The GMG Handbook suggests to mainstream migration during the development planning process, when a new national strategy is being formulated. Alternatively, if the timelines for the development planning and the migration mainstreaming processes do not align, a stand-alone strategy on migration and development can be formulated that contributes to the goals laid out in the national development plan. In both cases the structured and consultative nature of the planning process, with its sequencing of successive stages, provides a useful framework for more systematically approaching migration and development issues.

Planning and mainstreaming stages:

  1. Assessment/situation analysis:  Based on an initial scoping exercise, the handbook recommends that countries start the mainstreaming process by undertaking an analysis of the migration context; the existing policy framework; and the resources (human and financial) needed and available in the country.  Where possible, existing sources of data and research should be used, and national institutions involved in order to strengthen the sustainability of the effort. Attention to how data and information about the migration reality in the country will be kept updated and improved through systematic investments should be an integral part of the mainstreaming exercise. This should include investments in data disaggregation by age and sex. Some countries will be able to draw on existing analytical work such as the development of an (Extended) Migration Profile or a National Human Development Report at this stage. The result of this initial step in the process is usually an assessment report that will enable further decision making on the next steps (and whether to take them).
  2. Formulation and prioritization of migration and development-related policy objectives: The assessment and an inclusive consultation on its results should help to identify priorities and policy objectives for migration and development.  The emphasis here should be on selecting a limited number of strategic goals that have support from relevant stakeholders and a realistic chance of being realizable given the country-context and available resources.
  3. Action/Programme planning:  At this stage, programmes and projects are being developed to achieve the identified priorities. It will be important to develop indicators to make sure the intended interventions can be effectively monitored and evaluated at a later stage. The handbook recommends the formulation of a National Plan of Action (POA) that spells out how the proposed programme or project will contribute to a priority M&D goal and how that will in turn contribute to the country’s national development goals. It should also provide concrete timelines and resources requirements and responsible parties. The POA should be endorsed by a multi-stakeholder mechanism.
  4. Capacity-development and resource mobilization:  Before moving into implementation planning, it is recommended to undertake a mapping of capacity needs and gaps within government and among other relevant stakeholders and to develop a capacity-building strategy. This can include interventions at the individual level (such as training or mentoring), as well as the organizational or systemic levels.  Throughout the mainstreaming process the focus needs to be on identifying funding opportunities from both domestic and external sources and including development partners in the exercise.
  5. Implementation planning:  This step is about translating the POA into day-to-day work guidance, defining timelines, coordination mechanisms, resources, risks and assumptions, and a Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) plan and indicators. The handbook recommends that other ongoing projects and programmes on migration and development be included in the implementation plan to give the government a ‘dashboard’ overview of ongoing activities and help facilitate their tracking. Resource mobilization will be an integral part of implementation planning.
  6. Monitoring & Evaluation:  The monitoring and evaluation stage marks the final step in the mainstreaming process (as well as the first step in its refinement) and serves to track the progress of the implementation plan in a systematic way, showing whether the actions undertaken are making a difference. Again it is recommended to develop one joint M&E framework for all migration and development interventions in the country and to align that framework as much as possible with the existing M&E mechanisms of the country’s PRSP or national development strategy.  M&E requires the development of indicators, taking into account the availability of data and capacities of national statistical institutions. M&E will also be facilitated if countries incorporate migration into existing national monitoring systems such as population censuses, household surveys, labour force surveys, and national accounts that track GDP, remittances, investment, and consumption; and if they better exploit administrative data sources.