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

What is the MED-HIMS?

The MED-HIMS (Households 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 (ENP) – South Region.

The aim of the project 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 project 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.

read moreLess

MED-HIMS is made up of a number of modules that aim to collect data in the Mediterranean countries on out-migration, return migration, 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 Mediterranean partner countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia) and coordinated by the Central Administration of Statistics of Lebanon. MED-HIMS is overseen by a Project Steering Committee made up of the international organisations mentioned above.

Methodology and Tools

The MED-HIMS surveys 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. It will also result in the publication of a standard set of tables for all countries that carry out the survey.

read moreLess

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 first 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 final versions of the model questionnaires and related manuals were adopted at the 5th MED-HIMS Regional Workshop held in Amman in March 2012.

The model data collection manuals and IT tools 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 2013 in Egypt and in 2014 in Jordan. Results from Egypt were released in January 2016.

read moreLess

It is expected that the next surveys will be carried out in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria in 2016 and Lebanon in 2017, depending on availability of international funding. Palestine will launch the same operation later.

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 a Programme Steering Committee (PSC), which is chaired by EUROSTAT, and composed of the European Commission, the World Bank, UNFPA, UNHCR, ILO, IOM and the League of Arab States. The preparation and implementation of national surveys is financed by the NSOs together with the EU delegations in the participating countries and/or other international organizations. The technical assistance and the regional activities have been funded so far by 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.