Consultant – Analysis of the cross-border migration and mobility flows,routes and characterized tren

IOM , Port Louis, Mauritius
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Job Summary

Job Description

Call for Applications


Open to Internal and External Candidates

Position Title:

Consultant – Analysis of the cross-border migration and mobility flows, routes and characterized trends in the Indian Ocean Commission regional maritime security context

Duty Station:

Home-based (possible travel to sites) **

Type of Appointment:


Estimated Start Date:

20 March 2021

Closing Date:

21 February 2021 (Republication) **

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

IOM is committed to a diverse and inclusive environment. Internal and external candidates are eligible to apply to this vacancy. For the purpose of the vacancy, internal candidates and Non-Member States candidates, as well as external female candidates are considered as first-tier.


Countries within the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region are being adversely affected by transnational organized crime in a contemporary climate which facilitates the illicit movement of goods, and finances across international borders, along with the irregular movement of people. Maritime security incidents are regularly reported in the media in the WIO region which include migrant smuggling and the trafficking of persons, Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU), as well as smuggling and contraband by sea. Often these crimes are interconnected with perpetrators involved in several forms of criminal activity. The cross-border nature of these crimes poses a unique challenge to domestic law enforcement authorities and systems and requires strong and coordinated actions amongst and within States and cooperation partners. As migration remains on top of political agendas within the African continent and globally as articulated in the Global Compact on Migration (GCM), the paucity of data and research on intra-continental migration flows hinders the capacity of policymakers and socio-economic practitioners to ensure evidence-based policies and development planning. The efforts to collect and analyse data on mobility flows in the IOC region is also in line with its Member States agreement to enhance migration data collection, analysis and sharing, evidenced both during the 2019 Consultative Meeting towards the establishment of a Migration Dialogue for Indian Ocean Commission Countries (DiMOI), as well as in the ministerial deliberations of the 2017 and 2019 Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA). GCM objective number one, moreover, outlines the need to “collect and utilize accurate and disaggregated data as a basis for evidence-based policies”, reiterating the relevance of this endeavour.

To date there has been limited data, information or studies available on the migration flows, characteristics and trends in a maritime context in the WIO region. The characteristics of mobility to and within the south-west of the Indian Ocean are largely unknown. IOM conducted the first, and one of the very few comprehensive studies which focused on the so-called Southern African migration route, connecting the East and Horn of Africa to Southern Africa through Tanzania and Kenya in April 2009. However, this study largely omitted reference to maritime routes. Later, in 2013, IOM published national migration profiles which analysed the migration patterns in the region and reinforced the understanding of mobility trends and the role of migration in the social and economic development of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) Member States.

Nevertheless, migration patterns and dynamics related to the IOC region remain understudied, especially as they relate to maritime security and to possible threats and risks in the maritime domain. Moreover, there is frequent confusion in the difference between migrant smuggling, trafficking of persons and other forms of irregular migration, which hampers the possibility of ensuring appropriate, protection sensitive approaches for each migrant group, as well as responding with the appropriate law enforcement response.

Anecdotal information suggests that despite a lack of studies in the WIO maritime context, there are incidents of both smuggling and trafficking of persons which may also be linked to other forms of transnational organized crime. Recent observations and media reports show a gradual diversification of countries of origin and mobility routes for those migrants who are exploited at sea. Those events underline a probable shift in smuggling trends and a repositioning of criminal activities to the WIO area, which call for further data analysis to increase regional and national capacity to face these new challenges, while at the same time mitigating possible harm against migrants and ensuring that vulnerable migrants are adequately protected and assisted. Without the necessary data and information about migration including routes, flows and characteristics, States are not only unable to undertake evidence-based policymaking but will be hampered in their response to be able to protect vulnerable migrants and enable appropriate criminal justice and law enforcement responses.

