LISGIS, Partners Hold Migration Workshop -To Set Up Data Collection and Management

The Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services, and partners, the International Organization for Migration and Sweden Statistics have begun a 3 day workshop in Monrovia with the objective of establishing a National Coordination Committee For Migration Data Collection And Management in Liberia to over the challenges LISGIS has of not having institutional, organizational, logistical and technical capacity and capability to collect and compile migration data according to international standards.

According to a Term of Reference of the workshop released by one of the partners  the IOM, the event is aimed at identifying the different migration actors in Liberia, setting up a working group on migration data collection, determining the strength and weaknesses of all migration actors in Liberia, helping the various producers to deal with challenges surrounding data collection and compilation ,building the technical capacity of migration data producers in Liberia as well as providing a harmonized template for national, regional, and international reporting on migration in Liberia.

Speaking during the opening session of the workshop on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, the IOM Country Coordinator Mr. Mohamed Cherif Diallo said it has been realized that migration is not just about border controls, migrants flow or returns but it is more about seeking innovative ways to address the challenges and maximize the opportunities that mobility brings which, when properly utilized, can contribute greatly to sustainable growth and development. He added that in light of its importance, accurate and evidence-based migration data has been recognized globally and thus integrated in the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) as its first objective.

“This means that migration data should not be treated as a mere dossier of papers but should rather be considered as a major source of information in fast tracking for informed decision making trending issues regarding human trafficking, forced labor, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), Xenophobia and other forms of discrimination. It is worth noting that addressing these migration-related challenges require collecting and managing accurate and reliable data.

He said for too long, migration data collection and storage in Liberia has been implemented by individual ministries and agencies of government which has made accessibility and availability of migration data difficult, adding that  IOM, as a UN Migration Agency, therefore remains committed to supporting the Government of Liberia in strengthening its migration governance through effective coordination and management of data on migration activities and policy levers to meet international standard to promote a humane and orderly migration in conformity with the Liberian Government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PADP) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under target 10.7 that supports the facilitation of an orderly, safe, regular, and responsible migration and mobility of people through the implementation planned and well managed migration policy framework.

“To this end, IOM in collaboration with the Government of Liberia in early last year launched the Migration Governance Indicators (MGI), a universal policy tool that provides insights on policy dimensions that a country can use to develop effective migration governance. The MGI as a snapshot describes the well-governed areas of Liberia’s migration governance structures as well as areas with potential for further development based on six domains of the MGI”, he said.

Also speaking at the occasion, Mr. Jean-Pierre Ntezimana, Chief Advisor, Statistics Sweden at the African Union Commission ( STATAFRIC-SCB Cooperation Project) expressed gratitude to the organizers to be present and witness what he called important milestone for the establishment of a National Committee on Migration Data Collection in Liberia which he described as a strong commitment in supporting the initiative which will have positive impact in the country, in the region and the entire continent. He said there is a close relationship between statistics and development, adding that statistics is a key element of development and that statistics is at the centre of the implementation of national, regional and continental development agendas.

“With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, the demand for timely, reliable statistics that are comparable over time and across states has increased even further.

“In order to monitor and ensure the success of continental development programs and the African integration process, it is imperative that reliable and harmonized statistics are regularly produced and disseminated.

“The ‘leaving no one behind’ principle includes migrants. Out of the 17 sustainable development goals, 10 contain targets and indicators that are relevant to migration or mobility.

He said that was why  Statistics Sweden together with the African Union Commission, the Regional Economic Communities, National Statistical Offices and other institutions on the African continent have joined hands in a partnership to improve migration statistics in Africa.

“In line with SDG target 10.7: the value of African migration statistics lie in its use for monitoring, informing and facilitating “orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies”, he said

He said Sweden will remain available to support such initiatives in the future for the production of good quality migration statistics in Africa in general and in the ECOWAS region and its member states including Liberia

Houenou Silvere Arnaud Dagbede, Program Officer Migration Data, ECOWAS and Statistics Sweden while thanking the organizers for planning the program, said that the workshop was recommended during the 4th regional coordination meeting to improve the availability and sources of data on migration in West Africa, held in Accra in November 2021 with the objective to finalize National data collection process on migration for 2019 & 2020. He said the recommendation was inspired by the lack of coordination in the production and analysis of national statistics at the level of certain Member States such as Liberia, especially during the preparation of the 1st Report on regional indicators.

Mr. Dagbede said that the workshop, beyond its objectives to establish a National Committee for Migration Data Collection and Management in Liberia, will now provide to national actors in Liberia and the ECOWAS Commission with quality, reliable, comparable and regularly updated statistics on migration. He added that the ECOWAS Commission has always subscribed to the logic of supporting the production of comprehensive quality statistics on its regional indicators.

“Indeed, international migration is now better perceived as a powerful tool for socio-economic development for countries of departure, transit and destination. In this same context, the need for reliable statistics becomes an imperative for the management of migration, given its dynamic nature and its magnitude during the 2010s and 2020s. In fact, migration policies, at national and regional levels, cannot be drawn up and monitored effectively in the absence of reliable, quality and regularly updated migration statistics. However, most ECOWAS Member States lack statistics organized according to international migration standards. The reasons for this situation range from institutional, organizational and technical weaknesses in the national statistics production chain to the often very high cost of data collection”, he said.

The Director General of LISGIS Prof. Francis Wreh thanked the sponsors of the project and said that it will go a long way in overcoming all the challenges his institution has been experiencing. He said he is of the fervent hope that the workshop will be able to come up with working solutions it wants to solve.


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