The Migration, Development and Global Transformations (MDGT) programme brings together WUN migration researchers and data experts, in a research incubation activity supported by ongoing research and policy collaboration between the University of Bristol and the International Organization for Migration’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre.
Some migration policy areas are already relatively well researched, such as remittance costs, trafficking and many dimensions of labour migration. Others remain as ‘hidden’ forms of migration, and often are indicators of new and emerging dynamics of migration and development. These dimensions include South-South migration, the ‘hidden economy’, intra-regional migration, internal and urban-urban migration, the production of vulnerability, the importance of a rights agenda and the significance of gender analysis. A further crucial gap lies in policy. Policy failures such as those evident in the Mediterranean humanitarian crisis, highlighted the need for a clear policy focus in migration research in the coming decade, something that will require collaboration between and across the disciplines.
The first workshop, a central activity in the WUN Migration Conference, was held at the WUN AGM in the University of Maastricht, April 2016. The discussions during this conference identified an agenda for a second event. The two workshops, with intervening discussions, identified how WUN activities could contribute to the development of the knowledge base for the 2030 Development Agenda. The research foci of the MDGT network align with the cross-cutting WUN research themes of Migration and Data Science and the long-term objective is to fill key gaps in the global knowledge base on migration.
A symposium, Hidden Migration, Data & Policy took place in Bristol on 9 and 10 March 2017, and provided an opportunity for migration researchers at Bristol to engage with academics and policy makers at a global level. Approximately 50 researchers from 12 different countries participated.
On 15 December 2017 the IOM launched its Migration Data Portal. The Portal aims to serve as a unique access point to timely, comprehensive migration statistics and reliable information about migration data globally. Through her link to IOM-GMDAC in Berlin, where she is Senior Advisor, MDGT lead Ann Singleton has been instrumental in work to develop the Portal.
With Bela Hovy (Chief Migration Section Population Division, UN-DESA) and Frank Laczko (Director, IOM-GMDAC), Ann edited The Global Migration Group Handbook for Improving the Production and Use of Migration Data for Development, which was launched on 18 December in New York at an event organised by the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), to coincide with the UN’s International Migrants Day.
These new materials were used to support work in the UoB-hosted WUN-IOM Summer School on Migration Data for Policy, which took place in Bristol, 9-12 July 2018. It brought together data experts, statisticians and officials, working closely with the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and United Nations Population Division, to provide dedicated training, education and knowledge exchange. The Summer School also pioneered the use of migration data training materials developed by IOM’s GMDAC and introduced participants to the wealth of resources available to support their work with IOM data, government and research data on migration.
Videos of the 2018 Summer School can be found here.
There are plans to use the model trialled in Bristol in future Summer Schools, including an event scheduled to take place in Morocco in 2020.
More information on this WUN interdisciplinary research group (IRG) can be found on the University of Bristol website. A further development of this initiative is the complementary project Memorials to people who have died and to those missing during migration: a global project, also led by Ann Singleton, which brought six more partners together with the MDGT team.
◦ Ingleby, D. Singleton, A. and Wickramage, K. (2019) “Is it Time to Phase Out UNDESA’s Regional Criterion of Development?”. International Migration.
◦ Prabhat, D., Singleton, A. & Eyles, R. (2019) “Age is Just a Number? Supporting Migrant Young People with Precarious Legal Status in the UK”. International Journal of Children’s Rights, vol 27., pp. 228-250
6 June 2019 “Migration, Ageing and Older People”, a one-day workshop on ageing and migration in Bristol.
On 2 May 2019 The Weekend Documentary: Left Behind (Migrant Stories), BBC World Service, an hour-long programme
Following lobbying by members of the group, there is now a dedicated space on the British Medical Journal’s website for migration and health
Associate Professor Hakan G. Sicakkan, University of Bergen
Ms Fatima Khan, University of Cape Town
Associate Professor Saskia Witteborn, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Professor Hung Wong, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Dr Delali Badasu, University of Ghana
Dr Gabriella Alberti, University of Leeds
Professor Chris Forde, University of Leeds
Professor Rene de Groot, Maastricht University
Professor Hildegard Schneider, Maastricht University
Associate Professor Melissa Siegel, Maastricht University
Professor Andrew Geddes, University of Sheffield
Professor Nicola Piper, University of Sydney
Professor Loretta Baldassar, University of Western Australia
Professor Ka Lin, Zhejiang University
Dr Franck Duvell, University of Oxford
Associate Professor Carlos Vargas-Silva, University of Oxford
Ms Dianne Francombe, Bristol-China Partnership
Dr Frank Laczko, International Organisation for Migration
Dr Michele LeVoy, PICUM
Dr Akanni Akinyemi, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Dr Hong-Jae Park, Western Sydney University