While information is generally lacking about maritime routes, very little is also known on the modalities, modus operandi of these smuggling and trafficking networks, and profile of the migrants who are trafficked or smuggled (vulnerabilities and protection concerns, including in terms of gender). Also lacking is information about the data collected regarding migrant smuggling at national levels in order to intercept smugglers and to obtain information and develop relevant intelligence required for criminal justice and law enforcement responses. In the absence of this information, ports will continue to be an environment rich in potential for many illicit activities. Therefore, it is important that law enforcement agencies have in their possession information and data so that in future they can coordinate and share information and intelligence in a well-planned strategic manner. Moreover, while existing research has emphasized the increasing association between smuggling and organized crime, it has yet to ascertain the magnitude of this threat or its rapidly changing nature in the WIO region. This lack of information and data has restricted possibilities to develop operational and policy mechanisms to develop information and intelligence on smuggling and transnational organized crime that would allow for national and regional responses. By addressing these needs, not only would a picture be provided of the overall situation, but protection related imperatives would be better addressed by in-depth knowledge of the perpetrators of transnational organized crime and their smuggling networks.

Core Functions / Responsibilities:

Purpose of the Assignment

This consultancy forms part of a project entitled “Supporting the Western Indian Ocean Mechanism for Maritime Security: Promoting Maritime Governance on Migration Issues in the Indian Ocean Commission Region”. Implemented in collaboration with the IOC General Secretariat, the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Center (RMIFC) and the Regional Coordination Operations Center (RCOC), the project’s main objective is to contribute to strengthening IOC Governments’ capacities to better understand and address the risks and threats as well as associated challenges posed by migration-related transnational organized maritime crimes in the region, including by migrant smugglers and human traffickers.

This consultancy will be realized under the project’s Outcome 2, which aims to effectively address transnational crimes and threats through better information and intelligence platforms and information sharing networks in the Western Indian Ocean region. This research will complement, and yet provide a distinct approach, to other research undertaken by IOM in Southern Africa, in particular the regional Stocktaking Assessment carried out under the Southern Africa Migration Management (SAMM) Project, funded by the European Commission, which will provide evidence on the regional dynamics of migration flows, as well as to assess existing migration data frameworks and migration management policies.

The International Organization for Migration is seeking the services of a Consultant with expertise in research and migration to conduct an analysis of the cross-border migration and mobility flows, routes and characterized trends in the Western Indian Ocean regional maritime context, with a specific focus on the Indian Ocean Commission countries.**

Scope and objectives of the assessment:

The objective of the consultancy is to identify and analyze trends and characteristics of cross-border migration flows, especially on irregular migration which include smuggling and trafficking as well as linkages to other maritime incidents and crimes in the regional maritime context of the IOC. The study will analyze human mobility trends, characterize key migratory routes and dynamics (including in terms of means of transportation, points of entry, migrants’ profiles and socio-economic situations). Moreover, the study will ascertain relevant migration data sources that are available, existing data sets as well as gaps in currently available data. In addition, an analysis will be undertaken to inform existing coordinating mechanisms for data exchange at national and regional levels.

This analysis will serve as a basis to obtain information at national and regional levels, for policy development and operational responses to maritime security, identification of information gaps, and undertake further analysis of how this intelligence could be best used for operational and policy responses, with a focus on migrants’ protection and assistance as well appropriate law enforcement responses. The study shall provide information on the quality, quantity and reliability of data available on human mobility within the IOC region, as well as the use of those data to inform evidence-based policies and strategies.

The assignment will be undertaken under the overall supervision of the IOM Head of Office for Mauritius and Seychelles (based in Mauritius), in close coordination with IOM Madagascar, IBM Regional Thematic Specialist from IOM Regional Office for Southern Africa and the Regional Research Officer as well with the IOC General Secretariat.

Overall, the research will include the following:

• To identify and analyze migration flows and mobility trends and characteristics in the IOC region, with a particular focus on irregular migration as well as linkages with criminal activities, within a maritime security context.

