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Migration & Forced Displacement

Over the past eighteen years, Altai Consulting has developed a broad range of tools to analyse cross-border movements, legal and illegal migrations, returnees’ return & reintegration patterns, and the role of migrant workers in labor markets. This expertise allows us to help international organisations and governments in the monitoring of large scale programmes and in the design of strategies and policies that are best adapted to evolving migration and mobility related issues in Africa and the Middle East.

State of Migration Governance in Africa – Case Studies in 21 Countries  – EUTF

In the transition phase between the landing phase of the EUTF (The European Union Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa) and the next EU INTPA funding cycle, Altai was tasked to assess the state of migration governance and emerging priorities in terms of migration and mobility in a set of 21 countries in Africa* to establish a new baseline and support new programme design. Altai deployed a team of 15 international consultants and 25 national researchers with specific country-level knowledge to conduct 21 country case studies and develop country-based assessments. The assessments consisted of a cross-country analysis of the variety of migration governance systems, the capacity of the stakeholders involved, the identification of priority areas and a mapping of other donors’ interventions in this field, to support the development of a migration governance roadmap and better coordinate future actions.

(*) Countries include: for Horn of Africa (HoA) -  Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Soudan, South Soudan, Uganda, Tanzania; for Sahel and Lake Chad (SLC): Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal.

Iraq Migration Profile – IOM

Altai Consulting was commissioned by IOM to draft the first Migration Profile for Iraq. Migration Profiles are a standard tool for consultations with host governments and serve as evidence bases for the formulation of strategies and policies around migration.

Iraq has been historically affected by numerous migration movements, such as asylum-seeking, returns from asylum, inflows of Syrian refugees, major internal displacement crises driven by ISIS, but also by other conflict and environmental crises. 

Altai Consulting conducted extensive consultations with IOM and the Iraqi authorities, through both bilateral interviews and workshops gathering representatives from up to six Iraqi ministries, in both Baghdad and Erbil. Altai Consulting worked closely with the statistical institutions (CSO in Baghdad and KRSO in Erbil). On this basis, Altai Consulting drafted and presented a complete Migration Profile, both in English and Arabic, which was officially launched during a press conference in Baghdad with the participation of several Ministries. The document presents the data available, discusses the main features and impacts of migration for Iraq, interprets the underlying causes, and draws perspectives for further data collection.


Youth, Employment and Migration in Somalia IOM

Altai was mandated by IOM to conduct a comprehensive research about the relation between youth employment and irregular migration in three main cities in South Central (Mogadishu, Kismayo and Baidoa). The study included a large scale youth survey (1,200 respondents) in the three cities, along with 24 Paired Interviews with young respondents (IDPs, internal migrants, returnees, non-migrants), over 100 Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with employers and 40 KIIs with stakeholders (universities, youth organisations, job seeking services, local NGOs, international organisations, banks, etc.).

The analysis covered:

  • The level and nature of youth employment: Main activities of urban youth, employment status, average salary, level of unemployment, obstacles to youth employment, level of satisfaction with current occupation and level of income

  • Obstacles to youth employment: Analysis of the local economy in the three cities, discrepancy between labour demand and labour offerings, skills needed by private companies, conditions of recruitment, access and obstacles to youth entrepreneurship

  • The socio-economic drivers of migration: Analysis of the push factors of youth migration including economic but also related to security and social issues, and then understanding what are the possible pull factors

  • Strategies available to support youth employment, enhance economic development, and curb youth irregular migration


Third-Party Monitoring of Return & Reintegration and Migration Governance Programmes in West Africa EUTF

The European Union Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa (EUTF for Africa) aims to improve migration management in three regions: the Sahel and Lake Chad; the Horn of Africa; and North Africa. The EUTF mandated Altai to establish a Third-Party Monitoring and Learning (TPML) mechanism for specific actions funded in the Sahel and Lake Chad region under the migration management objective of the EUTF: return and reintegration of returnees in their countries of origin, migration governance and awareness-raising campaigns on migration.


The main objectives of the TPML were as follows:

  • Reflect on the relevance and results of the EUTF's actions

  • Contribute to the sharing of experiences between implementing partners and between countries

  • Provide regular feedback to relevant actors (EU, EUTF and implementing partners) to guide strategic and programmatic decision-making

  • Support the design of the next phases of programming

The secondary research was complemented by over 600 Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) across 12 countries and nearly 6,000 quantitative interviews among various categories of respondents (including returning migrants, host communities, individuals exposed to migration-related awareness-raising campaigns) during three data collection cycles. Country report findings were presented to the EU Delegations and relevant implementing partners in each of the 12 countries. Altai also delivered three regional reports and presented key findings to the EUTF and member states in Brussels.

