets of the 2030 Agenda with a view to showcasing how the mainstreaming methodology supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals at the community level, helping to illustrate how good migration governance can accelerate progress on the SDGs. The Programme also has a strong local approach, recognising that it is at the community level where the impact of migration is most strongly felt and the key role of local and regional authorities as first responders to migration. We therefore work to empower local and regional authorities to take the lead while also strengthening coordination across all levels of government so that local level needs and expertise translate into more effective national policy-making. The Programme also applies a whole-of-society approach, working to support entire communities and inclusive of civil society, private sector migrants’ associations and diaspora. The experience, results and lessons learnt are also shared within the Programme through knowledge exchange and capacity development actions and globally through international fora and dialogues, helping to further global understanding.


3. Has your organization published or is it planning to publish any analytical work or guidance note or toolkits to guide and support recovery efforts from COVID-19 while advancing SDG implementation at national, regional and global levels? Please select up to three high-impact resources to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. 

Resource  IOM Health Border and Mobility Management Framework
Publishing entity IOM
Relevant SDGs SDGs 3, 10
Target audience National governments, UN agencies, other stakeholders
Description The HBMM Framework articulates IOM’s strategic role and objectives in the prevention, detection and response to communicable diseases in the context of widespread and multidirectional human mobility. It provides an operational action framework for IOM to undertake health, border and mobility management activities and serves as a reference for IOM Member States and partners to understand IOM’s role and contributions in this area of work. It is accompanied by an operational toolkit to support planning, design and implementation. The overarching aims of the HBMM Framework are as follows: To support governments and communities to address the mobility dimensions of public health threats; To ensure that affected and at-risk populations benefit from appropriate and timely support. These efforts are central to safeguarding global health security and strengthening mobility-sensitive health systems that deliver person-centered universal health coverage, including for migrants. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, IOM adjusted the framework in its 2021 version to include the latest lessons learned and experiences from the pandemic response. IOM’s approach to HBMM is guided by key global governance frameworks for migration and health, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the Sendai Framework and the Grand Bargain, as well as IOM’s internal Strategic Vision and objectives for migration policy and practice.
Link to access
Language English


Resource  Integrating Migration into COVID-19 Socio-economic Response: A Toolkit for Development Partners
Publishing entity IOM
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 16, 17
Target audience Development cooperation partners, donors, policymakers and practitioners
Description The aim of this Toolkit is to provide information and tools for development partners to integrate migration – in all its forms – into development‐centred plans, programmes and projects linked to COVID‑19 socio‐economic response. Informed by the “UN Framework for the Immediate Socio‑Economic Response to COVID‑19”, and relevant EU and UN policy frameworks, the Toolkit provides analysis and practical tools to enable policymakers and practitioners to deal with the ways in which migration and sustainable development interact within the context of the COVID‑19 pandemic
Link to access…
Language English


Resource  Sentiment towards migration during COVID-19: What Twitter data can tell us
Publishing entity IOM
Relevant SDGs SDGs 3, 10, 16
Target audience
National governments, UN agencies, other stakeholders
Description This report discusses the essential findings and learnings from a collaborative research project with the University of Liverpool, investigating the use of Twitter data to track immigration sentiment during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the report will (a) demonstrate how immigrants have experienced acts of discrimination and racism in five countries (the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Germany); (b) determine to what extent (anti-)immigration sentiment has shifted in reaction to increasing geographical spreads and fatality rates of COVID-19; and (c) assess how acts of discrimination and racism towards immigrants during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic vary by country.
Link to access…
Language English


Resource  Human Mobility Impacts due to COVID-19 – Travel Restrictions Monitoring 
Publishing entity IOM
Language English
Relevant SDGs SDGs 3, 10, 16
Target audience National governments, UN agencies, other stakeholders

The Human Mobility Impacts due to COVID-19 demonstrates IOM's comprehensive efforts to track impact of COVID-19 in human mobility spanning across key monitoring initiatives, including on international travel restrictions, mobility and points of entry, and impacts on migrants, IDPs, and flows. 

The IOM COVID-19 Mobility Tracking Database regularly publishes reports which capture various air travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. They focus on the changes to pre-existing immigration and border management measures affecting migrants and travellers travelling on specific routes or with specific travel documentation. More specifically, the database and ensuing analysis of collected data highlights emerging changes to post COVID-19 mobility restrictions and requirements.

This analysis does not aim to provide exact information on travel requirements. For specific and updated travel information, kindly refer to respective consular authorities of the destination country. International Air Transport Association (IATA) and relevant airline companies may be a valid alternative to explore.  

As the situation continues to evolve, the database and ensuing data analysis have been updated and modified to explain and capture the changes in the applied measures. Since March 2020, IOM has designed and entered the fourth phase of methodology in December 2021 for data collection and analysis. The changes and modifications to the database are done while maintaining the baseline categories to allow comparability over time.   

