The international development cooperation community can be more effective and targeted in their approaches when the way in which migrants and migration impact sustainable development (and vice versa) are considered. Development cooperation agencies including national governments, international financial institutions and global foundations are at the heart of development’s agenda and priority setting processes, and their actions often determine how projects and activities are carried out. This includes the development of programmes that directly aim to address the needs of migrants and including key-migration related concerns and benefits in sector programmes not explicitly aimed at migrants.
Migration should be integrated into programming, identification & formulation, monitoring and/or evaluation stages of all projects or programmes along the intervention cycle. The Mainstreaming Migration into International Development and Cooperation (MMICD) Project, funded by the European Union, provides systematic guidance on how migration can be integrated into development cooperation sectors in a manner that:
- Harnesses the development potential of migration;
- Ensures that risks and opportunities are fully assessed;
- Makes development cooperation more coherent and effective.
The Standard Guidelines for Mainstreaming Migration into International Cooperation and Development, Standard Toolkit, COVID-19 Toolkit and 9 Sector-Specific Toolkits are forthcoming and will be essential reading for all donors looking to integrate migration into their work. Through the MMICD project, donors learn to make their interventions inclusive and rights-based, by protecting vulnerable migrants (e.g., linguistic barriers to public health promotion campaigns). They better identify risks and challenges, such as increasing displacement or irregular migration (e.g., displacement induced by large infrastructure projects). And they design more coherent and effective programming, by considering the complexity of the relationships between migration and different sectors (e.g., skills development increasing emigration, which in turn generates remittances that may be channelled towards other sectors).