Integration issues in host communities

The critical role of migrant integration policies is often recognized in the migration discourse, such as provision of economic opportunities and social inclusion for migrants and their families. Smooth integration of newcomers into a host society is important not only for migrants themselves but also for host countries, as integration can actually augment migration gains. Despite universal acknowledgment of the importance of international migration and integration, there have been no concerted global efforts by the international community to evaluate existing migrant integration policies, to study their efficacies and/or to formulate best practices. In fact, there is only a handful of comparative cross-country datasets measuring existing integration policies and these are narrowly focused on developed economies.

The most important contributions of KNOMAD Thematic Working Group (TWG) on Integration will be in the highly neglected area of the development effects of integration and re-integration. The development effects of integration in the destination society will be considered from the point of view of the host society as well as from the point of view of the homeland. has been building an increasing and robust evidence base for conclusions with regard to the potential for development of host integration, return, and homeland re-integration. These conclusions will take primarily two forms: empirical and policy considerations and advice.


Areas of Focus

  • The TWG on Integration has been testing the working hypothesis that the re-integration of migrants to their homeland can have powerful development benefits owing to the enhanced human capital that returning migrants can bring with them as a result of their integration in their host society.
  • This TWG will construct a unique global database benchmarking migrant integration policies, produce an analytical report based on the new data, and inform governments and international organizations on the successes and failures of these integration policies. The study will be the first of its kind; it will go beyond an existing focus on integration practices in the developed nations to include developing countries.
  • The TWG will also work on return migration as it has gained increased attention in manymigrant-receiving countries due to the recent surge in the number of refugees, asylum seekers and international migrants. Return policies have for the most part been shaped almost exclusively by host countries from the perspective of controlling migration and preventing irregular migration. These policies, however, lack an appreciation of the drivers and impacts of return migration on the host countries, the origin countries and the migrants themselves.




Ganesh Kumar Seshan
World Bank

Focal Point