The IOM COVID-19 Mobility Database provides valuable information to the civil society, including media, and the general population to disseminate up-to-date information about COVID-19 related mobility restrictions, exceptions to restrictions and conditions for authorized entry. Regular updates on the global changes in mobility restrictions are also intended to support IOM missions, partners and member states in targeted response planning and advocacy for vulnerable populations who may be affected by changes in global mobility.  

Link to access

4. How has your organization engaged with stakeholder groups to support SDG implementation and COVID-19 recovery at national, regional and global levels? Please provide main highlights, including any lessons learned. If your organization has established multi-stakeholder partnerships in this regard, please describe them (objectives, partners involved, relevant SDGs, Member States benefiting from the partnership) and provide links to relevant websites, if applicable.

Name IOM - UNDP Seed Funding to Advance Joint Programming for the Response and Recovery from COVID-19 and the Achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 
Partners IOM and UNDP Country Offices, IOM Regional Offices and UNDP Regional Hubs; as well as national stakeholders and counterparts, and implementing partners at country level 
Relevant SDGs SDG 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative El Salvador, Costa Rica, Peru, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Lesotho, Mozambique, Sudan, Uganda, Turkey, Moldova, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia 
Description Building on an agreement in 2020 to strengthen partnership and collaboration, in 2020 IOM and UNDP launched a joint Seed-Funding initiative to provide incentives for joint collaboration at the country level. Steered by IOM Headquarters’ Migration and Sustainable Development Unit and UNDP Headquarters’ Crisis Bureau - Recovery Solutions and Human Mobility Team, with close involvement of regional specialists, the Seed-Funding initiative is a strategic investment and catalyst to (i) produce concrete results through scalable and sustainable interventions (ii) advance the IOM-UNDP partnership and synergies, including at inter-agency level, and (iii) expand avenues to mobilize targeted and predictable support. The first round, implemented from early 2021 and funded by UNDP with a focus on the COVID-19 socio-economic response, resulted in 10 tailored country initiatives on migration and displacement issues, designed towards seeking continued support to scale and sustain these initiatives. For the second round, implemented from September 2021, IOM provided funding to support 10 Joint Actions that advance programming for the response and recovery from COVID-19 and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. An analysis of the partnership through a survey and stocktaking workshop in April 2021 showed that IOM and UNDP country offices considered the initiative useful and future-oriented. It helped building joint perspectives to advance COVID-19 recovery for migrants and local communities, strengthening synergies between different analysis and policy tools and setting a joint strategic course beyond the seed funding. It contributed to strengthening a mutually beneficial partnership, with more direct impact to migrants and local communities, which is essential for maximizing the potential of migration for sustainable development. The Seed Funding initiative has proven that by working hand-in-hand, IOM and UNDP can create more unified, equal and sustainable communities in the wake of COVID-19 on their path towards longer term socio-economic recovery in line with national and local plans and strategies. The initial outcomes from the seed-funding initiative were presented at a dedicated event during UNDP’s Development Dialogues in June 2021, with the presence of the Principals of both agencies and multiple supportive donor statements from the floor, such as the EU, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. The initiative culminated in a final report which showcases good practices for scale-up, lessons learned from joint UN COVID-19 recovery initiatives and priority areas for future collaboration and support to governments for strengthened migration and development approaches in response and recovery to the pandemic. 


Name Mayors Mechanism
Partners IOM, United Cities and Local Governments, Mayors Migration Council
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative Global
Description The Mayors Mechanism (MM) was established in 2018 to formally link local authorities to the state-led Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), alongside civil society and the private sector. The Mechanism creates opportunities for cities to influence the GFMD discussions and provides them with opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and exchange. It establishes a platform to interact with States, civil society and the private sector and provides avenues to bolster innovative solutions. In 2020, the Mayors Mechanism (MM), together with the governments of Canada, Ecuador and the International Organization for Migration, launched ‘It Takes a Community’, a global GFMD Campaign that spotlights migrants and fellow community members who contribute to building more inclusive societies. The Campaign is driven by local and national governments, civil society, the private sector and youth-led organisations, and lifts up local stories of community solidarity especially during the pandemic. In 2021, the MM also initiated a Call to Local Action in line with new tools and frameworks established by the review processes of the GCM and GCR. The aim is to build a platform that promotes, showcases, and supports actions by cities in favour of inclusive, human rights-based and migration-sensitive governance that contributes to sustainable development. Through this work, the Mayors Mechanism will help ensure the GFMD aligns, feeds and supports the GCM and GCR agenda by leveraging the full potential of the GFMD’s multi-level governance and multi-stakeholder nature. The goal of the Call to Local Action is to increase States and multilateral actors’ recognition of the transformative impact of cities on migration governance, thereby unlocking more resources for cities to support migrants, displaced, and the communities where they live. The collaborative approach between the MM partners will increase and streamline city access into complex formal stocktaking and review procedures, including the 2022 UN International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) in New York, the 2023 UN Global Refugee Forum (GRF) in Geneva, and the State-led GFMD occurring next in Paris. The three partners involved have also maximized the partnership to support other initiatives by each partner. For example, IOM and UCLG supported the Mayors Migration Council Global Cities Fund for Inclusive Pandemic Response, an initiative to respond to the unmet needs of cities as they support migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people (IDPs) during COVID-19. 