• To conduct a review of available quantitative and qualitative information, trends, flows, datasets and information exchange mechanisms at both national and regional levels in the IOC context regarding maritime migration

• To present dynamics and trends along the different migration routes including means of transportation;

• To analyze migrants’ needs and socio-economic vulnerabilities and migratory experience, including motivations to undertake migratory journey, expectations and experiences in transit and destination countries;

• Identify measures that mitigate any harms suffered by migrants in a maritime context essential for ensuring the protection of vulnerable groups.

• To highlight gaps and opportunities in terms of available data, data collection and sharing within and across Member States at the regional level that support the robust and timely sharing of information and intelligence.

• To formulate implementable recommendations on the utilization of the data collected to inform relevant policies, including those in the maritime domain, aimed ensuring that migration flows are well managed, and so that information and intelligence can be gathered and processed for relevant operational responses.


The consultant is expected to perform the following tasks / activities:

· Inception report: Redaction of an inception report including a methodology as to how they will approach the assignment. This will include the breakdown of work, timelines and overview of stakeholders to be engaged during the assignment.

· Desk Review: Review of existing literature, including from official documents, news publications, IOM and UN / other organizations’ reports and studies, and other relevant sources regarding the migration landscape and flows within the maritime context in the IOC regional area. This desk review should: i) ascertain the types of existing data and sources; and ii) appraise existing sharing mechanisms.

· Consultations and Field work: Conduct remote interviews and consultations with relevant national and regional stakeholders to gather information for the study;

· Analysis and Recommendations: Provide a technical analysis of the cross-border migration and mobility flows, routes and characterized trends in the Indian Ocean Commission regional maritime context.

· Validation of findings: Share a draft report with IOM for review and validation. Moreover, the Consultant will be expected to participate and present outcomes of the study at agreed technical and strategic platforms for discussion and finalization of the report.

· Final report: The Consultant will produce a final written report, which will be a synthesis of the desk review, analysis of the migration flows, trends and characteristics, as well as operational and policy recommendations. The final report will also include a summary brief, which will act as a quick reference of the findings.


a) Inception report

b) Draft Report of the desk review field work and analysis and recommendations

c) Final, print ready report and summary brief

All documents are to be produced and delivered in English language. Regular email updates and calls with the IBM RTS in Pretoria, Head of Office in Mauritius and Chief of Mission in Madagascar will be either in English or French.


This assignment is expected to start tentatively in March 2021, but the actual timeline is subject to change based on the date of the agreement to be signed between IOM and the Consultant.

This assignment is planned to be conducted over a period of maximum three (3) months and shall be completed no later than end of June 2021.

Schedule of payment:

• 30% upon satisfactory completion of Deliverable 1.;

• 30% upon satisfactory completion of Deliverable 2.;

• 40% upon satisfactory completion of Deliverable 3.

Required Qualifications and Experience

The successful consultant should have a minimum of the following qualifications and experience:


· Advanced university degree in international relations, political science, international economics, demography, statistics, development studies, social or behavioural science, migration studies, or other relevant social sciences


· Minimum of 7 years of relevant professional experience in academia, research institutes, think tanks, governmental, inter-governmental, or non-governmental organizations.

· Working experience with senior officials within government, inter-governmental, and noNGOvernmental organizations


Excellent command of English is required. Working knowledge of French is desired.

Required Competencies


  • Inclusion and respect for diversity: encourages the inclusion of all team members and stakeholders while demonstrating the ability to work constructively with people with different backgrounds and orientations.
  • Integrity and transparency: maintains impartiality and takes prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour.
  • Professionalism: demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter and willingness to improve knowledge and skills.

Core Competencies

  • Teamwork: establishes strong relationships with colleagues and partners; relates well to people at all levels.
  • Delivering results: produces quality results and provides quality services to clients.
  • Managing and sharing knowledge: shares knowledge and learning willingly, and proactively seeks to learn from the experiences of others.
  • Accountability: operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules.
  • Communication: encourages others to share their views, using active listening to demonstrate openness and to build understanding of different perspectives.


Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment,

accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.