Mapping the evidence on what works for addressing root causes of irregular migration: new insights

Unsafe and irregular migration is a pressing global issue, creating major challenges for all countries along migratory routes and corridors – at origin, transit and destination. While the total number of migrants in irregular situation worldwide is hard to estimate, we do know that at least 60 thousand lost their lives while taking dangerous and irregular routes since IOM started the count in 2014.

Start Date: 13 February 2024 End Date: 13 February 2024

Reasons why people take decisions to leave their countries of origin are many and they are often intertwined. With the growing inequalities, worsening impacts of the climate change and deteriorating demographic imbalances, there is an expectation that many more individuals will start seeking better lives, conditions, or livelihoods, or leave to escape from violence, persecution, or repression in the coming years. It is up to the governments, private sector and migrants’ communities themselves to ensure that migration is happening in a safe, regular and orderly manner – in line with the spirit of the Global Compact for Migration adopted in 2018. To provide a comprehensive insight into the complexity of migration drivers and measures that can contribute to reducing the share of irregular migration, 3ie has completed mapping existing literature and academic knowledge which analyzed the effectiveness of all initiatives and programs with digital trace on the web which have been implemented since 1990 to address the root causes and drivers of irregular migration. Based on the results from the mapping, 3ie synthesized one of the intervention categories for which there was a sufficient number of studies to group and compare the results on migration-related outcomes: skills-based active labor market policies.

In this webinar, we will discuss why the evidence falls short and what more is urgently needed to inform policy. This Evidence Gap Map (EGM) was produced by 3ie and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with support from USAID and is the first ever most comprehensive mapping of all efforts to assess the effectiveness of initiatives undertaken to reduce irregular migration.


Marina Manke, Chief, Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), Global Data Institute, Berlin, IOM


Before joining GMDAC as its new chief in June 2022, Marina headed the Labour Mobility and Social Inclusion Division in the Department of Policy Support and Migration Management, IOM Headquarters in Geneva. She joined IOM in 2004 as a migration data specialist at the Vienna Technical Cooperation Centre for Europe and Central Asia. Since then, evidence-based, future proof and coherent governance of migration has become her prime area of specialization, demonstrated through co-authorship of such flagship publications as “Sharing Data – Where to Start”, “Migration Profiles – Making the Most of the Process”, as well as expert interventions at high-level international and national fora. She holds a diploma in linguistics and English philology from the Samara State University, an M.A in Political Science from the Central European University, and a Ph.D in International Relations from the University of Cambridge.

Hanna Snider, Migration & Learning Advisor, USAID


Hanna Snider is a Migration & Learning Advisor at USAID. Prior to joining USAID, she has worked as a field organizer at the American Civil Liberties Unios (ACLU) and as a campaign manager at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). She has master’s in public Affairs and International Development from the Princeton University and a Bachelors in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.     



David McKenzie, Lead Economist, World Bank


David McKenzie is a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group, Finance and Private Sector Development Unit. He received his B.Com.(Hons)/B.A. from the University of Auckland, New Zealand and his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University. Prior to joining the World Bank, he spent four years as an assistant professor of Economics at Stanford University. His main research is on migration, enterprise development, and methodology for use with developing country data. He has published more than 150 articles in journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics, American Economic Review, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Political Economy, Science, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of the European Economic Association, Economic Journal, American Economic Journal: Applied Micro, Journal of Econometrics, and all leading development journals. He is currently on the editorial boards of the Journal of Development Economics, the World Bank Economic Review, and Migration Studies. He is also a co-founder and regular contributor to the Development Impact blog.

Domenico Tabasso, Senior Economist, World Bank- UNHCR Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement


Domenico Tabasso is a Senior Economist at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and is a senior economist at the World Bank-UNHCR Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement, in Copenhagen. He holds a PhD and an MSc in Economics from the University of Essex and a BSc in Economics from Bocconi University. In the past he worked as Economist in the Research Department of the ILO, Lecturer at the University of Essex, Researcher at the University of Geneva, Research Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (University of Melbourne) and research assistant at the Fondazione Debenedetti. His main research interests are in Economics of Forced Displacement, Labour Economics, Development Economics and Applied Microeconomics.


Sebastian Martinez, Director, Evaluation Office, 3ie


Sebastian Martinez is the Director of Evaluation at 3ie where he leads the generation of high-quality policy-relevant evidence through impact evaluations and applied research. Sebastian has over 20 years of experience producing and using rigorous evidence to inform decision-making for more effective economic development. He has led more than 50 impact evaluations and conducted training on causal inference and applied research methods for hundreds of professionals in governments, development banks, NGOs and research institutions. Prior to joining 3ie, he served in several economist positions at the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), most recently as a Principal Economist at the IDB. In these roles, he conducted policy-oriented research on the impacts of development programs, provided technical support and economic analysis for Bank operations, and advised clients in a diverse set of low-and middle-income countries, primarily in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. Sebastian holds a PhD in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, with a specialization in economic development and applied microeconomics.