Migration and development are highly interdependent processes. International migration in the development context relates both to people who have chosen to move of their own accord, and forced migrants who can ultimately end up contributing to both their country of resettlement and possibly their country of origin. Development, meanwhile, is a dynamic process implying growth, empowerment and progress, with the goal of increasing human capabilities, enlarging the scope of human choices, and creating a safe and secure environment where citizens can live with dignity and in equality. In the development process, it is important that people’s productivity, creativity and choices are broadened, and that opportunities are created. Maximizing the positive relationship between migration and development is at the center of IOM’s work. It is especially relevant now, in this era of unprecedented mobility.

IOM’s Vision

The objective of IOM’s migration and development programme is to contribute to a better understanding of the links between international migration and development in order to harness the development potential of migration for the benefit of both societies and migrants and to contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction.


IOM implements programmes in the form of research, capacity building for governments and communities, community stabilization in countries that have undergone conflict, delivery of social programmes, diaspora engagement with their countries of origin and partnering-up with relevant institutions, authorities and businesses.


Beneficiaries of IOM’s migration and development programming include potential and returning migrants and their families, diaspora communities, local, regional, and national governments, and the private sector.  


IOM’s approach addresses the root causes of migration by providing interventions in areas vulnerable to high rates of economically motivated migration. In regions that have been recently affected by armed conflict, IOM provides return-friendly environments for displaced persons, creates employment through income-generating activities and leverages the resources of the diaspora for socio-economic development. Recognizing that nearly half of the world’s migrants are now women, IOM also takes into account the opportunities and challenges that this presents for migration and development activities, and presents a gender-specific focus for all migration and development projects.

Past Projects

Women4Dev Academy

The Women4Dev project ran from December 2017 to May 2019.

It aimed at empowering African diaspora women’s associations in Belgium by strengthening their role and capacities as effective actors in the development of their countries of origin. 

Read more in French or English. Watch this video to learn more  (French only).


For more information, contact Mr. Rob De Lobel (rdelobel@iom.int, tel: +32 (0) 2 287 74 14).