Call for Civil Society to contribute to a Global Online Consultation

Call for Civil Society to contribute to a Global Online Consultation

Joint Migration and Development Initiative, UNDP in collaboration with IOM, ITC-ILO, UNITAR, UNHCR, UNFPA and UN Women, Brussels, BelgiumUNDP in collaboration with IOM, ITC-ILO, UNITAR, UNHCR, UNFPA and UN Women, Brussels, Belgium


This global online consultation on the Role of Civil Society in supporting City Leadership in Implementing Migration Policies, which builds on the recently held Civil Society Consultation session that took place on 19th July in New York, will serve to bring the voices and experiences of civil society to the upcoming Third Global Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development to be hosted by Quezon City, Philippines from 29-30th September, 2016.

The Annual Mayoral Fora on Mobility, Migration and Development brings together mayors, city leaders and other local and regional authorities to foster knowledge, share good practices and strategise on how to work collectively to harness the potential of migration for local development. Civil society actors are key partners that work together with cities to achieve this, acting across the entire spectrum of migration governance from service provision to ensuring social inclusion. Indeed, JMDI experience shows that development can be fostered most effectively when local authorities, civil society and migrants and the community itself work together to achieve a common purpose. This consultation will therefore serve to highlight the long-standing experience of civil society in supporting cities and will enrich the knowledge and dialogue of the Mayoral Forum. The expected results of this consultation are set to be consolidated into a paper and presented at the Mayoral Forum during a dedicated session to the role of civil society.


Migration is mainly an urban phenomenon. While more than half of the world's population already live in urban areas, 3.9 billion people are set to move to city centres by 2030. Furthermore, some 60% of the total 14.4 million refugees, and 80% of the 38 million internally displaced persons are thought to live in urban areas. Indeed, in a global context of increasing decentralization, urbanization and human mobility, the recent migration and refugee crisis and current political agendas, migration matters have never been so important or reconciled so closely with development at the local level. This can be reflected by the fact that the Habitat III process for sustainable urban development has already recognized how 'inclusive planning for rapid urbanization, migration and displacement – through improved rights and protection for migrants and refugees, access to adequate services, opportunities and space and regulation that create an enabling environment – can maximize the skills, resources and creativity of migrants and refugees that drive sustainable development". Indeed, de facto or de jure, local and regional authorities and Civil Society are at the forefront of managing migration as first responders to service provision and ensuring social cohesion at the local level.

Yet while many cities and their supporting networks of civil society are thriving in this role and showing innovative ways to foster development and growth, others may lack the political will, capacities, support, competencies and fiscal or human resources to do so. And, while dialogue, policies and praxis continue to be debated and managed at the national and international levels, leaving no seat at the table for local actors, the full potential of cities and civil society to take up this is hindered.

It is within this context that the JMDI, KNOMAD of the World Bank, UNITAR, IOM, the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) have been the driving forces behind the Annual Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development. This platform therefore provides a space for local actors to mutually learn and support each other as they take on the challenges and opportunities that migration brings for the benefit of their entire communities. Moreover, the Forum serves to give strength to and promote the voice and role of local actors in managing migration for development within key international dialogues such as the Global Forum on Migration and Development to be held on 10-12 December 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Building on the outcomes of the first two Mayoral Fora, the Third Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development will focus on two thematic areas: 1. the role of diaspora in furthering development in communities of origin and destination; and the inclusion and protection of migrants and refugees in vulnerable situations within urban centres. For further information, please consult the concept note and agenda.

Together with the Global Coalition on Migration, the Forum partners encourage all civil society actors to share their expertise and contribute to these efforts by responding to all or any pertinent questions outlined below.

Respond your way

Via our website

To participate you must be signed in. In order to do this, sign in or register, go to the Online discussion and click "Add new comment" without forgetting to specify the number of the question your are answering to.

On Facebook

Get involved via our Facebook page


Email your comments to us at 

Share your existing materials

Email us any existing documented practices or publications your organization may have published.


You can also record a video or voice message on your phone or other devices and share your thoughts with us.

Call us

If you prefer talking directly over the phone, you can email to arrange a time or call us directly on +32 2 235 0554 / +32 2 235 0551.

Share your story

Showcase your initiative where you work to support a local or regional authority better manage migration for local development by downloading and filling in this template and sending it to , we may use your story as a case study in our official outcome document that will be presented at the Mayoral Forum.

More information

If you experience any technical difficulties or need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact the JMDI on

For more information on the upcoming Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development, see the website

Deadline: plies must be sent by 16th September, 2016.

Proposed Questions for discussion

1. How can civil society support cities to ensure the inclusion and the protection of vulnerable migrants and refugees for enhanced resilience and development? What good practices and lessons learned exist?

2. What is the role of civil society in supporting local and regional authorities to reach out and engage with diaspora? For example, in order to foster their support in integration, social protection, promoting labour rights and fostering knowledge transfer, entrepreneurship and investment for local development? Please provide examples.

3. How can civil society and cities work together to combat xenophobia, violence and ensure social cohesion?  What good practices and lessons learned exist? Please provide examples.

4. Both cities and civil society actors tend to be side-lined from national and international policy- making pertaining to migration and refugee protection, despite the fact that such policies often have an impact at the local level. This can be due to a lack of support, voice and consultation at national level, as well as a lack competencies, means and/or political will. What obstacles to collaboration have you encountered through your work? How can cities and civil society work together to overcome these? Please provide examples.

5.  hat are the key success factors to ensuring a trusting and functional multi-stakeholder partnership among civil society actors and cities in their efforts to work together to harness the development potential of migration?  What obstacles can hinder such partnerships? How can these be overcome? Please provide examples.

6.  These past few years, we have numerous incidences of countries experiencing conflict or natural disasters where migrants living, working, studying, traveling or transiting in these countries have been disproportionately affected.  What is the role of civil society in preparing for and responding to the needs of migrants in countries experiencing crises. Give examples of how civil society helped in saving lives, protecting migrants' rights and dignity and alleviating their suffering especially at the height of these crises. 

Share and Promote!

Please do not hesitate to share and encourage your colleagues, contacts and networks to also contribute.

Thank you,

Kind regards,


 Further information

29-30 September 2016 - Third Global Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development

Global online consultation on the Role of Civil Society in supporting City Leadership in Implementing Migration Policies

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Email your comments to us at