Despite the high interest and concern around the rising phenomenon of mixed migration, there are virtually no systems in place nationally or regionally to monitor the mixed migration flows. Policy formation, political debate and programming is taking place in a context that is predominantly data-poor, or even data free. The challenge is considerable due to the clandestine nature of these smuggler-dominated movements and the disparate routes used and methods of movement. In mid-2014 the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS) created the Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism Initiative (4Mi) as an attempt to address the need for better data. In 2018, RMMS’s East Africa hub and the other regional units transitioned into the global brand of the Mixed Migration Centre (MMC). The MMC brings together various existing regional initiatives engaged in data collection, research, analysis and policy development on mixed migration issues into a new global network of mixed migration expertise. The 4Mi is an innovative, low-cost approach to collect and analyse data on mixed migration flows, initially out of the Horn of Africa. Through a network of locally-recruited monitors in strategic migration hubs in Northern, Eastern, and Southern Africa, Southern and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, the 4Mi project tracks Eritrean, Ethiopian, Djiboutian and Somali people on the move.
The context – a data challenge
Monitors are local individuals, members of existing agencies and others forming a network around key migration ‘nodes’ and ‘hotspots’. The monitors use a custom-designed mobile phone application to submit real-time data on mixed migration issues in their locations. Collaboration with existing refugee and migration–focused agencies in the region is maximized. Monitors are in the public and private sectors – their key capacity is their knowledge of their locality and contacts with people on the move or those who have contact with people on the move. All 4Mi applications are controlled by 4Mi management and when new reports need to be added or existing questionnaires need to be adapted this can occur simultaneously through the smart phone network.
The scale and scope of mixed migration movement means that a project like 4Mi can only find and illuminate certain pieces of the mixed migration puzzle. Other agencies and authorities may have other pieces of the puzzle, which, when added together allow us to understand and track mixed migration phenomena better.
4Mi now on phase 2
The data and analysis provided on this website are based on interviews with people on the move conducted by 4Mi field monitors across Africa and Europe from 2014 up to February 2017. During the first phase of the project 4Mi Monitors interviewed 3,522 migrants, 153 smugglers and 289 observers across Africa and Europe. The results from these interviews are available here. here . In June 2017, the 4Mi project moved on to Phase 2, launching a new survey. The results from Phase 2 are represented on this website. The Regional Mixed Migration Centre for East Africa and Yemen, which implements the 4Mi project, is working on several new briefing papers, which will showcase a more in-depth analysis on the results from 4Mi Phase 1.
4Mi data, graphics and analysis are based on the accumulated, ongoing data collection by 4Mi field monitors through direct interviews with migrants/refugees on the move. Sample sizes are clearly indicated and represent a limited section of those on the move. All findings derive from the surveyed sample of migrants/refugees and should not be used to make any inferences about the total population of any mixed migration flow.