The sources which are the pillars of the System, that is, which provide basic data, are the administrative registries of data collected by the Offices or Institutes of Migration, which are the institutions in charge of collecting such information.
What are administrative registers on migration?
Administrative registers on migration refer to a data collection system to record facts / events – for example, transfer – experienced by each individual member of a community. These types of registers are maintained for administrative purposes in a continuous manner. The registers include selected characteristics – demographic, migration-related, socioeconomic, etc. - of the total population or part of the population (United Nations, 1998). In terms of measuring international migration, this type of data sources usually includes records of international entries and exits of persons; population registers; registers of aliens; permits for migrant workers; records on asylum seekers (or initiated and approved asylum applications); residence permits, work permits, student permits, exit permits; granted residence permits; consular registers of nationals abroad; and others, such as visas and passports.
The statistics derived from the collection of administrative records have the advantage of reflecting real movements with a high degree of precision in terms of time, mode of transport, and port of entry or exit.
Its limitations include the fact that sometimes they reflect facts but not number of people, so the same fact (for example: a work permit) may be related to the international migration of more than one person. On the other hand, there is also the limitation of their comparability, since the definitions used in the countries may vary, so the compilation and comparison of statistics at the international level is affected.
One of the main purposes of the VIPMG is to provide information that is comparable across countries in the region in order to learn about the migration situation in each country using similar parameters. The main tasks that have been performed in this respect are summarized below:
- A characterization was made of the process to collect and use administrative registers on migration in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, with collaboration from the participating countries. Based on this, recommendations on capacity-building were made.
- Based on the research on the data sources in each country, migration information gaps were identified as well as improvement needs of each source.
- Excel spreadsheets were developed to collect the various data on migration movements disaggregating data by gender, nationality and month. In some cases, it is requested that the data be disaggregated by age.
- Tables were developed with basic data from each source to be processed – input for the System – to enable comparison across countries of the characteristics or variables considered and their classifications.
- The products from each source were designed, that is, tables and graphs, in order to have a set of similar information that can be compared across countries and in the region as a whole.
IT Architecture of the System:
The System intends to provide a tool for users to enable them to have quick and easy access to available information on international migration in Mesoamerica and some Caribbean countries.
The data from the various sources that are fed into the System are systematized in order to enter them into standardized Excel spreadsheets. The Excel sheets are automatically processed by the System to generate the outputs, that is, the tables and graphs with indicators. This process involves comprehensive and rigorous control of the internal consistency of the data.
Subsequently, all the information is uploaded to the website, which includes an innovative mechanism to enable users to retrieve the products which interest them using a wide array of search systems and filters that enable a simple or an in-depth analysis, as required by each user.
It should be highlighted that the System has been designed to be dynamic, with the aim of enabling the processing of new data from other sources as well as continuously updating the input and outputs.