Migration & Labor Markets

Over the past decade, Altai Consulting has developed a broad range of tools to analyze cross-border movements, legal and illegal migration, returnees’ integration patterns, and the role of migrant workers in labor markets. This expertise allows us to accompany international organizations and governments in the design of strategies and policies that are best adapted to evolving and sensitive contexts.

Recent projects

Migration Flows Across the Mediterranean: Connecting the Dots – IOM MENA, 2014

IOM’s Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) commissioned Altai Consulting in November 2014 to create a fresh and updated understanding of the dynamics of the migration flows across the Mediterranean. Fieldwork was conducted between November 2014 and February 2015 across seven 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 ran from November 2014 until February 2015 and 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 and 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.

The full report can be accessed at:  http://www.altaiconsulting.com/library_details/161006

Irregular Migration from West Africa to North Africa and Europe conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa

In the framework of FMM West Africa project’s support to MIDWA, IOM Nigeria commissioned Altai Consulting in August 2015 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, in order to inform discussions at MIDWA 2015 (held in Nouakchott in October 2015). 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”).

Youth, Employment and Migration

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 a hundred Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with employers and fourty KIIs with stakeholders (universities, youth organizations, job seeking services, local NGOs, international organizations, 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 labor demand and labor offer, 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, economic but also related to security and social issues, understanding what are the possible pull factors;
  • Strategies available to support youth employment, enhance economic development, and curb youth irregular migration.

Mapping Migration Routes and Drivers of Migration

Altai Consulting was commissioned by UNHCR in Libya to conduct a review of drivers of migration to Libya post-revolution and to conduct a detailed mapping of routes, costs and modalities. Altai conducted extensive fieldwork in Libya, interviewing around 500 mixed migrants (asylum seekers, refugees and economic migrants) and also conducted research with UNHCR, IOM and NGOs in Niger, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somaliland and Southern Europe. The results have been used by UNHCR Libya and Geneva to help define mixed migration programs and to develop a stronger relationship with the Libyan Government.

Assessment of Cross-border Migration

Altai Consulting was mandated by the UNHCR to analyze 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 programs addressing major gaps and vulnerabilities.

Optimizing the Integration of Returnees on the Labor Market

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 program 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.

A Rapid Assessment of the Post-revolution Labor Market

Altai Consulting was mandated by the World Bank to conduct a rapid assessment of the Libyan labor market in the context of the post-revolution reconstruction phase. The research project was based on a set of case studies to profile potential job seekers, as well as a sample of enterprises in the most dynamics sectors of the Libyan economy. It led to the identification of a broad spectrum of opportunities for the Libyan government and international partners to support short and long term developments in the Libyan labor market, including laws and regulations, labor migration policies, program activities and partnerships with local and international stakeholders.

A Social and Economic Assessment of Urban Refugees

In 2013, Altai Consulting was commissioned by UNHCR in Libya to conduct a screening and assessment of urban refugees in Libya. The research took care to focus solely on urban refugees, i.e., those fleeing from oppression who would, if they interviewed by UNHCR, would be granted refugee status. This involved interviewing large numbers of internally displaced people and economic migrants but applying a filter based on examined reasons and motivations for residing in Libya.

Evaluation of Returns and Reintegration Programs from the United Kingdom

Altai Consulting was mandated by DFID to assess the reintegration process of Afghans returning voluntarily or involuntarily from the UK. The assignment consisted of an evaluation of reintegration activities provided by two service providers in Afghanistan, and the provision of policy recommendations for a comprehensive strategy to improve the conditions of return and reintegration.

Analysis of Refugees’ Integration on the Labor Market

Altai Consulting was mandated by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the UNHCR to assess the impact of the return of 5 million Afghan refugees in Afghanistan, analyze integration patterns of the different social groups, from the elite diaspora to the most vulnerable returnees, and review support programs put in place by the international community and by the Afghan government.