Name iDiaspora
Partners iDiaspora has developed relevant partnerships with diaspora organizations and experts such as ADEPT, the Global Diaspora Confederation, Coalición por Venezuela, Red Global MX, GRFDT, CISAN, etc. 
Relevant SDGs SDGs 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 16 and 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative All
Target audience diaspora organizations, governments, academia, UN agencies, policymakers and practitioners
Description The iDiaspora platform has been conceived as a one-stop-shop where stakeholders working on diaspora engagement can access resources, create partnerships, showcase their own initiatives and learn from their peers. The sustainability of the platform could be ensured by its users who are from all over the world but also by the diversity of diaspora resources including, human, financial entrepreneurial, social affective, and local. As a result, the platform has the potential to become the reference global hub for diaspora engagement and all its sub-themes including how diaspora contribute to reduction of social and economic inequalities and well as increasing access to opportunities in both their receiving and sending countries. The global and multidisciplinary approach of the platform aims to include actors from all over the world specializing in different areas of diaspora engagement to keep empowering transnational communities and showcasing the human, social and economic potential of migrants for host and home societies. In 2021, the publication Empowering Global Diasporas in the Digital Era, co-edited with Routed Magazine showcased 19 important initiatives undertaken by diasporas to contribute to their societies and to sustainable development digitally during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The same year, iDiaspora and ADEPT published The Future of Diasporas, a publication containing 12 thought-provoking articles. In addition, after organizing three new Global Exchanges, the platform published a new report entitled: Insights and Reflections Paper on Building trust, mobilizing resources and ensuring sustainability, an analytical paper provided key recommendations on how to maximize diaspora engagement globally. Finally, in 2021, the platform launched together with GRFDT, CISAN and ADEPT an online certificate on Migration Governance and Diaspora Engagement attended by more than 200 students in 80 countries. 


Name UN Network on Migration in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Partners Resident Coordinator of KSA, Embassies of the Countries of Destination, Saudi Food Bank
Relevant SDGs SDGs 2, 10
Member State(s) benefiting from the initiative As the UN Network on Migration who provides system-wide support to the government
Description With IOM’s thorough support, the RC of KSA managed to hold bilateral meetings with 9 Embassies of the Countries of Origin to collect information discretely regarding the status, location and numbers of both regular and irregular migrants including those who were stranded and in dire situation with job loss under the COVID lockdown. The RC further sought multiple leads with support from UN agencies and eventually connected those migrants to the donation of food basket by Saudi Food Bank. In total, 15,228 Beneficiaries (1,423 families) in Dammam, Al Jubail, Riyadh and Jeddah areas. received 6,737 food baskets and 8,056 meals in 2020. 
Website Website:


5. In the 2019 SDG Summit declaration (GA Resolution 74/4), Member States outlined ten priority areas for accelerated action in SDG implementation. Please highlight any major integrated and innovative policies or initiatives that your organization may have adopted in these ten priority areas:

5.1 leaving no one behind

Reconfirming the UN’s commitment to leave no one behind in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, IOM’s MSD Strategy highlights the role of migrants and displaced populations at the center of inclusive and sustainable development. One of the outcomes of the strategy is to empower migrants and their families to contribute to sustainable development. The Joint UN SDG Acceleration Toolkit includes 5 dedicated IOM tools and platforms that contribute to not leaving people on the move behind in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. In order to leave no migrant behind, better data is needed. In 2021 IOM published practical guidance on how to disaggregate SDG indicators by migratory status, aiming to improve countries’ capacity to do this and measure development outcomes on migrants across topics included in the 2030 Agenda. IOM’s expertise in support of finding durable solutions for internally displaced persons has been reflected in the work of the High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement and the UN SG Report on Internally Displaced Persons, to which IOM has provided in-depth support.

