Factsheet: Enhancing migration governance through capacity building

In light of the forthcoming UN Capacity Building Mechanism (CBM), MIEUX publishes a new Thematic Factsheet "Enhancing migration governance through capacity building " to describe how the programme has approached this subject since 2009 and to extract some of the key elements associated with it. 

New global Capacity Building Mechanism

Objective 43 of the recently-adopted Global Compact on Migration calls for the setting up of a new global Capacity Building Mechanism (CBM) with three components: first, a connection hub to facilitate “demand-driven, tailor-made and integrated solutions”; second, an open-source global knowledge platform; and third, a start-up fund for new projects.

While the international community of migration practitioners waits for the roll-out strategy to be completed, it’s a good moment to review how ICMPD and MIEUX have been approaching this subject over the last ten years. This is the objective of the new Thematic Factsheet Enhancing migration governance through capacity building, presented to audiences at the 11th Global Forum on Migration and Development Summit in Marrakesh in December and now available online.

Background: capacity building and migration

Since the early 2000s, capacity building and capacity development have emerged as important elements of international migration governance as a means to advance towards sustainable and global migration architecture. The recommendations from the 2005 report, "Migration in an interconnected world: new directions for action" started a decade of promotion of capacity building through the subsequent High-Level Dialogues on International Migration and Development (2006, 2013) and the Global Forum on Migration and Development.

 In 2017, the UN Report of the Secretary-General "Making migration work for all", called for States to include capacity building needs as part of comprehensive, whole-of-government strategies to address the “address the development, security and human rights dimensions of migration”.  recently, where it has gained a prominent role in the implementation of the Global Compact on Migration.

Capacity building levels and tools

Capacity building targets three interconnected levels: the individual, the organisational and the institutional. It thus refers to different types of capacity - structures, systems and defined roles enabling individuals (public servants) to effectively apply their skills and employ the necessary tools with the new skills acquired.

 In terms of tools and practices, while traditional methods such as training and the deployment of external technical expertise are still relevant, complex socio-economic-political contexts, such as the ones migration practitioners often wade in, require a broader range of interventions, such as peer-to-peer learning and exchanges, networking, mentoring or different forms of twinning arrangements that should be embedded within institutional frameworks, embedding organisational development and different forms of monitoring and evaluation.

Find out more in our latest Thematic Factsheet.

ICMPD and MIEUX's approach

Together with Migration Dialogues and Policy and Research, Capacity Building is one of three core pillars upon which ICMPD supports its work, and covers cover multiples areas, from migration management and integration to border management or asylum.

Capacity building cannot be imposed but has to be tailor-made according to the needs and targets of the partners: a process that starts with the joint development of visions and targets, followed by capacity assessment, and the development and implementation of tailor-made measures. For example, peer-to-peer exchanges, skills development and training that respond to the priorities of partners. Monitoring and evaluation are used to measure the post-intervention effects and the development of further interventions.

Since 2009, the joint EU-ICMPD MIEUX Initiative has carried this vision into its capacity building activities by piloting, adjusting and monitoring approaches to eventually develop a set of consistent practices that have been applied in different contexts and geographical areas. Some of its defining features, notably being demand-driven, reacting rapidly to requests, and promoting South-South and triangular cooperation, have evolved according to the situation and the request put forward by the partner country.

The way forward

Driven by its experience over the last ten years, MIEUX is well-placed to offer some defining elements of what constitutes successful capacity building in inter-State and multi-actor cooperation when cooperating on migration.

As a catalyst for partnerships: transformative, spearheading diverse purposes and inter-institutional changes by building trust and mutual support. It should be associated with complex reform processes, so that it may contribute to regional and national Migration and High-Level Dialogues, cooperation and coordination and promote innovative approaches and working modalities.

Multidimensional and whole-of-government: should be embedded within existing government structures to ensure sustainability and efficiency, and framed as a support mechanism to other important processes led by governments, for example as a tool to support policy formulation, implementation and monitoring and to fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Fosters mutual understanding: capacity building is neither a linear nor a purely technical process. It goes beyond skills; training and knowledge transfer because it is part of a broader political and institutional context, with the potential to transform relationships between all parties involved and creating an enabling environment for positive social developments. Therefore, it implies the building of trust, confidence and mutual understanding

Builds bridges through peer-to-peer mechanisms: as verified by MIEUX, peer-to-peer schemes are useful to engage various types of partners, diversify cooperation and reinforce partnerships. It also creates enabling environments for inclusiveness, dialogues and identifying solutions to issues.

Supports the GCM: capacity building is a process, a means of implementation and an end to materialise the objectives set out in the GCM.

Read the Thematic Factsheet: Enhancing migration governance through capacity building”.

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