Migration and Development

Migration is increasingly recognized as a significant factor for the achievement of all three pillars of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. As the UN Migration Agency, IOM helps governments and the international community to harness the development potential of migration for both migrants and societies.

IOM’s Vision

The objective of IOM’s migration and development programme is to contribute to a better understanding of the links between international migration and development in order to harness the development potential of migration for the benefit of both societies and migrants and to contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction.


In order to carry out its vision, IOM implements programmes in the form of research, capacity building for governments and communities, community stabilization in countries that have undergone conflict, delivery of social programmes, community development, engaging diaspora communities with their countries of origin, and partnership building with relevant institutions, authorities and business. IOM also provides a full range of services, tailored to the needs of governments, aimed at transferring skills and knowledge acquired by migrants abroad to their country of origin. These services include outreach, selection, matching, placement, compensation, reintegration, monitoring, and evaluation activities. Recent programme focus has been placed on the facilitation of remittances—the private financial transfers of migrants—and the development impact that they can have on communities and countries of origin.


Beneficiaries of IOM’s migration and development programming include potential and returning migrants and their families, diaspora communities, local, regional, and national governments, and the private sector.  


IOM’s approach addresses the root causes of migration by providing interventions in areas vulnerable to high rates of economically motivated migration. In regions that have been recently affected by armed conflict, the Organization works to provide return-friendly environments for displaced persons, to create employment through income-generating activities and to harness the resources of the diaspora for socio-economic development. Recognizing that nearly half of the world’s migrants are now women, IOM also takes into account the opportunities and challenges that this presents for migration and development activities, and presents a gender-specific focus for all remittance projects.