5.2 mobilizing adequate and well-directed financing

In order to increase adequate and well-directed financing for sustainable development, in line with its commitments to the Funding Compact, IOM is supporting increased inter-agency collaboration and joint funding opportunities, aiming to increase its access to pooled funding. As Coordinator of the UN Network on Migration, IOM is also housing the Fund Management Unit for the dedicated Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund as an interagency mechanism to support the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, in line with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. IOM’s work in the area of SDG financing falls within the institution’s work on broader migration and development and draws from its institutional mandate, the SDGs, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the GCM. IOM is seeking to support financial empowerment of migrants and displaced populations and leverage the positive impact of remittances and the role of diaspora organizations for sustainable development. IOM is part of the UN High Level Process on Financing for Development. IOM’s most recent publication on the role of digital remittances in Russia and Central Asia during the pandemic specifically addressed the remittance market infrastructure and migrants’ access to electronic payment cards as instruments for digital remittances during lockdown period. The results of the research highlight the importance of access to financial services for migrants in destination countries as a means of their resilience during the crisis and ability of ensuring financial support for their families left in the home countries. This research was conducted under the regional initiative “Mitigating the effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on migrants and their families from Central Asia” produced with the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and implemented by IOM. IOM is currently developing financial literacy training by building on its MIG-APP platform – focusing on cross-border money transfers.

5.3 enhancing national implementation

As a core member of the UN Sustainable Development Group, IOM is supporting joint UN initiatives to advance national implementation for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. A concrete example is IOM’s support to inter-agency missions for Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) for the achievement of the SDGs. IOM is also supporting governments in the Voluntary National Review process on the 2030 Agenda, to identify mobility-related challenges and gaps. IOM’s global knowledge hub on Migration and Sustainable Development (M4D Net) brings together practitioners and policymakers from around the world. Its innovative tools allow experts to exchange ideas, develop skills and consolidate partnerships to harness the development potential of migration and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Compact for Migration. A key new tool is the interactive feature which allows national policymakers and global experts to explore development sectors and SDGs (e.g. health, employment, SDG 17, etc.), understand how migration affects these areas of governance and identify policies and practices that can be implemented at all levels. In collaboration with other UN agencies and development cooperation partners, in particular the European Union, IOM is also working to strengthen the mainstreaming of migration into international cooperation and development policy, formulating dedicated tools and guidance for policy practitioners to integrate migration into nine policy sectors. Access here more information. IOM’s Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) methodology was revised to include a set of 12 questions in order to effectively assess national migration governance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Migration Governance Profiles in 2021 incorporate a summary section with key national COVID-19 policy responses from a migration governance perspective. Some examples include: Comoros, Ireland, Madagascar, Nigeria, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, and Ukraine In Ireland, the research done on the COVID-19 MGI questions informed the Global Compact for Migration national review. The report uses MGI information on topics such as access to public medical testing and treatment irrespective of migration status, and the translation of COVID-19 resources into various languages to ensure that they are accessible to migrants (access here for more information). In Uruguay, following the MGI assessment, IOM coordinated with the Uruguayan Foreign Office, Health Ministry, National Migration Board to allow undocumented migrants and refugees access the COVID-19 vaccine. A joint plan was implemented to include migrants and refugees in the vaccination campaign.

5.4 strengthening institutions for more integrated solutions

IOM is the founding member of the UN-led Integrated Policy Practitioner’s Network, hosted by UNDP, to advance integrated solutions for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Global IOM-UNDP Joint Programme on Making Migration Work for Sustainable Development (M4SD) is the third phase of a long-standing approach to mainstreaming migration into government policy planning and programming for an integrated approach to ensure that good migration governance can support sustainable development outcomes. The Programme works with 11 countries globally to apply a whole-of-government approach to migration governance that builds understanding around how migration affects and is affected by other sectoral policies and development trends in four main priority sectors: health, employment, education and social security and human rights. By identifying policy gaps and integrating migration into relevant sectoral policies as well as refining existing or development new migration-specific policies according to the unique context of each country, the Programme is supporting governments ensure that migration governance is part and parcel of their efforts to achieve inclusive sustainable development. For example, in Nepal, the Programme established two coordination mechanisms to support vertical policy coherence and collaboration among local and national governments. These mechanisms transfer lessons and capacities learned from local initiatives into national policy and planning on development and sustainable reintegration. In Morocco, the Programme supports the roll-out and decentralization of the National Immigration and Asylum Strategy across three regions. The national policy includes priority areas on employment, education and health. In addition, the programme supports Regional Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups in Migration and Development to promote a whole-of-government approach.

5.5 bolstering local action

Through its M4SD Programme, IOM also works together with UNDP to empower local and regional authorities and civil society as leaders of the funded initiatives in their territories. Working with 13 local government entities across 6 countries, the Programme provides policy support to integrate migration into local policy planning for sustainability and policy coherence and provides capacity development and technical assistance for successful and sustainable implementation of the funded initiatives and enhanced data collection and reporting against the Sustainable Development Goals. In Ecuador, the Programme’s two local-level projects in Manta and Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas support the mainstreaming of migration into their local development planning. These activities empower local authorities to effectively integrate human mobility into development planning and support decent work and employment opportunities for migrants, refugees and local community members. In Serbia, the Programme partners with three municipalities to address the challenges of youth emigration and social cohesion, working with unemployed youth and the Roma population with a particular focus on the livelihoods of women. By promoting skills training and access to employment, this work is contributing to the sustainable development of local communities.

