International Migration Panel activities


During the next two months the IUSSP Panel on International Migration: Strengthening the Knowledge Base for Policy is engaged in several activities consistent with its goals to address conceptual, technical and policy issues concerning international migration, and to engage early career population scientists in international migration scholarship.  


Panel member Marcela Cerrutti, Centro de Estudios de Población (CENEP), participated in the round table discussion on ‘Measuring international mobility of the population through censuses and surveys. A pending challenge at the beginning of the new millennium,’ at the XV Argentinian Population Conference and II International Congress of the Southern Cone in San Juan, Argentina, 18-20 September 2019. Dr. Cerutti presented “A case for a World Migration Survey (WMS), which she and Philippe Fargues, European University Institute, are preparing on behalf of the Panel.  Panel members Fargues and Cerrutti are building on the previous work of fellow demographers to make the case for a global survey that will provide data to better understand population and behavioral dynamics of international migration allowing international comparisons. The paper presents main technical and methodological challenges, as well as alternative strategies to generate data on multiple international migration aspects. 


Marcela Cerrutti (speaking) at the round table discussion on ‘Measuring international mobility of the population through censuses and surveys" in San Juan, Argentina.


The Panel has collaborated with the Asian Demographic Research Institute (ADRI), Shanghai University to organize a training workshop on the estimation of migration, with panel member Guy Abel, Shanghai University, as instructor. The workshop will take place immediately prior to the Second Asian Population Forum, to be held in Shanghai, China, 11-12 October 2019. The aim of this workshop is to address the significant weaknesses in international migration data as a route to better understand contemporary and emerging migration patterns and trends. The goal is to adapt this training programme for implementation over the next several years in other regions of the world and concurrently develop training materials for migration measurement, analysis and estimation for inclusion in demographic curricula and the development of a training manual. 


To gather perspectives from our colleagues participating in the Asian Population Forum, the Panel has organized a session on "Priorities for international migration research in Asia."  The session includes the following scholars and topics: panel member Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi, University of Tehran, on forced migration; Jasmine Ha, Australian National University, on the challenges of data, measurement and research design; Binod Khadria, Jawaharlal Nehru University, on labour migration; Doo-sub Kim, Hanyang University, on marriage migration; and Raya Muttarak, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, on environmental dimensions of migration.


To encourage interaction during the session, we have asked each presenter to consider three topics regarding their respective presentations: (i) recent theory and research that has significantly advanced knowledge in Asia (an illustration of ‘best practices’ or ‘paradigm shift’); (ii) theory and research that is most needed to build knowledge; and (iii) implications of needed theory and research for the social sciences and training in Asia.  


A roundtable discussion addressing prospects for a world migration survey will be held at the African Population Conference organized the Union of African Population Studies (UAPS) in Entebbe, November 18-22.  The roundtable will be chaired by Mariama Awumbila, University of Ghana. 


Participants registering for this discussion will be asked to consider six questions: (1) What are the benefits of initiating a programme of national surveys addressing international migration?  (2) What general and specific goals are relevant and feasible for an initiative to conduct migration surveys at the global scale? (3) What are the methodological challenges of developing an international migration survey at the global/regional scale?  4) what are the regional specificities of migration surveys and how may these be captured in a world migration survey?  (5)  What is the relationship between international migration survey research and national census taking?  (6) What priorities for international migration research in Africa exist beyond those that can be addressed in survey research?   In addressing these and related issues concerning migration survey research and analysis, participants will generate and offer critiques and additions to a background paper on the topic prepared by the members of IUSSP Panel on International Migration.  


The Panel will seek to replicate variations on these formats at other regional conferences to accumulate an informed and inclusive assessment of the perspectives of scholars on priorities in international migration research with the outcome of a white paper to be shared with policy-makers. 


Any feedback from IUSSP members on the activities of the Panel is very much welcome.  Please email the chair Ellen Percy Kraly at