Consolidated Reply to the E-discussion: Mainstreaming migration into Local Policy Planning
Please see the individual responses in the e-discussion here.
Refer to the "My JMDI Toolbox" available here which offers a flexible and comprehensive tool for local stakeholders (local authorities, civil society, migrants’ associations, academia, international organizations etc.) on how to mainstream migration into local development planning in order to be able to better harness the development potential of migration.
The Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) has carried out an e-discussion on Mainstreaming Migration into Local Policy Planning, inviting local actors around the globe to share their experience and views on mainstreaming migration into local development planning. The results of this e-discussion are presented below in a consolidated response gathering together the contributions of M&D practitioners from Local and Regional Authorities (LRAs), national and international migration experts, civil society actors and more from across Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Philippines, Senegal and South Africa. This e-discussion comes within the framework of the JMDI and the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) partnership in developing a White Paper on Mainstreaming Migration into Local Development Planning. Please find the concept note for the White Paper here. Through this White Paper, a comparative study is being carried out on what has already been done, or is currently being done, to mainstream migration into local development planning to date, gathering good practices and lessons learnt. In doing so, the JMDI and IOM aim to further the global understanding of the local dimension of migration and development (M&D).
It is now globally recognized that migration and development are intrinsically linked and that, when well-managed, it is possible to mitigate the negative and harness the positive effects that migration can have on development and that development can have on migration. However, the nature of migration, and the context in which it takes place, are extremely varied and complex, making it important that policymakers intervene to manage this context and allow for this potential to be seized. In this sense and given the multifaceted nature of the inter-relationship between migration and development, any such intervention is best undertaken in a systematic and comprehensive way.
The most appropriate way to ensure this systematic approach is to mainstream M&D issues directly into policy planning. This process can be described as the process of assessing the implications of migration on any action planned in a development strategy. By taking such an approach, it allows migration to be embedded into the broader development strategy, fostering a coherent approach rather than piecemeal and uncoordinated actions. Indeed, such an approach promotes enhanced coordination among government departments as well as with other relevant actors, leading to more successful policies.
Although mainstreaming processes are now mainly addressed at the national level, their translation and application at the local level is a crucial aspect in view of maximizing the potential of the migration and local development nexus. This is particularly important given that it is local and regional authorities (LRAs) that find themselves at the forefront of dealing with the needs, rights and concerns of migrants within the scope of the various services they provide for the development of the whole community. This necessarily implies the need to mainstream migration as a cross-cutting issue into legislation, policies and programmes at all levels (local, regional and national) and across all sectors e.g. access to housing, education, social security etc. It also means integrating M&D concerns at all stages of policy planning, including design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. Essentially, M&D needs to become institutionalized at all governmental levels where the consideration of migration issues becomes standard practice or normalized within local government policy planning.
Based on the above context, the JMDI and the IOM invited all actors involved in mainstreaming migration into local development planning to respond to the below questions:
- What does mainstreaming migration into local policy planning mean to you?
- How would you describe the relationship between the cross-cutting approach to M&D and the level and process of decentralisation of the state? Within this context, what is the role of decentralized cooperation processes and actors and how can these three elements be reconciled?
- What are the key measures that are necessary to successfully institutionalise migration into local planning and how can these be implemented? What are the challenges and opportunities associated with these measures?
- What examples are there of successful and local authority-led initiatives which aim to institutionalize migration into the local agenda. Have they been replicated in other territories and what were the results? To what extent are these initiatives linked to and in line with regional and/or national development plans and is this a success factor? What measures and practices could be adopted by local authorities in order to increase the institutionalisation, replicability and success of these initiatives?
Summary of responses
Question 1: What does mainstreaming migration into local policy planning mean to you?
Firstly, respondents pointed out that in order to consider the concept of mainstreaming migration into local policy planning, a clear recognition of the inequality that migratory processes generate given the lack of adequate policies is needed within the local institution in question. Through this recognition, migrants are therefore automatically seen as equal parts of society, going beyond nationalities, and who therefore should be treated as citizens and seen as rights holders and development actors.
Mainstreaming migration into local policy planning is therefore a reaction at the local governance level to these inequalities that are produced in a bid to mitigate them and promote equal rights, social cohesion and subsequently local development in a territory. In order to do this, respondents concluded that it is necessary to include migration issues within all phases of local policy planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Examples provided to illustrate this include the addition of migration-related provisions into local development plans and annual investment programming; building or strengthening local migration institutions or structures and expanding local programmes and services to include migrants.