5.6 reducing disaster risk and building resilience

IOM is directly engaged in Anticipatory Action piloting under CERF funding and in consortium with a number of UN sister agencies. AA is a proactive approach that involves taking much faster action on predictable crises, which is a cheaper, more humane, and sustainable way of dealing with problems before (or where) they occur as opposed to reacting only when needs are manifest and severe. The aim with AA is to provide proof of concept for system-wide anticipatory action and make the existing humanitarian financing system more efficient. IOM is part of the AA framework in the following countries: Somalia (drought), Philippines (Cyclones), and Malawi (dry spells/floods) and may join additional programming in several additional countries in 2022. Programming draws from primary data sets generated through IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), active in over 86 countries, which tracks the locations and evolving needs of disaster affected populations to ensure that programmatic responses remain effective and relevant to shifting realities while informing broader system-wide humanitarian and development responses. CADRI IOM’s Disaster Risk Reduction-Climate Change Adaptation work is dedicated to supporting States in implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, which along with the Paris Agreement, contain vital targets that contribute towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. IOM delivers its DRR-CCA activities in line with the UN Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience and in close cooperation with the United Nations and local and national partners. The significance of disasters, environmental degradation and climate change in shaping and driving population movements has been reflected in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which calls on States to reduce risks that trigger mobility and include migrants in disaster risk management efforts. The specific relevance of mobility to the risk reduction agenda is increasingly embraced within operational inter-agency initiatives, such as the Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (CADRI), which IOM presently co-chairs with UNDP. CADRI is a global partnership of over 20 agencies that integrates mobility considerations in the delivery of multi-sectoral capacity development assessments- over 37 countries have been supported to date with many more in the pipeline.

5.7 solving challenges through international cooperation and enhancing the global partnership

As the Coordinator and Secretariat of the UN Network on Migration, IOM is leading efforts to provide timely, system-wide support to States in the implementation, follow up, and review of the GCM at the national, regional, and global levels. To mainstream the GCM in national planning and implementation, including within the framework of the 2030 Agenda, over 50 country networks have been established and integrated into over one third of UNCTs across the globe. The country networks align with the repositioning of the UN development system (UNDS) and provide coordinated support from the UN system on migration. Six regional networks have also been established to strengthen regional and sub-regional cooperation as well as providing technical supports to the national-level Networks. The regional networks supported the GCM Regional Review processes conducted in 2020 and early 2021 including a number of capacity building efforts and consultations with Member States and Stakeholders. At the global level, IOM is (co-)leading all three Core and several Thematic Workstreams outlined in the UN Network on Migration Workplan, providing dedicated guidance, tools, policy papers, statements and dialogues to strengthen international collaboration on migration governance. Key examples include The Migration Network Hub, GCM Implementation Guidance for governments and stakeholders, and training for UNCTs on integrating migration into Common Country Analyses and Cooperation Frameworks.

5.8 harnessing science, technology and innovation with a greater focus on digital transformation for sustainable development

