Promoting Migrant-Inclusive Data to Help Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

GMDAC - The new guide centres on nine SDGs focusing, among others, on hunger, poverty, education, and gender equality. Photo: Julie Batula/IOM

Berlin – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is launching a new guide to help practitioners disaggregate data related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by migratory status, to address the needs of migrants and highlight their contributions to sustainable development. 

To date, disaggregation of global development data by migratory status remains low. Migrants are largely invisible in official SDG data. As the global community approaches 2030, very little is known about the impact of the 2030 Agenda on migrants. Despite a growing focus worldwide on data disaggregation, namely the breaking down of data into smaller sub-categories, there is a lack of practical guidance on the topic that can be tailored to address individual needs and capacities of countries.  

Developed by IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), the guide titled ‘Leave No Migrant Behind: The 2030 Agenda and Data Disaggregation’ centres on nine SDGs focusing on hunger, education, and gender equality among others. The document is the first of its kind, in that it seeks to address a range of different categorization interests and needs related to international migrants and suggests practical steps that practitioners can tailor to best fit their context. 

“Thanks to the support from Statistics Sweden, GMDAC launched on 14 April a new guide on how to disaggregate SDG indicators across topics such as poverty and health by migratory status,” said Frank Laczko, IOM GMDAC Director. 

“Inclusive data is critical to ensure migrants are not left behind in achieving the SDGs.”  

The guide also highlights the key role disaggregation plays in understanding the many positive links between migration and the SDGs, highlighting migrants’ contributions to the 2030 Agenda. 

The guide outlines key steps for actors to plan and implement initiatives by looking at sex, gender, age and disability, in addition to migratory status. These steps include undertaking awareness raising, identifying priority indicators, conducting data mapping, and more.  

“We believe that being able to shed light on the situation of vulnerable groups, such as migrants, in the 2030 Agenda is essential to ensure inclusive development,” said Cathy Krüger, project manager at Statistics Sweden. “We were very happy to support IOM in this work because of their broad and on-the-ground experience in the field. We hope the guide will help countries make progress in following migrants in the Agenda, and also act as a good example for other vulnerable groups.” 

COVID-19 has laid bare deepening inequalities around the world, reminding us how important it is for policy to be inclusive for all populations and communities, including many migrants who, in many settings, have faced heightened risks and negative impacts related to the pandemic. To leave no one behind, migrants must be considered across efforts to achieve the SDGs, and this begins with disaggregated data. 

Read more about the importance of data disaggregation for SDG indicators here.  

For more information, please contact Elisa Mosler Vidal at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +44 777 05 343 63, Email: