• The JMDI, the local dimension of M&D, and the 2016 Global Forum on Migration and Development


Publication date

Feb 26, 2016
JMDI Focus area:
Migration and Local Economic Development
Migration and Local Governance


One of the founding principles of the Joint Initiative for Migration and Development is the commitment to the establishment of a sound management of migration at the local level in order to maximize its impact on development. Each year, the Global Forum on Migration and Development represents an invaluable opportunity for the JMDI to exchange knowledge with fellow civil society organizations and influence governments in order to promote a local-oriented approach to migration management policy.


The JMDI has recently attended the first ‘Friends of the Forum’ meeting hosted by the new Chair of the 2016 Global Forum on Migration and development (GFMD), Bangladesh, which took place in Geneva on the 5th of February. The JMDI was glad to observe that the local dimension of migration and development has been included in the preparatory sessions ahead of the 2016 Global Forum on Migration and Development.

[The JMDI at the 1st Friends of the Forum Meeting in Geneva, February 2016]

These annual preparatory meetings serve as a platform for GFMD member states and GFMD Observers (including the JMDI) to discuss the achievements of last year’s GFMD which was hosted by Turkey in October, 2015, and look ahead to GFMD 2016, to be held in Bangladesh and will revolve around the overarching theme: “Migration that works for Sustainable Development of All: Towards a Transformative Migration Agenda”.

The Joint Migration & Development Initiative, as a participant to the 2015 Civil Society Days and member of the GFMD Friends of the Forum group, has been working with the International Catholic Migration Commission’s Migration and Development Civil Society Network (MADE), who have chaired the CSDs since 2011, advocating for a greater focus on the local dimension of migration and development. Specifically, this saw the integration of the local dimension within the GFMD Civil Society Days’ Parallel Working  Sessions which are ran by the MADE Network as well as the participation of the JMDI as a special rapporteur in the Turkish GFMD in 2015 in the Plenary Session within the Common Space days, where governments and civil society come together to share and discuss migration and development.

[Ms. Cecile Riallant acting as rapporteur and presenting the results of the common space session “Beyond xenophobia and exclusion: local partnerships and action for the social inclusion of migrants and diasporas”.

Peter Sutherland, UN Special Representative for international migration, also chaired the session]

Based on the results of the 2015 GFMD and a survey carried out by MADE through its network of civil society organizations, MADE has ensured that the local dimension has been included in many of the recommendations, benchmarks, and actions the MADE platform brought forward in this first preparatory meeting whereby the outcome document calls for the recognition of civil society’s place in governance also at the local level.   

Moreover, the 2016 GFMD is set to conitnue featuring the local dimension, as can be seen within the draft concept paper for the 2016 event, which includes various mentions of the role of local authorities, complete with provisional guiding questions for some of the Roundtable discussions during the government days. In particular, Roundtable 2.1 on Migration, diversity and harmonious societies calls for stronger dialogue at the local level on the links between migration, development, and climate change, and mentions local authorities as stakeholders in the process of increasing community participation, fostering a sense of belonging among migrants, and building social cohesion in the face of growing cultural diversity.

The JMDI will continue its efforts to make sure that this level of attention to the local dimension of M&D remains a constant feature of the future GFMDs and has already brought forward good practices and knowledge to the chair on the local dimension of M&D which the Bangladeshi chair has accepted to insert within the aforementioned Round Table 2.1.


The Global Forum on Migration and Development

The GFMD is an informal, non-binding, voluntary and government-led process that began as an initiative of the United Nations Member States in 2007. It results from over a decade of international dialogue recognizing the importance of looking at migration and development as deeply inter-linked phenomena.

The Forum is a place where CSO’s and governments can exchange good practices and experiences to maximize the benefits migration can have on development while establishing partnerships with other stakeholders and shaping the international agenda on migration and development.

The forum is made up of three components: the Government Programme (dedicated to governments), the Civil Society Days, and a common space where a Civil Society delegation can engage in direct dialogue with governments. The CSDs are a platform where the voice and expertise of Civil Society can support member states and influence policy making which this year took shape in the form of a set of recommendations, benchmarks and action.

2015’s GFMD took place in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2015. The next Forum will be hosted and chaired by Bangladesh in Dhaka from the 9th- 14th of December, 2016.