The production of empirical evidence and the correct use of data are fundamental for the proper design of public policies and decision-making at various levels. To achieve effective migration governance, States require a reliable and comprehensive evidence base that reflects the complexity and dynamics of the movement of people, and in turn, serves as a guide for the formulation of coherent policies and the construction of a well-informed public discourse.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration sets out the need for such data; specifically, the first objective refers to the collection and use of "accurate and disaggregated data for evidence-based policies," and the responsibility to ensure that such data allows for effective monitoring and evaluation of the realisation of commitments made over time.[1]

According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), States, the United Nations and the international community have made significant efforts over the years to improve the evidence base on migration. Many countries now have the technology and expertise to track inflows and outflows across their borders with a high degree of accuracy, and to collect other data on the movement of people.[2] 

Some regions have made notable progress in harmonising and sharing migration data, often with the support of regional organisations and UN regional commissions. For example, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publishes detailed information on mobility patterns recorded by or affecting its Member States. While at the global level, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) regularly produces official estimates of the global international migrant population through its data on international migrant populations.[3]

However, despite efforts, basic data on the population, flow, and characteristics of people in a situation of human mobility, as well as on the causes and effects of international migration, remain scarce or are not used to their full potential in many countries. Gaps remain with respect to essential migration statistics and topics that require the integration of data from different sectors, such as migration and health, return migration, migrant integration, as well as the determinants and consequences and impacts of migration.[4]

On the other hand, some international agreements entail monitoring and review requirements for Member States that depend on some form of reporting, as is the case for the assessment of progress in the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. While methodologies for measuring many of the migration-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators have not yet been completed, many States are likely to struggle to produce adequate data sets. In addition, much of this work will rely on national statistical agencies, which may have limitations in dealing with migration data.[5]

Among the constraints that States may face with respect to these data, technical capacity emerges as a key challenge. While most primary migration data are collected at the national level, many countries do not have the resources or technical capacity to do this systematically, or to incorporate new data elements. Another problem that arises is the difficulty in collecting information from various sources, due to the lack of coordination between different government agencies.[6]

In order to contribute to the improvement of data quality and the adoption of better-informed response strategies, the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) are jointly organising the activity "Virtual Training on Migration Data," aimed at national authorities in the areas of migration, statistics, risk management system and environment of the Member States of SELA and scheduled to be held on 12, 13 and 14 September 2023.

The training will be a space for specialists in this area, representatives of the Member States, migration authorities, and representatives of regional and subregional organisations to analyse the progress made in terms of the management of the evidence base for the appropriate management of human mobility for sustainable development, as well as the challenges that still need to be addressed.



[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

  1. Provide essential information on migration data to decision-makers and institutional responders to support public policies on migration.
  2. Provide guidelines to competent national authorities for capacity building in the collection, analysis and dissemination of statistical migration data.
  3. Exchange successful experiences in the Latin American and Caribbean region on the management of migration data systems to achieve concrete results in governance and effectiveness for people in a situation of human mobility and their host societies.
  1. Contribute to the strengthening of technical capacities of the Member States of SELA to improve the evidence base on human mobility and promote an effective management of the phenomenon, for the sake of sustainable development and the consolidation of more inclusive, just, and peaceful societies.
  2. Support with relevant information the preparation of reports by the Member States of SELA on the progress made in complying with the relevant international agreements.
  3. Generate a space for informed discussion with national authorities on the importance of producing timely, accessible, reliable, disaggregated, and comparable data, in order to move towards a better understanding of the dynamics of human mobility and the design of better-informed response strategies.
  4. Prepare a document containing the conclusions of this Virtual Training, which will be useful for decision-makers at different levels, international organisations, academic institutions, and civil society organisations.



The training is aimed at representatives of Latin American and Caribbean countries in charge of: 1) the collection of migration data at the national level; 2) the design and implementation of public policies on migration; and 3) the preparation of monitoring and review reports on migration issues before international bodies. Therefore, it is requested to nominate four (4) officials who are linked to the national offices of migration, statistics, risk management system and environment, to participate in this training. Certificates will be awarded to participants who complete a minimum of 90 %of total attendance.


In order to ensure that the activity is conducted in a fair, participatory, dynamic and satisfactory manner, there will be a limited number of participants, and a prior selection of participants will be made. Applications will be received until Friday 25 August through the following link: For further information, please contact the Social Development Area of this Permanent Secretariat through the officials Mr. Gustavo Herrera, Coordinator of Social Development (, and Ms. Daymar Martes, Social Development Analyst ( More details about the event are available on SELA's Web page (



Draft Work Agenda

Day 1: Tuesday, 12 September 



  • Ambassador Clarems Endara, Permanent Secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA)
  • IOM Representative for Central America, North America and the Caribbean – to be confirmed
  • IOM Representative for South America – to be confirmed



In recent decades, international migration has expanded in scope, volume, and complexity, to the point that in almost all countries of the world, and in the Latin American and Caribbean region in particular, the phenomenon is reflected simultaneously in its four traditional forms: movements of origin, destination, transit, and return. This situation leads States to face specific challenges in responding to the demands and needs of this population of special interest.

Given this reality, this first session introduces general issues in order to contribute to the development of national capacities in the management of key conceptual aspects related to human mobility and migration, and to the management of appropriate data sources for the measurement of these population movements.

Trainer: Susanne Melde. Regional Knowledge Management Officer, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for South America.



In order to meet the need for international standards and to improve the comparability and quality of data on refugees and internally displaced persons, this session aims to address capacity building to include this population in national statistical production, making visible the most innovative practices in the implementation of these recommendations.

Trainer:   Hisham Galal, Associate Statistics and Data Analysis Officer, UNHCR Regional Bureau  for the Americas.

Aina Saetre, Statistics and Data Analysis Officer, UNHCR Global Data Service


Practical exercises


Closing of the day

Day 2: Wednesday, 13 September 



The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, as well as other international frameworks, entails monitoring and review requirements for Member States that rely on reporting. This session aims to provide tools and general guidelines for the preparation of such documents.

Trainer:Raúl Soto, Regional Migration Data Coordinator, IOM Regional Office for Central, North America and the Caribbean.


Practical exercise



The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, an instrument adopted in September 2016, formally recognised that environmental change and climate change are drivers of migration processes. To cope with such displacement, States require capacities to forecast and manage the effects of climate change and to integrate migration-related risks and opportunities.

In response to this challenge, this section provides an overview of the concepts of the migration-environment-mobility-disaster nexus; recommendations for the development of strategies to avoid, minimise and address displacement related to the adverse impacts of climate change; and information on how to integrate human mobility into policies, including climate change adaptation policies.

Trainer: Pablo Escribano, IOM Regional Specialist on Migration, Environment and Climate Change. 


Practical exercise


Closing of the day

Day 3: Thursday, 14 September 



The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration emphasises the importance of investing in the collection and use of accurate data to implement evidence-based policies. Until very recently, the primary method of collecting migration data has been through traditional sources such as household surveys, national censuses, and administrative records.

Today, innovative data sources such as geospatial data, satellite imagery, mobile device data and social media data are rapidly gaining momentum. These sources represent a wonderful opportunity given the greater availability of digital records, wider coverage, and virtually no limitation on the frequency with which information can be updated.

Trainers: Alina Menocal, Data Innovation Project Analyst, IOM Global Data Institute; and Susanne Melde, Regional Knowledge Management Officer, IOM Regional Office for South America.



This session reviews the availability of data sources to analyse the contributions of migration to sustainable development in countries of origin and destination, with the aim of providing elements for the design and formulation of public policies that integrate populations in situations of human mobility into national development strategies.

Trainer:  Zulma Sosa, Regional Advisor and Coordinator of the Population and Development Area of CELADE-Population Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean – ECLAC.


Practical exercises



  • Questions and comments by participants
  • Conclusions by Daymar Martes, Analyst of SELA

Closing remarks by:

  • Gustavo Herrera, Coordinator of Social Development of SELA