Integrating migration into national development plans:
towards policy coherence and the achievement of SDGs at national and global levels

Implementing Entity/ies
Collaborating Partners
Resident Coordinator Office (RCO) and national/ministerial authorities
Sep. 2017 - Feb. 2020
Ghana, Ethiopia
Approved Budget
$ 500,001


The project aimed at building the capacity of the national governments of Ghana and Ethiopia and partners to mainstream migration into national development policies and to achieve policy coherence with the priorities set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The project areas of work were:

  • SDG 10: Focusing on SDG 10.7 to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration through well-managed migration policies, the main areas of work were a) to improve national migration strategies and policies to create right conditions for migrants and migration to positively contribute to sustainable development; b) ensure policy coherence and mainstream migration into other sectoral policies and national development plans; c) pilot innovative approaches towards practical implementation of coherent, development oriented and SDG aligned national policies.
  • SDG 17: Focusing on 17.9 to “enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the SDGs, including through North-South, South-South, and triangular cooperation” and 17.14 to “enhance policy coherence for sustainable development”.

The project “Integrating migration into national development plans: towards policy coherence and achievement of the SDGs” equipped governments and partners with the tools needed to support policy formulation and inter-agency coordination. It made significant contributions to the governments’ efforts to incorporate migration into their National Development Policy Framework and into the respective sector and district annual action plans. The project also enabled a diverse range of government stakeholders to engage with one another on national migration and development issues for the first time on the SDGs. It built up stronger commitment of authorities through 12 capacity building and sensitization workshops/activities, as well as 2 study visits reaching over 300 government actors and other stakeholders in both countries, and contributed to developing emerging national migration governance structures which will have long lasting impact.

Among several key achievements, the project:

  • Advanced both countries’ policy direction for the governments on migration management, such as designated national migration coordination authorities, and incorporating migration into national development plans. Before the project kicked off, no institutional structure existed to specifically address migration and development despite ad-hoc coordination efforts on related matters such as diaspora engagement and trafficking in persons. Under the project, both countries established a functioning structure to address policy and implementation aspects of migration and development. Ghana moved one step closer to the establishment of the Ghana National Commission on Migration (GNCM) which will be in charge of advising the government on issues related to migration as well as of coordinating the implementation of the 2016 National Migration Policy.
  • Ensured stronger inter and intra governmental coordination mechanisms were put in place, and that the national governments took a ‘whole-of-government’ approach to migration management. Before the launch of the project, sustainable consultation mechanisms on the SDGs, migration, and development policy coherence (i.e. Inter-agency working group focusing on data collection and assessment) were not in place. Thanks to the project, national Technical Working Groups (TWGs) were created in both countries to monitor and track progress on migration-related SDG indicators. In addition, the project was featured as a successful case in “Migration and the 2030 Agenda: a guide for practitioners” showcasing that through the establishment of the inter-agency TWG, the project enabled a diverse range of government stakeholders to engage with each other. The TWG includes representatives from many different ministries thus increasing the chances of strong horizontal policy coherence between sectors. Through the capacity-building workshop, relevant stakeholders were sensitized on different migration and development topics in the context of Ghana, where participants of the workshop are prepared to design comprehensive, tailored interventions relating to migration and the SDGs.
  • Supported both governments to deliver on their commitments outlined in their national action plans on migration and development. In both Ghana and Ethiopia, two practical initiatives proposed in national action plan have been implemented and evaluated. For instance, the project in Ethiopia focused on the effort of ensuring well-regulated overseas employment services for Ethiopian migrants. It made significant contributions towards the government’s efforts to facilitate regular overseas employment, as well as supported the establishment of a Migration Resource Center (MRC) on sustainable compilation, analysis and dissemination of migration data to support an evidence-based policymaking process. In Ghana, a toolkit to assist national planning officials to mainstream migration into national development plans was also developed helping to inform identification of national migration priorities for the new Medium-Term National Development Policy Framework (2022-2027) for the government. In addition, in the lead up to Ghana`s participation in the Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the Sustainable Development Goals (2019), IOM in collaboration with the Youth Advocates Ghana-YAG held an online youth consultation to solicit the voices, perspectives and experiences of young people on irregular migration. Through the online social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, young people in Ghana responded to three (3) questions in a Twitter Chat and submitted short video recordings under the hashtag #ForMigration​ and #GhanaVNR. The video can be accessed here.
  • In collaboration with the Center for Migration Studies at the University of Ghana, the project organized the young researcher seminar on Migration Related SDG Goals: Raising Awareness and bridging the gap between research and implementation. The seminar increased awareness and advanced knowledge on the migration-related SDGs among the youth.

Inter-agency Technical Working Group meeting in session (Ethiopia) © IOM 2018

Members of the sub-committee of the Inter-agency working group discussing methodology to conduct assessment of national development plans ©IOM/Eric 2018