About the Migration Governance Indicators

0: About the Migration Governance Indicators

About the Migration Governance Indicators

In 2015, IOM developed a Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF) to help define what “well-managed migration policy” might look like at the national level. The MiGOF was welcomed by IOM’s Member States the same year. The Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) were developed to assess national frameworks, and help to operationalize the MiGOF.

Click on the wheel to learn more about the six dimensions of migration governance included in the MiGOF and MGI.

The MGI is a tool based on policy inputs, which offers insights on policy levers that countries can use to develop their migration governance. The MGI is not meant to rank countries on the design or implementation of migration policies, but rather to be a framework to help countries in the assessment of the comprehensiveness of their migration policies, as well as to identify gaps and areas that could be strengthened. The MGI aims to advance conversations on migration governance by clarifying what “well-governed migration” might look like in the context of SDG Target 10.7. So far, 84 countries have participated in the MGI process.

About the MGI process                                                 About the Local MGI

1: Migrants' rights

Migrants' rights

Indicators in this domain look at:

  • Migrants’ access to basic social services and social security
  • Family reunification
  • Right to work
  • Long-term residency and path to citizenship
  • Civil participation
  • Signature and ratification of international conventions
  • Bilateral agreements

Indicators in this domain assess the extent to which migrants have the same status as citizens in terms of access to basic social services such as health, education, and social security. It also describes the rights of migrants to family reunification, to work, and to residency and citizenship. The ratification of the main international conventions is also included within this domain.

2: Whole of government approach

Whole of government approach

Indicators in this domain look at:

  • Institutional framework
  • Migration strategy
  • Legal framework
  • Institutional transparency and coherence
  • Migration data

Indicators in this domain assess countries’ institutional, legal, and regulatory frameworks related to migration policies. Domain 2 also reviews the existence of national migration strategies that are in-line with development, as well as institutional transparency and coherence in relation to migration management. This domain also investigates the extent to which governments collect and use migration data.

3: Partnerships


Indicators in this domain look at:

  • Regional cooperation
  • Global cooperation

This domain focuses on countries’ efforts to cooperate on migration-related issues with other states and with relevant non-governmental actors, including civil society organizations and the private sector. Cooperation can lead to improvements in governance by aligning and raising standards, increasing dialogue and providing structures to overcome challenges.

4: Well-being of migrants

Well-being of migrants

Indicators in this domain look at:

  • Labour migration management
  • Skills and qualification recognition schemes
  • Student migration regulation
  • Bilateral labour agreements
  • Migrant remittances

This domain includes indicators on countries’ policies for managing the socioeconomic well-being of migrants, through aspects such as the recognition of migrants’ educational and professional qualifications, provisions regulating student migration and the existence of bilateral labour agreements between countries. Indicators equally focus on policies and strategies related to diaspora engagement and migrant remittances. 

5: Mobility dimensions of crises

Mobility dimensions of crises

Indicators in this domain look at:

  • Crisis resilience and preparedness
  • Emergency response
  • Post-crisis actions
  • Inclusiveness of migrants

This domain studies the type and level of preparedness of countries when they are faced with mobility dimensions of crises, linked to either disasters, the environment and/or conflict. The questions are used to identify the processes in place for nationals and non-nationals both during and after disasters, including whether humanitarian assistance is equally available to migrants as it is to citizens.

6: Safe, orderly and regular migration

Safe, orderly and regular migration

Indicators in this domain look at:

  • Border control and enforcement
  • Admission and eligibility criteria
  • Return and reintegration policies
  • Measures to combat human trafficking and smuggling

This domain analyses countries’ approaches to migration management in terms of border control and enforcement policies, admission criteria for migrants, preparedness and resilience in the case of significant and unexpected migration flows, as well as the fight against trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants. It also assesses efforts and incentives to help integrate returning citizens.

Search for Migration Governance Profiles

National MGI

The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations or the International Organization for Migration.

Final boundary between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan has not yet been determined.

*Dotted line represents approximately the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by India and Pakistan. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir has not yet been agreed upon by the parties.

A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).


Disclaimer: This map is for illustration purposes only.. Read more

Local MGI

About the MGI project

The MGI process

There are four phases for the MGI process:

MGI process

  1. Launch of the MGI process: The first step of the process is to organize a briefing for government officials to explain what the MGI entails, and to ensure their complete buy-in.
  2. Data collection and analysis: The second step of the process is to start the collection and analysis of data, based on ninety indicators grounded in the six dimensions of the Migration Governance Framework (i.e., migrant rights, whole of government approach, well-being of migrants, partnerships, mobility dimension of crises, and safe, orderly and regular migration). A draft Migration Governance Profile based on the findings on analysis is then shared with the government counterparts.
  3. Inter-ministerial consultation: The third step of the process is to convene an inter ministerial consultation where all relevant ministries and other stakeholders discuss the good practices and main gaps identified in the draft Migration Governance Profile. It is also an opportunity for them to comment and provide suggestion on the draft profile.
  4. Publication of the report in the Global Migration Data Portal: After the Migration Governance Profile are finalized and vetted by the government counterparts, they are published on the IOM’s Global Migration Data Portal.

Countries can use the MGI as a point of departure towards clarifying what “good governance” entails in the context of migration. Additionally, the MGI can serve as a source of a variety of information regarding “best practices” providing countries with institutional design and policy ideas. Initially, countries can use the MGI to develop a holistic understanding of their migration governance structure and identify significant gaps or areas that need to be strengthened. Finally, the MGI methodology can be used by countries when reporting at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on their national efforts to achieve the SDGs.

For more information on the Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) project, please contact the team at mgi@iom.int

Funding is provided by IOM Member States. 

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