IOM, Economist Intelligence Unit Launch “Migration Governance Index”

Migration Policy

Switzerland - As part of its contribution to supporting follow-up and review of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in September 2015, IOM and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) have published a Migration Governance Index (MGI).

The index, the first of its kind, provides a framework for countries to measure their progress towards better migration governance. It comprises information that offers a means to compare migration policies in a systematic way. The aim is to raise awareness of what good migration governance might look like and it does not try to rank countries’ migration policies.

The SDGs, which underpin the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, address a broad set of issues including eradicating extreme poverty, tackling inequalities and coping with effects of climate change.

They also identify migration as a core issue for mainstream development policy. Migration is mentioned in a number of SDG targets, such as ending modern day slavery and addressing the vulnerability of migrant workers.

The central reference to migration in the SDGs is a target on the facilitation of orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.

The question now is how to operationalize this important, yet rather vague target.

The MGI considers countries’ institutional framework in a number of key policy areas, including: (i) institutional capacity; (ii) migrant rights; (iii) labour, economics and investments; (iv) migration management; and (v) partnerships.

These five policy domains are directly inspired from IOM’s Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF), adopted by IOM’s 162 Member States in November last year.

The MGI results will be a tool to assist governments to identify gaps and prioritize when building institutional capacity and devising new migration policies and programmes. 

To begin with, IOM and EIU have applied the MGI to fifteen pilot countries. The first finding was that it is possible to synthesize and compare such complex policy areas for countries in very diverse migratory contexts.

Another finding was that high ambition on migration policies is not reserved to high-income countries. Indeed, a number of middle-income countries put well-managed migration polices on top of their agenda, especially those having important diaspora communities abroad that make significant contributions to the national economies.

Finally, the study finds that countries with strong lead agencies on migration, transparency on rules and procedures, and cross border collaboration, often lead to high scoring across the MGI sub-indicators. 

The main findings of the first MGI report were presented on 2 May in Geneva, and launches in other regions of the world will follow, starting with a presentation in Berlin on 3 May and Bangkok on 6 June. The discussions with IOM Member States will allow refining the MGI methodology and sub-indicators.

The full report can be found at:

For more information please contact Lars Lonnback at IOM HQ. Tel: 41 (0)22 717 9483, Email: