Sustainable cities: Internal migration, jobs and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

​December 2017 / Jessica Hagen-Zanker, Research Fellow Migration, ODI, London

Rapid urbanisation in developing countries is a defining feature of the 21st century, driven by internal migration and population growth. How urbanisation processes are managed and the types of jobs that internal migrants can access will have a great bearing on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


This policy briefing focuses on the economic integration of internal migrants arriving to cities in rapidly urbanising countries. It highlights two important SDGs, from migrants' perspectives: the promotion of full, productive employment and decent work for all (Goal 8), and making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (Goal 11). This briefing synthesises the evidence on the impact of internal migration on migrants' livelihoods, host cities' development and overall poverty reduction. We assess how both migrants and 'host' cities can benefit from migration. We then put forward the policy instruments at city and national level that could help in achieving the SDGs.  


Policy Brief

Authors: Paula Lucci, Dina Mansour-Ille, Evan Easton-Calabria and Clare Cummings


This briefing is part of a series of eight briefings, which consider how migration and key development areas interact and shows that migration is key to achieving the 2030 Agenda. The other briefings can be found here.