Building Regional and National capacities for improved Migration Governance in the IGAD Region

Project completed

The Horn of Africa is of high interest for Switzerland in terms of migration policy. Swiss support to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and its Member States will contribute to improve their capacities to manage migration. Migrants and refugees will be better protected in the region and the contribution of migration to development of the Horn of Africa will be supported, hence stability promoted. The Swiss expertise and engagement at the policy level will contribute to foster a dialogue on migration between Switzerland and the Horn of Africa.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Horn of Africa
Migration generally (development aspects and partnerships)
Forced displacement (refugees, IDP, human trafficking)
Diaspora for development
01.10.2018 - 30.09.2023
CHF  1’350’000

The Horn of Africa is has one of the highest concentrations of displaced populations in the world, comprising both forcibly displaced and migrants. The Horn of Africa is also a region of high interest for Switzerland in terms of migration policy. While most migrants and refugees remain within the region, the numbers of asylum seekers from the region, in particular from Eritrea and Somalia, rank among the top ten in Switzerland, positioning the region high on the Swiss migration policy agenda. Switzerland has been involved in protection activities in the sub-region since more than two decades.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is the regional organisation of the Horn of Africa. It covers 8 countries and a population of circa 280 million. The majority of migration in the African continent and in the IGAD sub-region takes place within the continent. Many IGAD countries face challenges in managing migration. Addressing displacement in this region is key to promote peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa. The contribution that migrants make to inclusive growth and development need to be fostered contributing to stability. Equally, the protection of migrants’ human rights still needs to be strengthened. Migration that is not well managed can have serious negative consequences for States’ and migrants’ well-being, including potential destabilizing effects on national and regional security.


Improved migration governance and migrants’ protection through the deployment of effective frameworks, mechanisms and practices in addressing migration dynamics in the region.

Impact Hypothesis: Improved migration governance capacities will enable IGAD and its Member States to effectively implement regional, continental and global regulatory standards for the protection of refugees and vulnerable migrants. Strengthened capacities will also guarantee the availability of strategies and expertise to prevent and respond to disasters as well as promote the positive contribution of migration to development. This will lower the social costs of migration, lead to less exploitation hence increase development benefits. Ultimately, migrants, refugees and IDPs in the region will benefit from an improved governance of migration as well as better protection in the region.

The Swiss engagement at three levels (operational, expert, policy) for an improved governance of migration in the Horn of Africa will contribute to facilitate the policy dialogue on migration issues between Switzerland and the countries of the Horn of Africa, on all migration topic including sensitive topics such as readmission.

Target groups

Nationals and migrants, women and men from IGAD Member States in their countries of origin, transit or destination seeking employment and livelihood opportunities or facing the risk and consequences of displacement related to disasters and the adverse effects of climate change. Considering that children account for roughly 20% of all irregular migration flows, activities will include a focus on youth.

Secondary beneficiaries will include ministries and/or departments responsible for managing migration and migration policies such as Labour, Immigration, Health, Foreign Affairs, Justice and Education among others in sending, transit and destination countries.

Other beneficiaries will include academic institutions, employers’ associations, border officials, health & social services (private/public) providers, local communities, migrant associations and civil society organizations.

Medium-term outcomes

Based on the IGAD’s Regional Migration Policy Framework, the following outcomes are pursued:

1: Regional and National Migration Governance Capacities have been strengthened

2: The cooperation on South-to-South mobility is strengthened to harness development benefits

3: Increased preparedness in preventing and responding to disaster induced climate related displacement


Expected results:  

For outcome 1:

Output 1: Migration Action Plan reviewed and endorsed.

Output 2: NCMs and RMCCs strengthened & institutionalized.

Output 3: Development of comprehensive national policy frameworks for migration supported.

For outcome 2:

Output 4: Intra & Inter REC RCP established and strengthened.

For outcome 3:

Output 5: Early warning mechanism strengthened through improved risk mapping and forecasting modelling.

Output 6: Protection of displaced population enhanced by pormoting the use of effective policies and practices.

Results from previous phases:  

Switzerland’s support to IGAD in the field of migration during the four-year single phase has been highly relevant in terms of laying the basic structure for IGAD’s overarching migration governance architecture. An evaluation[1] has been conducted in May. It considers the main effects of the programme as a contribution to shifting narratives and shaping the migration governance landscape; creating entry points for migration-related initiatives; leading to a gradual uptick of momentum on policy development in some countries; and linking the region to global discussions. Switzerland’s support to IGAD has been instrumental in establishing IGAD as the key stakeholder in the field of migration and in generating additional funding. This programme has positioned Switzerland as a trustful, credible and skilled partner on migration issues in the Horn. IGAD and other donors acknowledged the strategic and sustainable partnership with Switzerland. Hence, Switzerland now co-chairs the IGAD Migration Coordination Group.



Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Other International Organization
Private sector
Swiss state institution
  • National State Institute SWISS
  • Other OI
  • Foreign private sector North

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • Swiss Support to other IGAD projects: SDC South Cooperation for the institutional support as well as agriculture sector, SDC Global Programme on Food Security in the field of agriculture, Human security division in the field of peace and security and federalism. Coordination within the Horn of Africa strategy and IMZ Horn of Africa working group.
  • IGAD migration projects supported by other donors such as EU, Germany, World Bank. Coordination takes place in the IGAD Migration Coordination Group co-chaired by Switzerland.

  • Lessons learned and synergies of GPMD’s support to regional processes in South East Asia, the Middle East and West Africa.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’350’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’214’098
Project phases

Phase 2 01.10.2018 - 30.09.2023   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.05.2014 - 31.05.2018   (Completed)