Skip to main content
International Partnerships

Mainstreaming Migration into International Cooperation and Development (MMICD)

IOM mainstreaming migration project

The relationship between migration and sustainable development has been recognised in various international agreements, most notably the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This offers an opportunity to comprehensively address the impact that migration has on key development sectors – such as employment, urban development and environment and climate – and vice versa.

Integrating migration into development programmes and projects not only supports the inclusion of migrants so that ‘no one is left behind’, but also enhances development cooperation interventions by:

  • harnessing the development potential of migration;
  • ensuring that risks and opportunities are fully assessed; and
  • making development cooperation more coherent and effective.


Under the “Mainstreaming Migration into International Cooperation and Development” (MMICD) project, IOM is working with the European Commission’s Directorate–General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) to improve the integration of migration into development cooperation.

Through this, IOM is leading the development of a series of tools to support development partners to integrate migration at different stages of the project cycle.

Specific objectives are to:

  1. strengthen the process of integrating migration into the international cooperation and development policy of the EU, other donors and partners;
  2. increase awareness and support the efforts of partner countries to integrate migration in their development policy.


The key output from the project is the development of a Package of Resources for Mainstreaming Migration into International Cooperation and Development that provides development practitioners with insights into why integrating migration is important, what it entails, and how it can be achieved. It consists of:

  • Part 1 – Guidelines: Introduces the background information, facts and figures, conceptual frameworks, and key resources to support efforts to integrate migration into development cooperation.
  • Part 2 – Toolkits: Contains a series of tools to integrate migration that can be applied when designing, implementing and/or evaluating interventions in various sectors such as health, education, and environment and climate change, based on the technical insights from IOM and UN partners.
  • Part 3 – Training: Brings the content of the Guidelines and Toolkits to life through a blended learning approach that consists of an e-learning course and complementary webinars.

The project has also provided capacity building support and technical assistance to the pilot countries of Nepal, Madagascar, and Ecuador as well as additional partner countries on an ad hoc, on demand basis. The project focuses on the following development sectors to capture the operational connections between migration and development, which are complemented by stories that humanize these approaches:

Education: Education is not only essential for all individuals to maximize their capabilities and livelihoods, but it is also important for building peaceful and prosperous societies. Universal access to education constitutes a central pillar of sustainable development, with the linkage between migration and education explicitly recognized in the SDGs.


Employment: Migration can be a strategy to access better employment opportunities, as people move to attain better education, jobs, or working conditions. Migrant workers constitute nearly five per cent of the global labour force and are an integral part of the world economy.


Environment and Climate Change: Migration impacted by climate change is commonly referred to as environmental migration. There are many types of environmental migration. For example, people can be displaced due to extreme weather events, or communities may evacuate ahead of a disaster. 

Governance: Governance can have significant implications on migration – in all its forms – and migrants themselves. Poor governance may contribute to poverty, lack of opportunity and services, violations of rights, and even conflict, which can prompt nationals to emigrate or flee.


Health: Health is a universal human right, regardless of migration status. The ways in which migration and health interact are multifaceted. Migration is a social determinant of health and migrants can be vulnerable to health risks resulting from the migration process, as well as their migration status.


Private Sector Development and Trade: Migrants can be facilitators of trade and investment in goods and services, by connecting countries of origin, transit and destination through trade routes and business linkages. 


Rural Development: A large share of migrants originate from rural areas. For many rural households, especially in developing countries, migration is a livelihood and income diversification strategy to manage risks and uncertainty associated with agriculture and seasonality.


Security: Security is a necessary precondition for sustainable development. The drivers of insecurity or instability such as poverty, corruption, weak institutions, lack of rule of law, natural resource governance, and conflicts, often overlap with the drivers of migration and the realities that migrants face when on the move. 


Urban Development: Over half of the world’s population lives in cities, and almost all population growth in the foreseeable future is expected to occur in urban areas. Much of this urban growth is expected to occur through migration, mainly through regional or internal migration.


Project website

Funding instrument

Development Cooperation Instrument

Implementing organisations

International Organization for Migration