Examples: MigApp MigApp is an app developed by IOM to help migrants by providing a one-stop-shop platform of relevant and up-to-date information. The MigApp enables migrants to make informed decisions throughout their migration process. IDiaspora iDIASPORA is a global engagement and knowledge exchange hub for diaspora communities and those looking to engage with them. It provides comprehensive, regularly updated data and analysis relevant to diaspora communities, policy makers, NGO actors, and showcases successful diaspora actions and partnerships. IOM Diversity, Inclusion and Social Cohesion (DISC) The IOM Diversity, Inclusion and Social Cohesion (DISC) Initiative is a multi-year, flexible and demand- led initiative to enhance IOM’s capacity and programming to support Member States and relevant partners in the areas of migrant integration, inclusion and social cohesion. The DISC Initiative serves as a platform to share, learn, develop and implement innovative strategies and interventions that tap into the existing assets and potential of both migrants and communities. The Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) The Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) programme is a global refugee orientation initiative funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and implemented worldwide by IOM. Since 1998, IOM has been providing information and orientation sessions to refugees aged 13 and above before their departure to Canada. The main objective of the programme is to increase the integration outcomes of refugees resettling to Canada by supporting their pre-departure preparation. IOM has developed the O-Canada Mobile App which is IOM’s digital learning tool for refugees selected for resettlement to Canada. It provides relevant and accurate information about life, services and support available in Canada. This tool benefits refugees in circumstances where IOM is not able to provide in-person pre-departure orientaion and will complement in-person PDO to facilitate successful integration in their new communities. IOM has also produced the DISC Digest on Digitalization which showcases a wide range of digital initiatives within IOM in the cross-cutting areas of migrant integration, social cohesion and inclusion.… Match Migration of African Talents through Capacity building and Hiring (MATCH) is a 36‑month initiative funded by the European Union (EU) aimed at providing highly skilled talents to private sector companies whose needs for qualified staff cannot be satisfied by the offer available on the EU labour market. By joining MATCH, companies from Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Luxembourg will be supported with the sourcing and recruiting of African talents from Senegal and Nigeria. Assistance Tracking System (ATS) is another example of innovation. It is a distribution and beneficiary information management platform that will allow IOM to plan, track and report on distribution of humanitarian assistance (both cash and in kind). The first phase of this project ended in July 2021 and the minimum viable product was tested in Nigeria, Peru and Ecuador. IOM is currently in the second phase of development of the ATS in which we expect to improve the user interface and the offline operationality of the system. MIDAS: With the use of Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS), IOM is supporting governments to work towards the achievements of several SDG targets, namely, “Target 10.7: facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies” with a rights-based and well managed traveller identification achieved through the use of a BMIS helping to optimize the economic, social and political benefits of international mobility, allowing for strategic and evidence-based policy making. MIDAS packages includes a holistic capacity building approach, which is crucial given the sensitive nature of the information collected. In that line, MIDAS implementation also supports governments towards the achievement of “Target 17.18: enhance the capacity-building support to developing countries… to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data”, allowing governments to collect relevant disaggregated data concerning migrants, being a crucial step to improving migration governance. In combination with the capacity-building efforts, the comprehension of the migration trends and patterns in a country through the analysis of the data allows governments to formulate evidence-based policies, not only on migration but for other policy areas including tourism, employment, trade, health, etc. As such, MIDAS projects promote an integrated border management approach.

5.9 investing in data and statistics for the SDGs

IOM developed analytical frameworks and implemented new data collection exercises to assess the impact of COVID-19 on migrants and displaced persons. Over 2021 IOM championed the collection and use of migration data towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Related activities carried out through IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) include directly supporting follow-up and review of the SDGs, developing capacities of others on SDG-migration data and boosting cooperation and dialogue. IOM is co-custodian of SDG indicator 10.7.2 with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). GMDAC supports data collection for 10.7.2, which aims to measure “well-managed migration policy” at the global level for the first time. Based partly on IOM’s Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) project, data is collected through the United Nations Inquiry among Governments on Population and Development. IOM is sole custodian of SDG indicator 10.7.3. This was adopted as an SDG indicator in 2020 and is the only concrete measure of “safe” migration the 2030 Agenda. GMDAC supports direct data collection for 10.7.3 through its Missing Migrants Project. Over 42,000 deaths and disappearances during migration have been recorded by the project since 2014, when IOM began tracking these in its open-access database and developing publications on key trends, thematic issues within this. In coordination with Regional and Global partners, IOM developed analytical frameworks to better understand the Attainment of Sustainable Development Goals in Conflict-affected Countries with a specific focus on population in displacement. Other relevant publications on targeted populations are developed with specific focus on migrants and displaced populations. Global IOM Projects on data as Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) are integrating and reporting on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at national and local areas in DTM countries together with the implementation of analytical frameworks as the Durable Solutions for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Through GMDAC, IOM supports disaggregation of SDG data by migratory status. In 2021 IOM published “Leaving no migrant behind”, a user-friendly guide containing step-by-step advice on how to disaggregate data and increase visibility of migrants in SDG and other development data. In 2022 IOM will begin work in several pilot countries in Africa, with government and other partners to improve this type of data disaggregation through targeted capacity building activities, and to encourage peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange on this. Data capacity building for Member States on migration data and SDGs, via e-learning modules, training events and workshops around the world. Knowledge management and specialized publications relating to migration data and the SDGs. For example, a report on using census data to measure migration-related SDG indicators. In 2022 IOM will publish “Monitoring migration in the 2030 Agenda: An edited volume”, a publication exploring migration trends within the SDGs and discussing their impact on migration data.

5.10 strengthening the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)

IOM is a strong supporter of the High-Level Political Forum and has contributed regularly to the yearly request for submissions to highlight the importance of including people on the move in sustainable development planning and leverage the potential of migration for accelerating the achievement of the SDGs. In 2021, IOM’s Director General also joined the HLPF session on “Ensuring that no one is left behind”, discussing the importance of migrants for the COVID-19 response and recovery and the path towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. On the margins of the HLPF, the UN Network on Migration and the Group of Friends of Migration convened the first-ever VNR Lab on the topic (see below), especially important considering that the HLPF took place in the context of preparations for the first International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) in 2022, itself the primary intergovernmental platform on GCM implementation.  IOM also supported the Mayors Mechanism’s “takeover” of the It Takes a Community Campaign that, among other communications and storytelling efforts, convened a “live conversation” between the national Canadian government and the city of Montreal to showcase how local-national partnerships are essential for changing the narrative on migration and empowering migrants as agents of change and development in our communities. See here IOM’s HLPF submissions for 2020 and 2021, as well as the Director General’s statement in 2020 and an official IOM blog in 2021 celebrating the inclusion of migration in the 2021 HLPF and Ministerial Declaration. The HLPF’s Declaration includes robust language on migration, potentially making this year’s outcome the most substantive on migration to date (see below).

