Despite the high interest and concern around the rising phenomenon of mixed migration, there are virtually no systems in place nationally or regionally to monitor the mixed migration flows. Policy formation, political debate and programming is taking place in a context that is predominantly data-poor, or even data free. The challenge is considerable due to the clandestine nature of these smuggler-dominated movements and the disparate routes used and methods of movement. In mid-2014 the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS) created the Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism Initiative (4Mi) as an attempt to address the need for better data. The 4Mi is an innovative, low-cost approach to collect and analyse data on mixed migration flows, initially out of the Horn of Africa. Through a network of locally-recruited monitors in strategic migration hubs in Northern, Eastern, and Southern Africa, Southern and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, the 4Mi project tracks Eritrean, Ethiopian, Djiboutian and Somali people on the move.
The context – a data challenge:
Monitors are local individuals, members of existing agencies and others forming a network around key migration ‘nodes’ and ‘hotspots’. The monitors use a custom-designed mobile phone application to submit real-time data on mixed migration issues in their locations. Collaboration with existing refugee and migration–focused agencies in the region is maximized. Monitors are in the public and private sectors – their key capacity is their knowledge of their locality and contacts with people on the move or those who have contact with people on the move. All 4Mi applications are controlled by 4Mi management and when new reports need to be added or existing questionnaires need to be adapted this can occur simultaneously through the smart phone network.
Inform policy, debate and programmatic response.
4Mi aims to support a wide range of agencies, donors, governments, departments and academic institutions by providing more concrete and up-to-date insights on mixed migration and trend changes in flows.
Identify protection gaps.
4Mi intends to facilitate improved protection of those in mixed migration flows where increasing levels of abuse, neglect, hardship and death face men, women and children.
- Establish deeper knowledge.
With dynamic international conditions, 4Mi keeps track of migration trend flows providing comprehensive authoritative information in areas that may need improved policies, or tailor-made approaches.
Bram Frouws, Coordinator: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org