Migration Flows Across the Mediterranean: Connecting the Dots – IOM MENA

IOM Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) commissioned Altai Consulting to create a fresh and updated understanding of the dynamics of the migration flows across the Mediterranean. Fieldwork was conducted across 7 countries in the MENA region and Europe (Egypt, Italy, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia). The study focuses on two routes in particular: the Western Mediterranean route from Morocco to Spain and the Central Mediterranean route from North Africa to Italy or Malta.

Fieldwork culminated in a total of 70 Key Informant Interviews (KII) and 60 In-depth Interviews (IDI) with migrants across 12 locations in 7 countries.

The study analysed the profiles of migrants travelling along the two routes, the drivers of their migration, their routes of travel, the conditions of their journey, the dynamics of smuggling and trafficking, and national policies and programs in the 7 countries of fieldwork that attempt to address the flows.


Irregular Migration from West Africa to North Africa and Europe IOM

In the framework of the FMM West Africa project’s support to MIDWA, IOM Nigeria commissioned Altai Consulting to conduct a research study on the drivers and dynamics of migration within the ECOWAS region and Mauritania, and from the ECOWAS region to Europe. The Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA) was inaugurated in December 2000 by ECOWAS, in cooperation with IOM, to create a forum for ECOWAS Member States to discuss common migration issues and concerns in a regional context.

Fieldwork was conducted across four countries: Niger, Mauritania, Senegal, and Nigeria. The study also builds upon Altai’s previous research in the area (“Mixed Migration: Libya at the Crossroads” and “Migration Trends Across the Mediterranean: Connecting the Dots”).

Mapping Migration Routes Across Africa and Drivers of Migration to Libya UNHCR

Altai Consulting was commissioned by UNHCR to conduct a large package of research that aimed to update maps of mixed migration flows across Africa. The research was quantitative and qualitative by design, and it involved interviewing over 1,200 migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Somaliland, Ethiopia, Niger, Sudan and Libya in one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted on the topic.


The interviews looked at migration patterns, access to information, networks, smuggling dynamics, as well as legal frameworks, support structures and protection needs, with a particular focus on health, education, security, employment as well as migration modes. In addition, the research had a particular focus on vulnerable groups including youth, women and unaccompanied minors. Parts of the research were carried out in detention centers, at refugee camps and with smugglers. The research also involved around 200 In-Depth Interviews with experts, officials and community leaders.


The results have been used by UNHCR Libya and Geneva to help define mixed migration programmes and to develop a stronger relationship with the Libyan Government.

The full report is available here



Assessment of Cross-border Migration – UNHCR

Altai Consulting was mandated by the UNHCR to analyse cross-border migrations between Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan through a set of quantitative and qualitative research. This included in-depth field research and case studies of legal and illegal migrants, as well as the analysis of border police systems and support services in place on both sides. The research led to a set of recommendations for the UNHCR and partnering countries to develop relevant policies and programmes addressing major gaps and vulnerabilities.

Labour Market and Service Skills Assessment in Selected Locations in Somalia and Ethiopia  IOM East Africa

Altai Consulting was mandated by IOM to conduct a study that focuses on broad aspects of the current market and socio-economic services including structures, instruments, mechanisms, the labour and skills situation, as well as business development opportunities and information sources used to identify and disseminate employment, training, and entrepreneurship opportunities in selected localities in the South and Central region of Somalia, Puntland and Somaliland.


The objective is to respond to the reintegration needs and enhance the employability, business development / self-employment and entrepreneurship capacities of returnees, youth and other members of host communities in selected areas.

Optimising the Integration of Returnees on the Labour Market IOM Iraq

Altai Consulting has conducted an in-depth research assignment in Northern Iraq to evaluate the voluntary return program activities of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and identify areas of improvement. This included a review of programme activities, a set of case studies with beneficiaries combined with an analysis the absorption capacity of the local economy and the identification of relevant local partners for IOM. The recommendations made by Altai Consulting led to the design of a new job integration service and platform that is currently being implemented by IOM.

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