In order to address the phenomenon of migration as a process that is intensifying and deepening, together with regional integration and development processes, an increasing level of coordination and consensus is needed between the countries concerned. This means that the generation, systematization and availability of data on migration is essential to guide the efforts of States in the development of evidence-based migration policy.

Evidence-based migration policy is a fundamental component of good migration governance. Data and information, on one hand, and policies based on this information, on the other hand, are essential to the achievement of 10.7 and 17.18 of the 2030 Agenda. [1] However, various recent studies and assessments identify multiple challenges in ensuring the availability of updated real-time data and information on migration. In addition, constraints still exist regarding coordination among countries (and coordination among different institutions within one country, in some cases) to facilitate data and information exchange.

The challenges that remain in this matter have been addressed by different international forums. Heads of State and Government met at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2016 to discuss topics related to migration and refugees. On that occasion, 193 countries adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, recognizing the need to address human mobility in a comprehensive manner and strengthening cooperation at the global level through the establishment of mechanisms to protect migrant populations. Annex II of the New York Declaration set in motion a process of intergovernmental consultations and negotiations towards the development of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.

Policy and academic experts agree that data are key to improving migration governance. Since 2012, the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals have established goals related to strengthening capacities for data production and availability. Similarly, the Global Compact for Migration, a result from a process initiated in 2016 with the New York Declaration and adopted in December 2018 by the vast majority of Member States of the United Nations, highlights under its first commitment the importance of providing and using accurate data to develop evidence-based policy on migration.

This platform will be a tool managed and financed by the IOM International Development Fund and will be made available to enable States to explore and analyse data on migration from the 12 countries that are participating in the pilot phase of the project (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, Saint Lucia and Suriname).

Data are essential for the design, implementation and assessment of effective policies that lead to significant economic, social and humanitarian benefits. Data on migration are “more than numbers”, since they can generate real-life results for migrants and non-migrants, governments, international organizations and the private sector alike. Two global developments provide countries with an historic opportunity to advance the agenda on migration data and make crucial investments in data.

The Platform has the Offices/institutes of Migration of the 8 Mesoamerican countries and the 4 Caribbean countries as its national counterparts. These institutions provide statistical data as input for the System, and PVIGM provides them with technical assistance and training for national capacity-building related to migration.


[1] Target 10.7 reads “facilitate orderly, safe, and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies”. Furthermore, Target 17.18 establishes the following: “By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts.” More information on the Sustainable Development goals is available at: (visited on 5 December 2018)