6. In the lead up to the 2023 HLPF to be held under the auspices of the General Assembly (or 2023 SDG Summit), please provide your organization’s recommendations on how to overcome challenges to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs, taking into account the thematic reviews and voluntary national reviews conducted to date.

The pandemic has underscored the importance of migration for prosperous and healthy societies. As governments reopen economies and recover from COVID-19, human mobility must be a critical part of their efforts. We must protect migrants and their communities and harness the positive power of migration to accelerate progress toward the SDGs. To do this, we need to better understand the ways in which human mobility impacts sustainable development, and vice versa. Migration needs to be coherently integrated into sustainable development cooperation, planning and implementation efforts, including the UN system’s Common Country Analysis and Cooperation Frameworks. Innovative solutions based on existing and emerging evidence about the pandemic, as well as the effectiveness of various public health and socio-economic response measures, must guide concrete action. An internal review of the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) submitted to the HLPF 2021 revealed limited inclusion of advanced migration-related data and information. While migrants are often listed among populations at risk of being left behind, detailed analysis including data disaggregated by migratory status is lacking across VNRs and VLRs. In addition, the review pointed to a need for better inclusion of migrants and migrant organizations in the preparation of VNRs and VLRs. Including migrants, migrant organizations, and diaspora in VNR and VLR processes will help ensure opportunities and challenges are accurately reflected and addressed to accelerate progress toward the achievement of the SDGs.

The Global Compact for Safe and Orderly Migration (GCM) recognizes that, when properly governed, migration contributes to sustainable development for all. The GCM provides a cooperative framework for governments and other actors to holistically address migration and help achieve the migration-related dimension of the SDGs. Given that the GCM is firmly anchored in the 2030 Agenda, strong links should be fostered between the GCM and SDG review and reporting processes. Specifically, voluntary national GCM Reviews, including those conducted in the context of the Regional Reviews from 2020 to 2021 and the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) scheduled for 2022, and Voluntary National Reviews and Voluntary Local Reviews for the HLPF should mutually support each other. GCM implementation guidance developed through the UN Network on Migration already encourages this link; dedicated guidance on integrating the GCM into VNRs and VLRs to the HLPF will be developed through the Network in 2022.

The GCM provides a roadmap to leverage migration for response and recovery efforts. In addition, in its submission to the HLPF 2021 IOM outlined 11 actions for safe, orderly and regular migration to recover better from COVID-19 and accelerate sustainable development. These actions remain as relevant for the HLPF 2022 to address the mobility-related challenges, barriers and bottlenecks for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

11 Accelerating Actions to leverage migration for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals:

1. Protect migrants’ human rights, including the protection of social and economic rights across borders (SDGs: 1, 10, 16; GCM Objectives: 15, 16, 22)

2. Identify and address the factors which lead people to migrate in an unsafe manner (SDGs: 1, 8, 10, 11, 13, 16; GCM Objective: 2)

3. Leverage digitalization to enhance migrants’ well-being and facilitate their contributions to sustainable development (SDGs: 1, 8, 9; GCM Objectives: 3, 7, 16, 18, 19)

4. Restart mobility and expand safe and regular migration pathways in the circular economy to boost recovery efforts (SDGs: 1, 8, 10, 13; GCM Objectives: 6, 15, 18)

5. Empower diaspora groups, migrants and displaced persons, in particular through financial inclusion in line with sustainable and productive investment strategies (SDGs: 8, 9, 10, 17; GCM Objectives: 19, 20)

6. Protect migrant workers along global supply chains and throughout recruitment processes (SDGs: 5, 8; GCM Objectives: 6)

7. Empower local governments and include migrants in local decision-making to support recovery in severely affected urban settings (SDGs: 11, 13, 16; GCM Objectives: 2, 15, 19)

8. Effectively connect recovery with greening the economy and climate action in relation to migration (SDGs: 7, 13, 15; GCM Objective: 2)

9. Combat xenophobia and harness the positive role of diversity for inclusive recovery (SDGs: 3, 10, 11, 16; GCM Objectives: 16, 17)

10. Ensure equitable access to services to recover better (SDGs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10; GCM Objective: 15)

11. Strengthened data, research and analysis on the interlinkages between migration, internally displaced, COVID-19 and sustainable development (SDGs: 10, 16; GCM Objective: 1)

7. Please review your organization's information contained in the UN System SDG Implementation Database. If you wish to submit any updates, please share details below.

