Households International Migration Surveys in the Mediterranean countries (MED-HIMS)

What is the MED-HIMS?

MED-HIMS (Household International Migration Surveys in the Mediterranean countries) is a regional programme of coordinated international migration surveys requested by the National Statistical Offices (NSOs) of most of the countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy – South Region (ENP-South).

The aim of the programme is to provide analysts, policy makers and other stakeholders with detailed information on the determinants and consequences of migration, so as to help them better target migration policy and development assistance. The programme originated in the European Commission’s MEDSTAT Programme in 2008 and has since evolved into a joint initiative of the European Commission, World Bank, UNFPA, UNHCR, ILO, IOM and the League of Arab States.

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MED-HIMS is made up of a number of modules that aim to collect data in the Mediterranean countries on out-migration, return migration, immigration, forced migration, intention to migrate, circular migration, migration of highly-skilled persons, irregular migration, type and use of remittances, behaviour, attitudes, perceptions and cultural values of people with regard to international migration, as well as relevant information on individuals and households, and the local communities involved.

MED-HIMS is the priority focus of the Euro-Mediterranean Working Group on Migration Statistics (EMWGMS) established by the EU and the ENP-South countries and coordinated by the Central Administration of Statistics of Lebanon. MED-HIMS is overseen by a Project Steering Committee (PSC) made up of the international organisations mentioned above under the chair of EUROSTAT on behalf of the European Commission.

Methodology and Tools

The MED-HIMS programme aims to collect representative multi-level, retrospective and comparative data on the characteristics and behaviour of migrants and the consequences of international migration.

The strength of MED-HIMS is the use of a common set of model questionnaires, manuals and tools covering the different phases of survey implementation. If necessary, these can be slightly adapted to national circumstances. Besides, standard sets of tables and standard principal reports feature the dissemination of the results of that countries that carry out the survey.

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The design of the sample used for the survey is adapted to national circumstances and the availability of specific local data sources on forced migration, so as to select the populations of interest in households with and without international migrants.

A preliminary version of the model questionnaires was developed in 2009 and successfully adapted to the local situation by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in its 2010 National Migration Survey. The first versions of the model questionnaires and related manuals were adopted at regional workshop held in Amman in March 2012 and published at end of 2013. These ‘standard’ manuals were revised in 2016-2019, in order to take into account the experiences of first surveys and other needs emerged in the meantime. This work wen in parallel with the development of a series of ‘light’ model manuals, for limited but more frequent data collection. Both the revised ‘standard’ and the ‘light’ model manuals of June 2019 are in English and made available through this webpage.

The model manuals and model IT tools of the programme were developed with funding made available by the European Commission (through the MEDSTAT programmes), the World Bank, UNFPA, UNHCR, ILO and IOM and the contribution of participating NSOs.

Timetable and implementation modalities

The first MED-HIMS surveys were carried out in Egypt in 2013, in Jordan in 2014 and in Morocco in 2013/2014 (in the region of Tadla-Azilal) and 2018 (at national level, but covering only emigration, return migration and intention to migrate).

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A new survey is planned in Tunisia in 2020. Furthermore, it is expected that the other surveys will be carried out in Egypt and Jordan (for a second round) as well as Palestine, depending on availability of international funding. Finally, Algeria, Lebanon and Libya consider the implementation of the same operation at a later stage.

In order to maximise the usefulness of tools and the quality and comparability of results, the programme is coordinated by the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) which is responsible for managing this complex initiative and for providing harmonised technical assistance. The PIU works under the supervision of the PSC. The preparation and implementation of national surveys is financed by the NSOs together with the European Union and/or other international organizations. The technical assistance and the regional activities have been funded so far by the European Commission (through the MEDSTAT programme) and by the other partner organisations.

International organisations, funding agencies and bilateral cooperation agencies are continuously invited to contribute to funding the survey programme activities at both the national and regional level.