By all phases of local policy planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, this means ensuring that migration issues are included across all sectors and policies, particularly those that are most important with regards to migrants’ well-being and the ability to integrate and contribute to their local communities e.g. labour, health, education, public security, housing etc. It is also therefore necessary to analyse how all policies affect migration and development and vice versa.
In light of this multi-sector approach, it is also therefore very much necessary to have a multi-stakeholder approach that cuts across all sectors and includes LRAs, migrants, migrant associations, civil society, academia, private sector, financial institutions, trade unions, international organisations etc. Indeed, all actors have a role to play and each its added value in terms of what it can bring to M&D mainstreaming and interventions. While local authorities are essentially responsible for such mainstreaming and consequent M&D actions, they should also assess to what extent they are able to provide for migrants and where other actors can play a supporting role. Being well placed at the local level to bring these actors together and assess these needs and roles, mainstreaming migration into local policy planning therefore also necessitates coordination by LRAs between all of these sectors and stakeholders in a coherent manner in order to truly ensure that migration is harnessed for local development.
Yet it is not enough for LRAs simply to coordinate and assign roles among all these key actors. For this to work, there must be a participatory approach to mainstreaming in the first place, which takes into account the opinions, needs, expertise and added value of the various stakeholders in play and allows them to continuously interact with policy planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. While the inclusion of all stakeholders implicitly implies that migrants would be one of these actors, almost all contibutors also made a specific reference to the key role of migrants themselves and the need to ensure their participation in all aspects of local policy planning. Only by doing this will policies actually respond to the realities and needs of migrants. The City of Legazpi in the Philippines provided a specific example of how this can be achieved whereby the Council has made some representatives of migrants and migrant associations members of the council Legazpi City Planning and Development Council (LCPDC). Through this, the migrant sector is given the opportunity to submit their plans and programs and actively participate in the development planning process and ensure that the programs/projects/services related to migration will be presented to the committee for its adoption, inclusion and integration in the Social Development Plans and in the City’s Annual Investment Plan and the Medium Term Public Investment Plan.
Most respondents also highlighted that mainsteaming migration into local development planning also means providing migrants and their associations with resources and services which will allow migrants to integrate, associate and become empowered so that they are able to create and sustain a common voice that is able to navegate public policy spaces and feed into local policy planning.
Two contributors from Ecuador then warned of the dangers involved in mainstreaming actions whereby it is taken for granted that migration is implicitly mainstreamed and thus the concept and actions involved can become so vague and transversal that no specific actions or objectives are achieved. To mitigate this, specific budgets and units dedicated to this are essential, as are specific M&D related initiatives and policies while still ensuring mainstreaming is carried across across all other policy planning.
Finally, a final key consideration by the contributors affirmed that for local authorities to lead this process, it is necessary that their competencies and role is recognized at the local, national and international levels. Indeed, mainstreaming migration into local policy planning means recognizing that migration and development is the responsibility of all, and particularly that of local actors who are at the forefront of managing migratory phenomena and local policy processes. Mainstreaming migration into local policy planning therefore also means securing the commitment of local governments to migration issues and ensuring their ownership over such processes.
Question 2: How would you describe the relationship between the cross-cutting approach to M&D and the level and process of decentralization of the state? Within this context, what is the role of decentralized cooperation processes and actors and how can these three elements be reconciled?
In response to this question, the majority of contributors held to the fact that by assuming a mainstreaming approach to local policy planning, LRAs must tackle migration within the confines of the competencies and functions assigned to them. It is clear therefore, that the higher the level of decentralization, the more room and opportunities there are for LRAs to act in response to migration. It was also noted that in countries that are highly centralized, LRAs may still find themselves at the forefront of tackling the challenges and opportunities of migration but that a lack of legal, technical and financial support from the national level together with a requirement of strong upward accountability and overlapping institutional mandates may limit their effectiveness.
Moreover, the great majority of contributors recognized the added value of decentralisation processes since LRAs are closer to their constituencies, possess better understanding of the needs of their communities and are more able to reach out and collectively pull actors and information together to feed into policy planning. In this sense, decentralization processes also allow for more enhanced participation of all local actors which means that efforts will respond more accurately to needs, making policy design and implementation more effective.
