Migration Policy and Legislation
Efficiency of migration data collection, governance, and application to practice is a growing area of migration management. Today it is receiving increasing attention both on national and international levels. The interest in migration data has been determined by the rising politicization of migration phenomenon, but also by the availability of modern technologies and new sources of data which has the potential to shed light on migration aspects less scrutinized before. The new political and technological realities have created fresh challenges and opportunities for organizations tasked with migration data governance. Hence, a renewed vision of current state of affairs and the opportunities ahead is needed.
In close cooperation with the Secretariat of the State Commission on Migration Issues (SCMI) IOM Georgia is implementing a project aimed at capacity building on Georgian authorities in migration data analysis. The main objective of the project is to contribute to building the migration data governance framework of Georgia. The important prerequisite for achieving this goal, an up-to-date national infrastructure for migration data analysis, has already been developed by the government. In 2016-17, the Public Service Development Agency (PSDA) in Georgia, with assistance from IOM, created the Unified Migration Analytical System or UMAS. The UMAS was designed to gather, consolidate and analyse data from a range of sources to help support migration related policy making across all relevant Government ministries in a more efficient and coherent way. UMAS is functioning in test regime and has secured, received, and processed multiple datasets from the main administrative data sources in the country. Regardless of the modern technical solutions, lack of analytical capacities impedes execution of the main purpose of the system, actual analysis of technically sorted and processed migration data.
The Government of Georgia (GoG) financed the development of the necessary hardware and software of the system. Functionality is now in place with the data accessible to the PSDA. The GoG has asked IOM to assist with building their capacity to analyse consolidated data that they process. There is a significant lack of qualified personnel across the GoG in general who possesses the necessary skillset to refine, analyse and produce meaningful products with the information they now have at their disposal. This lack of skills has also meant that the GoG has not been able to produce a coherent strategy for the use of these data and establish common methodologies and processes to manage and share data across the government, something that is hampering progress towards sound data analysis and informed policy decision making.