KNOMAD  > Thematic working groups >  Data on migration and remittance flows

Data on migration and remittance flows

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Addressing data gaps and quality issues on migration and remittances remains a continuing challenge.  Expanding the scope of data collection, including by generating data disaggregated by gender, age and sub-national region, would greatly improve the evidence base underpinning migration policies.  Better data on migrant stocks and the origin of migrants would improve the understanding of North-South and South-South movements, as well as their relative importance in global migration.  It is also worth noting that data collection needs to extend beyond national level statistics.  Finally, progress will depend on increasing capacity building efforts in data collection.  Efforts under this thematic area will build on the ongoing work of the Global Migration Group (GMG) member agencies, the World Bank and other international institutions.

Key Questions

  1. How can the availability, accessibility, and scope of data collection be enhanced?  Are there new methods for data collection worth considering?
  2. How can data and quality standards be established and harmonized?
  3. How can producers and users of data, as well as institutions involved in the collection and dissemination of data, be brought into the process?

Planned Activities

  • Assess the scope, quality and comparability of available data. Map migration data available from various surveys and sources including globally-comparable public opinion surveys on migration.
  • Pool together existing data guides and tools.
  • Publish factbooks and guides on available data, including the Migration and Remittances Factbook 2014 and the Migration and Development Data Handbook – Guide to Innovative Practices. Local and/or regional experts could produce reports on local data sources and how they can be used.
  • Develop pilot projects in 3 or 4 countries in different regions of the world to test new methodologies.
  • Improve data on related themes such as migration and the environment, and internal migration.
  • Support further research on household survey methodology and the impact of migration on children and women left behind (for example, adding a module on migration in the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys).
  • Produce statistically comparable and nationally representative data on the effects of international migration on the well-being of children, adolescents, elderly, and women left behind, both from economic and non-economic perspectives.
  • Develop a common methodology on household surveys on migration and development and ensure that uniform questions on migration are included in labor force surveys.
  • Consider new methods for data collection.
    • Research data collection methods using the internet or mobile phones, especially in countries with high rates of internet and mobile phone penetration.
    • Place greater emphasis on panel data in order to monitor wellbeing of migrants, social integration and related issues.
    • Consider several best practices for data collection, as these are likely to vary across countries.
  • Assess capacity-building needs and develop a strategy document.
  • Provide training on the implementation of IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual 6 framework, in order to improve data collection on remittances.
  • Determine who will collect, aggregate and host the data (these need not be the same institution).
  • Establish a structure for data aggregation, accessibility and dissemination.
  • Establish harmonization and quality standards for migration and development related data.
  • Consult with policy makers, statistical agencies, data providers and users, as well as representatives of the private sector and civil society in order to identify outstanding data gaps that need to be filled in order to adequately support policy.
  • Use a variety of means to establish needs and priorities, such as workshops, surveys, focus groups, and social media.  Allow the interaction noted above to prioritize the collection and aggregation of data to be supported by KNOMAD.
  • Engage with data users (policy makers and other stakeholders) and data providers (statistical agencies, survey groups) to ensure that “ownership” of the process is broadly shared.
  • Engage also with the private sector, especially those who both use the data and are potential providers of data, including money transfer operators. This is critical for the delivery of timely data and research in a sustainable manner.
  • Organize an experts meeting on innovative data practices.
  • Improve and simplify the communication of key data findings.