Builing on the above, the instrinsic linkages between migration, decentralization and decentralized cooperation were also clearly evidenced. Given that LRAs tend not to hold any competencies in migration, with this being dealt with more traditionally at the national level, decentralized cooperation partnerships therefore provide an excellent opportunity to share lessons learned and good practices among LRAs. In other words, such frameworks allow for capacity building in a spirit of mutual support among equals. One contributor also pointed out that it is often migrants and diasporas themselves that initiate decentralized cooperation partnerships through their development initiatives, business creation and investment actions though others added that it was important to ensure that such decentralized cooperation frameworks were sealed with agreements between both LRAs and not directly with diaspora associations. This ensures the sustainability, ownership and commitment of both LRAs. Moreover, it guarantees that policies truly respond to official local development processes and not only what interests migrant associations or responds to what they believe is needed in any given territory.
Question 3: What are the key measures that are necessary to successfully institutionalise migration into local planning and how can these be implemented? What are the challenges and opportunities associated with these measures?
There was a general consensus among all contributors that first and foremost, there is a clear need to have accurate migration data to allow for a sound understanding of the migratory context and to facilitate outreach by mapping migrants and their associations. Only by understanding the migratory context and having quantitative and qualitative aggregated data can an effective policy response be envisaged. However, almost all contributors also affirmed that acquiring accurate data is one of the most important challenges when it comes to mainstreaming migration into local policy planning. To mitigate these challenges, acquiring support and data from a wide array of actors is necessary. It may also be necessary for LRAs to provide funding and support to such research entities to be able to carry out in-depth research.
Very much linked with the above was the clear need to also carry out a diagnostic of migrants’ and/or diaspora’s needs, capitals and ideas once they have been mapped. The main aspects of such diagnostics were identified as: analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the territory in relation to what services migrants have access to and any rights violations; identifying development and economic opportunities; and analyzing to what extent the LRA in question can provide for these needs and where it cannot. The need for diagnostics was based on the clear idea that without an understanding of the core reasons leading to migrants’ not having access to the same opportunities and services as other members of the community, any plan or action would likely fail given that it will not adequately address these needs. An example of a lesson learned was provided from Senegal where one Regional Development Agency had established migrant information points to answer questions about migration and to provide them with advice and guidance regarding their social and economic integration. However, 90% of migrants’ questions were related to funding or banking sectors yet the AFD had gathered little information on banking organizations and funding programmes, rendering the offices less effective in responding to the migrants’ needs. Had a diagnostic been carried out, this could have allowed the ARD to be better prepared and able to respond to these needs. Both within the process of carrying out a diagnostic as well as throughout the whole mainstreaming process, the crucial issue of ensuring the active participation of migrants at all stages of policy processes was reiterated. Examples of this included setting up committees or working groups that bring together migrants, their associations, civil society and local government; linking up to returnees or facilitating temporary return programmes to tap into knowledge; and LRA twinning partnerships where dialogue and knowledge exchange between territories can be facilitated.
Contributors also added that, building on the data analysis and diagnostic, it was necessary to carry out a stakeholder analysis to identify all key stakeholders that should be involved in the process and who may not necessarily already be involved. With regards to migrants and their associations, some contributors also suggested that it was helpful to identify trustworthy figures, networks and associations that could bring a credible representation of migrants’ needs to the policy dialogue table.
Upon identifying the relevant stakeholders, it was highlighted that it may be necessary to ensure their awareness of migration and development issues as well as their commitment to the mainstreaming process with ensuring commitment and political will also being identified as some of the most common obstacles experienced within efforts to mainstreamin migration into local policy planning. For this reason, contributors highlighted the importance of carrying out awareness raising and lobbying activities to ensure that all actors are fully aware and understand the specific migration and development issues at hand, as well as the need for and added value of the mainstreaming process. This will then ensure that support for and commitment to the process will be higher.
