Date: 23 February 2010

Venue: United Nations Headquarters

Coordinator: Velesca Hesse


Despite the well-evidenced breadth and impact of human mobility, many countries do not collect, publish or standardize detailed data on migrants or do so only in a very limited way. Recognizing these shortcomings, in 2008 the Center for Global Development, with the financial support of MacArthur Foundation, convened a group of international experts from academia, UN agencies and other international organizations, asking them to specify practical and politically feasible actions to expand the quantity and quality of migration data. The result is the internationally received report of the Commission on International Migration Data for Development Policy and Research entitled "Migrants Count – Five Steps for Better Migration Data".

This briefing discussed the report’s five recommendations on how countries, international organizations, and the research community can significantly improve international migration data in the short run. Find the discussions' summary report here.

A lack of reliable and comparable data continues to hamper policy-making and cooperation on international migration and development. A number of recent initiatives have sought to map out an agenda for action to address this gap.

In this context, the seminar addressed two broad areas of concern:
(1) The collection of reliable and comparable data on stocks and flows of migrants and other categories of ‘mobile populations’ (refugees, IDPs, victims of trafficking, etc.);
(2) The collection of data and evidence on the interconnections between migration and development.

It aimed to raise awareness of the need, and existing tools to improve data collection on international migration and development.

Related Documents:

Data Collection on Migration and Development: Towards a Global Consensus
Mr. Béla Hovy, Chief, Migration Section, DESA Population Division

Beyond the Money: The Impact of International Migration on Children's Life Satisfaction
Prof. Jeronimo Cortina, University of Houston & UNICEF Division of Policy and Practice

Harnessing the Potential of the 2010 Round of Censuses
Mr. Srdjan Mrkic, Chief of Social and Housing Statistics Section, UN DESA Statistics Division

Summary report of the outcomes of the discussion
Information note on the seminar organization
Seminar programme

Related Links:
Center for Global Development: Migration Data Commission

UNDP Human Development Report 2009