IOM has not been part of previous editions of this survey and has identified the following questions from previous surveys to share additional information:

At the secretariat level, what steps has your organization taken (or will it take) in the follow-up to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs? Please specify actions, including but not limited to the following areas:

SDG-specific strategies, plans or work programmes;

In 2019, IOM launched its Strategic Vision 2019-2023, as well as its dedicated institutional strategy on Migration and Sustainable Development (MSD strategy), which articulate IOM’s contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, aiming to ensure that migrants are not left behind and can actively contribute to sustainable development processes. The Strategic Vision represents the Organization’s reflection on its needs and priorities, based on a landscape assessment of what the next decade will bring. It is also the Director General’s articulation of how IOM as an organization needs to develop over the five-year period between 2019 to 2023 – in order to meet new and emerging responsibilities. The three main pillars of the Strategic Vision are: 1) Resilience, 2) Mobility and 3) Governance.

The MSD strategy outlines a whole-of-organization approach to comprehensively integrate migration and development into policymaking and programming within IOM. The Strategy represents IOM’s direct contribution to the Decade of Action to fast-track progress for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals along three outcomes and nine deliverables. Aligned with the overarching Strategic Vision, it promotes a joined-up approach to the way the organization designs and delivers its operations as part of the UN Development System to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Through an institution-wide UN-SDG Action Plan, IOM is tracking its institutional commitments and contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Reform for the achievement of the SDGs. IOM is also reporting on an annual basis to its Member States on the implementation of the Migration and Sustainable Development Strategy.

Aligning the structure of the organization with the SDGs and the transformative features of the 2030 Agenda, including any challenges and lessons learned in doing so;

In 2021, IOM has conducted a review of its Headquarters structure to consolidate, and promote coherence between, departments. The proposed changes included the creation of the Department of Strategic Planning and Organizational Performance and of the Department of Peace and Development Coordination. Both institutional changes will allow IOM to better streamline its work in contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals and support the transformative features of the 2030 Agenda.

Readjusting or updating results-based budgeting and management, including performance indicators

Based on its Strategic Vision, IOM developed a institution-wide Strategic Results Framework which will support IOM’s results-based reporting on the Vision itself, as well as overarching frameworks, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

Action to address the interlinkages across SDG goals and targets;

Recognizing the connections between migration and the SDGs, IOM is working closely with the UN System to strengthen the integrated approach to achieve the SDGs. IOM’s Guide on Migration and the 2030 Agenda – A Practitioner’s Guide, outlines the connections between SDG goals and targets relevant to migration and human mobility. Further, IOM’s global knowledge platform on Migration for Sustainable Development (M4DNet) promotes the sharing and dissemination of good practices, achievements and knowledge gained from practical experience leveraging migration for the 2030 Agenda, so that all practitioners can benefit, and migrants can be at the heart of our global progress towards sustainable development.

Are there any results or lessons you would like to highlight that might help improve the design and impact of such efforts? Has your organization participated in any of the following coordination systemwide mechanisms or any other relevant platform - CEB, UNSDG, EC-ESA Plus, regional coordination meetings, UN-Energy, UN-Water, UN-Ocean, IAEG, IATT? Please specify which and indicate any suggestions you may have about improving collaborations within and across these mechanisms/platforms.

IOM has participated in all system-wide coordination mechanisms and platforms including CEB, UNSDG, HLCM, HLCP and other platforms.

Has your organization organized any conferences, forums or events designed to facilitate exchange of experience, peer and mutual learning in connection with the SDGs? If yes, please provide a brief summary, below and include lessons learned and gaps identified based on the outcomes of these events. Please also include any events you want to organize in the coming years

Through its annual International Dialogue on Migration, IOM is supporting exchange among Member States and partners to leverage migration for the achievement of the SDGs and not leave migrants behind. Recent examples of thematic focus are:

International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) 2020 : COVID-19 crisis: reimagining the role of migrants and human mobility for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals

International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) 2021: Accelerating integrated action on sustainable development: migration, the environment and climate change

Is there any other information you would like to share, including annual reports of your organization and any impact assessment or evaluation reports? If yes, please use the space below and attach the document(s). Please also use this space to provide any other information, comments or remarks you deem necessary.

IOM’s flagship report on migration, the World Migration Report, provides regular updates on developments on migration in the broader environment of sustainable development and reflections on the future of mobility.

It is a key tool for governments and policy practitioners that can inform decision makers in their planning towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

World migration report 2022

IOM’s annual reports are available online on our website:


ECESA Plus Member
Year of submission: 2021