A further related difficulty resides in the need to also encourage understanding and social cohesion among the people of the territory itself to break the myths surrounding migration and mitigate social tensions and xenophobia. One example of how to do this is ensuring that the focus on migrants is framed within a development and opportunities perspective and not as a humanitarian or charitable cause. In other word, this means highlighting and banking on the positive aspects of migration and its potential for local development. Contributors from the Philippines gave advice on how to support this process through the identification of a migration ‘leader’ or ‘champion’ who is visible in the public eye and who can advocate and promote the migration and development agenda. Based on the Philippine experience, these champions could be local beaucrats, as in the case of Naga and Legazpi City, or a member of the national government agency, as in the case of Tabaco City. They can also be a former migrant who came back to his or her hometown and has started a successful business, as in the case of the vice chair of the Bicol Regional Committee on Migration and Development.
Another crucial element to ensuring a successful mainstreaming process is to provide capacity building and space for knowledge exchange for LRAs, other local actors as well as for migrants and their associations. Capacity building can be on such areas as how to gather migration data, on the linkages between migration and development, on the specific needs and vulnerabilities of migrants, on project development and implementation etc. Carving space for knowledge exchange among actors in one territory or between territories can also contribute to enhancing capacities, allowing for lessons learned to be shared and facilitating peer-to-peer review and support. As was pointed out previously, such spaces can be created though decentralized cooperation processes, temporary return programmes and online networks etc.
Upon the realization of all of the above points, contributors then highlighted the need to identify priority thematic areas and specific policies and actions to carry these out. Many examples of how to do just this were pointed out based on the various experiences of the respondents, including: (i) creating a specific unit at local government level dedicated to the mainstreaming process with trained personnel; (ii) creating an inter-ministerial working group to steer the process and ensure policy coherence across all sectors; (iii) establishing migrant help desks to support and provide orientation for migrants in their personal and professional socio-economic endeavours; (iv) setting up an online information and knowledge exchange platform for migrants and associations to connect and learn; and (v) creating a Migration and Development Space where migrants, government bodies and civil society can come together to share experience, understand needs and ideas and reflect on how best to continue their work in M&D. Such a space also allows for migrants, their associatons and NGOs to lobby at the governmental level and this advice and knowledge can subsequently be fed into local policy planning; (iv) assign adequate funds to ensure implementation, monitoring and evaluation. With regards to monitoring and evaluation, it is also key to ensure that this takes place to allow for learning from past experience and continually being able to improve policies and services.
Other obstacles identified include difficulties in ensuring that within the migrant population, the different transversal approaches were also applied, such as the human rights based approach, gender and youth. While the diagnostic should allow for the identification of the varied needs and vulnerabilities even within a migrant population, ensuring that these the needs and rights of women, children, elderly, disabled, mentally ill etc. are considered across the whole mainstreaming process is complex. This goes hand in hand with an additional obstacle which is ensuring that actions are tailored to migrants’ specific needs, even when these vary across the board, while also ensuring that the non migrant population does not lose out. This can often cause further marginalization and social tension between migrant and non-migrant populations, rather than the opposite. Mitigating this is clearly not easy and goes back to raising the awareness and understanding of the general population, ‘selling’ migration as an opportunity that benefits the whole community and then subsequently ensuring that policies and actions taken do indeed benefit the whole community.
Question 4: What examples are there of successful and local authority-led initiatives which aim to institutionalize migration into the local agenda. Have they been replicated in other territories and what were the results? To what extent are these initiatives linked to and in line with regional and/or national development plans and is this a success factor? What measures and practices could be adopted by local authorities in order to increase the institutionalisation, replicability and success of these initiatives?
From the Costa Rican perspective, respondents highlighted the key role of civil society and local authorities through lobbying activities in ensuring migration is mainstreamed into local policy planning. This is particularly important since local initiatives are not in line with national development plans in the Costa Rican context. Lobbying and political incidence is therefore crucial to ensure national support and endorsement of activities, as well as to ensure good practices are recognized and replicated. Specifically with regards to the established Transborder Management Model of the territory of Upala, this has only been possible due to endorsement at the national level to allow Upala to create a specific catergory of ‘transborder’ migrant, allowing such migrants to benefit from specific services and protection.
Within the context of the experience of Sedhiou’s Regional Development Agency, a JMDI project partner, one of the main success factors for mainstreaming migration into local policy planning has been identified as the level of credibility of the local authorities. Any mainstreaming process or M&D initiative will not be sustainable if migrants and their associations are not rapidly convinced about their utility. Indeed, if measures announced by local government do not respond to their needs and priorities, the participation of migrants and their associations will falter and their trust dissolve. It is therefore important to proceed prudently when creating and announcing measures for/involving migrants. To mitigiate this and build rapport, experience sharing, consultations and training for migrants and their associations are examples of activities to be carried out.
