Overview

The Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) is a global hub of knowledge and policy expertise on migration and development issues.

KNOMAD draws on experts from all parts of the world to synthesize existing knowledge and generate new knowledge for use by policy makers in sending and receiving countries. KNOMAD works in close coordination with the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and the Global Migration Group (GMG). The World Bank has established a multi-donor trust fund to implement the KNOMAD. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) are the largest contributors to the trust fund.

Within the World Bank,  KNOMAD is located in the Development Prospects Group of the Development Economics Vice-Presidency (DEC).

KNOMAD is led by Dilip Ratha.

Objective

KNOMAD’s core objectives are:

  • generating and synthesizing knowledge on migration issues for countries;
  • generating a menu of policy choices based on multidisciplinary knowledge and evidence; and
  • providing technical assistance and capacity building to sending and receiving countries for the implementation of pilot projects, evaluation of migration policies, and data collection.

Rationale

Migration has become a defining issue for development, and there is substantial scope for strengthening cross-sectoral collaboration and knowledge sharing on this growing agenda. With over 200 million international migrants and over 700 million internal migrants within countries, nearly 1 out of every 7 persons in the world is a migrant. South-South migration is currently larger than South-North migration, and is likely to continue growing rapidly. In the coming decades, demographic changes, persistent income disparities, declining communication and transportation costs, and increasing access to information, will strengthen the impetus towards migration. Climate change also has the potential to displace large sections of the population in some parts of the world.

Migrant remittances provide a lifeline to the poor in many developing countries. Estimated to have reached about $400 billion in 2012, remittances have exceeded the volume of official aid flows to developing countries. In many countries, remittances are equivalent to more than 10 percent of GDP and constitute the largest source of foreign exchange. A country’s diaspora can be a major source of investment, technology, business contacts, and development assistance. At the same time, the loss of skills associated with migration can affect the delivery of basic services in the countries of origin, especially small countries. In destination countries, migrants can be an important economic resource, but they may also compete with native workers and affect cultural and national identity. Along the way, migrants need to be protected against fraud, abuse and exploitation.

Structure

The activities of the KNOMAD will be organized around the following Thematic Working Groups:

  1. Data on migration and remittance flows
  2. Skilled labor migration
  3. Low skilled labor migration
  4. Integration issues in host communities
  5. Policy and institutional coherence
  6. Migration, security and development
  7. Migrant rights and social aspects of migration
  8. Demographic changes and migration
  9. Remittances, including access to finance and capital markets
  10. Mobilizing diaspora resources
  11. Environmental change and migration
  12. Internal migration and urbanization
  13. Forced Migration and Development

These will be underpinned by four cross-cutting themes:

  1. Gender
  2. Monitoring and impact evaluation
  3. Capacity building
  4. Public perceptions and communications

Each Thematic Working Group will comprise a chair, a co-chair, and 3-8 leading experts in their respective fields, selected through a peer-referral process. The chair and co-chair will be responsible for developing a work-program for the group, ensuring delivery, and monitoring results. KNOMAD’s outputs include policy notes, data, research papers and books, conferences, capacity building workshops, and pilot projects.

A KNOMAD Advisory Committee will be chaired by a member of the World Bank Group’s senior management, and comprising a high level representative of the largest donor to the trust fund, an eminent academic scholar, the ex officio current chair of the GFMD, the ex officio upcoming chair of the GFMD, the ex officio chair of the GMG, and a representative from civil society. The Advisory Committee will provide strategic vision and direction for the KNOMAD and make recommendations on the work program.

The KNOMAD will draw on existing knowledge networks, international organizations, think tanks, research centers, and universities (including those from the South), and civil society.

Timeline

During its inception phase, May 2011-April 2013, KNOMAD held consultations with governments of developed and developing countries, civil society organizations and the private sector, and academic experts, to identify critical issues on which evidence is needed to inform policy debate. It organized two global experts’ meetings in Geneva and Washington DC in December 2012.

KNOMAD entered a 5-year implementation phase in May 2013. An evaluation will be undertaken at the end of the third year. The final two years will be devoted to capacity building and a few pilot programs. KNOMAD is envisaged to end in 2018.

KNOMAD Secretariat

The World Bank hosts the KNOMAD Secretariat at its headquarters in Washington DC. KNOMAD is headed by Dilip Ratha.