Strengthening IGAD’s migration policy implementation

Project description

Title: Strengthening the capacities of IGAD and its member states in support of regional migration policies in the Horn of Africa
Commissined by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Djibouti/supraregional
Lead executing Agency: Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
Overall term: 2018 to 2022


The Horn of Africa is characterised by very fragile states or, in some cases, by the absence of statehood, by internal and cross-border conflicts, and by natural disasters. The region has over three-and-a-half million refugees and more than eight million internally displaced people, who have fled from armed conflict, individual persecution, serious human rights violations or natural disasters.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is a regional organisation of states in the Horn of Africa that supports its members in areas such as peacekeeping and integration. Its member states include Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda, Sudan and South Sudan. Most of the these are simultaneously countries of origin, transit and destination for migrants and forcibly displaced people.

The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) serves as the politically binding framework for two global compacts: the Global Compact on Refugees, which regulates the sharing of obligations and the protection of refugees, and the Global Compact for Migration, which sets out the principles of safe, orderly and regular migration.

In this context, IGAD pursues a regional approach for Somali refugees and can also play an important role in the implementation of the Global Compact for Migration by supporting member states in achieving their objectives. Aside from the potential of IGAD, a stronger focus is required on national coordination and implementation and on cross-border cooperation.


The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) performs its tasks in the areas of migration and displacement more effectively. 


In 2012, IGAD was the first regional organisation to agree on a policy framework for the issues of migration and displacement. IGAD then formulated a Migration Action Plan based on the framework. The Nairobi Declaration and Action Plan also bring together measures that create long-term solutions for Somali refugees in IGAD member states and reintegrate returning Somali refugees. 

As a regional organisation, IGAD has a mandate to harmonise regional and national migration policies, implement global policy processes, and promote knowledge management, dialogue and support for cross-border cooperation. The project creates an enabling environment for the implementation of international, continent-wide and regional frameworks in the areas of migration and displacement. Regional and national workshops and consultations support IGAD members in their efforts to implement overarching policies and/or laws on a national basis.

In addition, the project is helping IGAD initiatives and local administrations to provide services for host communities and for refugees and migrants in selected border regions. It is also improving conditions for documenting learning experiences and data on the subject of migration and displacement in the IGAD region. At the same time, it encourages dialogue between state and non-state actors – such as statistics institutes and research institutions – and works to foster a positive climate for the exchange of information in the politically sensitive areas of migration and displacement.

Further Information