A further success story is found in the rounds of dialogue bringing together migrants and their partners to foster cooperation between territories which the French-Senegalese NGO GRDR has been carrying out over the past few years. These dialogues have been on-going within the river basin shared between Senegal, Mali and Mauritania and essentially bring migrants, civil society and local authorities together through online conferences to promote decentralised cooperation practices. More information on this can be found in the publication « Guide d’organisation d’une mission double espace , à la rencontre des migrant et de leur partenaires pour une coopération de territoire à territoire » which can be downloaded here : site www.grdr.org.
According to an expert contribution from the OECD, the South African example suggests that for local mainstreaming to be successful, there is a need for robust vertical and horizontal policy and institutional coherence, and related to this, a mix of particular mechanisms and knowledge. These include, for example, mechanisms on (i) accountability (both upward and downward); (ii) co-ordination and communication; and (iii) monitoring and evaluation. Such mechanisms can encourage policy makers’ understanding of their exact responsibilities to the local population vis-à-vis those of the central government; which governmental and non-governmental actors must report to, consult and communicate with regularly; and the effectiveness and impact of their policy interventions.
In addition, local policy makers must have a strong sense of the reality in which they are operating, meaning there is a need for data collection on the demographic characteristics of their local population (including migrants); the particular needs of migrants and how they may be marginalised from certain types of service provision and discriminated against; the attitudes of the native population toward migrants; and migrants’ – both potential and actual – social and economic impact on and contribution to local communities.
Respondents from the Philippines provided a general overview of the experience of the JMDI and other similar initiatives together with a specific example from the City of Legazpi:
JMDI and similar M&D initiatives are being implemented in four regions in the Philippines where several Local Government Units (LGUs) (province, city or municipalities) are targeted. In the Bicol region, 8 out of the 15 targeted LGUs already have their own executive orders, or competencies, in M&D. In Calabarzon region, 4 out of 5 provinces have operating structures in M&D in the form of a provincial council or migration resource centers. In Western Visayas region, 10 out of 16 targeted LGUs have already signed legislations on M&D and in Ilocos, 3 out of 4 provinces have established Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) desks or centers.
The main results of these processes are:
- The mainstreaming process fostered easier and faster networking and partnership building between the national/regional agencies with the local authorities, particularly in ensuring a trickle-down process from the national programs to the local level, and for local level in seeking assistance from the national agencies;
- Migrant groups, mostly involving families, have become a force in the decision making and programming at the local level;
- Development and investment policies are being passed or evaluated to respond to the needs and interests of migrants – including the appropriation of budgets for M&D programmes.
To institutionalize and replicate these initiatives, the following strategies are being adopted:
- Inclusion of the policy inputs (lessons learned, good initiatives) derived from implementing the JMDI in the Depatment of Interior and Local Governemnt’s (DILG) Comprehensive Development Plan for adoption by local authorities, including the eventual inclusion of M&D as a category to asses when assigning the Seal of Good Local Government to local authorities;
- While localizing M&D efforts, national endorsement of these processes can strengthen efforts through spaces like the national special committees on international migration and development led by National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) central office. With NEDA and the Regional Development Council as leaders in two of the four M&D projects, the good practices and lessons learnt can also easily be shared with the other regions;
- Institutionalize the capacity building tools and mentoring model from the Joint Migration and Development Initiative into local civil service training and support for LGUs;
The City Government of Legazpi then shared its experience in mainstreaming migration and development into the local agenda:
- Inclusion of Migration and Development as a sub-sector under the Social Development Sector of the Local Planning and Development Council;
- Creation of a Committee on Migration and Development;
- Involvement of the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Legazpi, a church-based organization, in organizing the Migrants Family Associations and establishing a data base.
- Creation of M&D Thematic Working Group involving LGU officials, department heads, concerned national line-agencies, academia, Civil Society Organziations, land-based Representatives, Sea-based Representative and OFW Entreprenuers Representative.
