The following insights refer to the design and implementation of initiatives focused on migrants:
- More attention should be given to information collection – Many sources of information in the field of migration are not accurate enough, including information coming from various online platforms;
- Limited research data on key issues – For example, there is a shortage of data related to gender-based violence, which is often very underreported by irregular migrants;
- Lack of sustainability of research projects – There is little integration and cooperation between different research initiatives and the momentum is often lost once a project is completed;
- Fostering intra-community dialogue – Migration-related research should also foster intra-community dialogue;
- Community involved from research design phase – There is not enough research done within the migrant communities, with their involvement; Moreover, migration-related initiatives such engage with small associations from within migrant communities from the beginning, both in the design and implementation stages of initiatives. This should be done on the basis of an open and very inclusive dialogue; with representatives of the migrant communities being included at every level;
- Push factors should be expanded to include a community’s perception of migration – It is important to understand how a particular community (e.g. national, ethnic, religious) treats migration and whether a trend has been established;
- Addressing funding scheme limitations – Organizations carrying out research initiatives in the field of migration can be quite rigid because of need to stay within a funding scheme. This needs to change as the problems are interconnected and the organizations should be encouraged to stay more agile;
- Expanding the groups of organizations to receive funding – Small associations within migrant communities are not known so they encounter significant difficulties in accessing funding. Therefore, the funding system for migration-related projects should be improved, to ensure that such organizations are adequately represented;
- Diversity modes of engagement – A good practice is engaging with members of migrant communities in an informal way, but this can only be achieved through with the assistance of migrant community organizations. Therefore, mechanisms should be put in place, whereby smaller and larger associations can help each other by capitalizing on their individual strengths;
- Involve community leaders – When designing migration-related initiatives, an important focus should be understanding who are leaders for each migrant community and reaching out to them from the very beginning;
- Expand the stakeholder base for migration-related information platforms – Information platforms in the field of migration should be made available to a wider number of stakeholders, including representatives of migrant communities, humanitarian organizations, academia etc.
- Develop more initiatives targeting migrant newcomers – Often, new commers face a lot of hate by comparison to people who have settled a long time before so they need more help. However, civil society cannot help them with everything, which is why it is important to understand what other organizations cannot cover and fill those gaps.
- Involve migrants in the data collection process – A good way of empowering migrants is to ensure that the data collected on migrants is collected by migrants themselves. This would assist with three main issues: (a) ensuring the transparency of the initiative, (b) building trust and (c) ensuring the participation of the migrant community from the beginning.
- Capitalize research data for policy-making – It is important for research findings in the field of migration not to be limited to academia. Instead there should be clear mechanisms on ensure that such findings are capitalized on in the drafting of new policies.
Expert contributions, MIRROR conference ‘Migration in Focus: Addressing Informational Challenges in Humanitarian Actions’, 15-16 December 2021, Valletta (Malta).