The city of Legazpi also shared future initiatives that it aims to do including:
- The localization of obligatory pre-migration medical services from central level to the territories to minimize expenses of would-be Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW);
- “ULI NA SA LEGAZPI PROGRAM” –which is an Investment Promotion Opportunities to encourage the OFs/OFWs and their families to invest in Legazpi City;
Finally, the City of Legazpi highlighted what it had learned and replicated from other initaitives through knowledge exchange initiatives with other local territories:
- Establishment of an OFW Help Desk;
- Establishment of Migration Resource and Service Center;
- Establish an annual OFW Family Day – to be held every first week of December for awareness raising and promoting the work and initiatives of OFWs;
- Conduct Pre-Migration Orientation Seminar (PMOS), Capacity Building, Financial Literacy, Skills/Livelihood Trainings for would-be OFW and their family members;
- Trainer’s Training to have further outreac capacity in capacity building on such things as Family and Income Management, and other training sessions.
The example provided was that of the Province of Pichincha, Quito. There, the province itself has had an established Human Mobility Office (Unidad de Gestión de Movilidad Humana) since 2013, which provides integral care for people experiencing mobility. This means that all “types” of people in mobility are included (refugees, immigrants, transit migrants, returned migrants and their families) and that the services are planned to take care of the social, economic and political integration of people in mobility, and of the protection of their human rights. These services include:
- first arrival care and shelter for the protection of rights (counselling, legal advice, mediation for access to housing, health care, access to cultural and sports activities); economic inclusion through self-employment strategies (advice on micro-business start-up);
- promoting organized community savings accounts; co-financed seed funds, and dependent employment (by the State Employment Service of the Employment Ministry, labour skills certification and training);
- supporting migrants’ political inclusion and socio-organizational support, and research.
Through the JMDI, the management model of the UMH is being enhanced in two ways: firstly, the UMH aims to strengthen the services given in the UMH office in Quito; secondly it has created mobile units to cover the whole territory of the province, relying on local organisations to organise outreach to migrant communities. The UMH is part of the Secretary of Human Development and environment (Secretaría de Desarrollo Humano y Ambiente) of the Province of Pichincha.
Inserting migration into the local development agenda was facilitated by the fact that people in human mobility are defined as vulnerable groups by the local Social Inclusion Agenda and by the Ecuadorian Constitution. The development and the protection of rights for the Ecuadorian constitution are strictly related and the fact that migrants are targeted for special services demonstrate the strong political will of connecting migration and development at national and local level.
The model of the UMH of the Province of Pichincha was replicated within the second JMDI project in the northern province of Imbabura, at the border with Colombia, a province experiencing trans-border movements of populations and destination of many Colombian refugees. The UMH was implanted in Imbabura through the restructuring of the local civil society institution for social action (Patronato Provincial de accion social) and its Annual Operational Planning.
Moreover, the local government of Pichincha also promoted the need to incorporate human mobility into local planning across Ecuador through the Consortium of Provincial Governments of Ecuador (CONGOPE). Pichincha local government is thus now acting as an advisory body for the other provincial governments on how to incorporate human mobility into Territorial Management Plans through the replication of the UMH project. Pichincha is also becoming an interesting good practice and strategic interlocutor for national institutions, thus fostering further and more successful mainstreaming of migration into national policies, which in turn, feed back into and support local policies on mainstreaming migration into local development planning.
It is clear to see that while migration and mainstreaming migration issues continue to be dealt with at the international and national levels, LRAs and other local actors are increasingly dealing with their own migration issues and contexts in an innovative way at the local level. Moreover, in some cases, local level actions are being recognised at national level and used as models for replication in other territories. All participants agreed that the extent to which such actions are successful is indeed closely linked with the level of decentralisation of the state, with more decentralisation giving more opportunities to LRAs to define their own policies and programmes that can better respond to the needs in their territory. Beyond the decentralisation context, many key measures for success in mainstreaming were identified with the need for a multi-sector, multi-stakeholder and participatory approach to mainstreaming identified as the most important key success factors. However, LRAs and other local actors also face many challenges in mainstreaming, whether this is a lack of support at the national level, lack of migration data, lack of human and financial resouces or difficulties in coordinating large numbers of stakeholders. Given the great development potential of mainstreaming migration into local development policy, together with the difficulties LRAs and other local actors have in successfully carrying this out, the importance of ensuring that the key role of LRAs in migration and development is recognised cannot be overemphasized. By ensuring such recognition and support, only then will LRAs be able to access knowledge exchange platforms, support tools and adequate resources and competencies that will allow them to successfully and sustainabily mainstream migration into local development planning.