Caribbean Countries Tackle Data Collection Challenges in Regional Workshop

Date Publish: 

Montego Bay – Representatives of 13 countries participated in a specialised workshop this week (24-25/09), through which the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and its initiative for Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC) promoted coordination and collaboration in the collection and analysis of migration data in the region.

“Data analysis has been one of the main weaknesses for an adequate management of migration in the Caribbean. The availability of relevant and high-quality information is still very limited,” noted Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director of IOM for Central America, North America and the Caribbean.

“In response to this need, we organized a workshop that enables decision-makers to know best practices for collection and management of migratory data, gathering important representatives of migration agencies and statistical institutions to better comprehend and use data linked to migration, refugee protection and development policies,” Pisani added.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) and UNHCR also collaborated to successfully run this in event under the CMC framework.

The initiative aims to assess migration data needs in the context of the Sustainable Development Agenda. Participants identified challenges, gaps, needs, opportunities, resources and best practices utilized by other countries for the management of migration information, with the purpose of developing feasible mechanisms to improve collection, analysis and exchange of information in the region.

Accurate and relevant migration data could allow states to strengthen and better focus their responses to natural disasters and human movements, increasing the positive impact of interventions, projects and programmes. 

“Interventions designed using quality data have the opportunity for far greater effectiveness in migration management, as well as for the protection and assistance of identified and targeted groups,” said Brendan Tarnay, IOM Project Coordinator for CMC. “Quality data and data sharing can significantly reduce the number of duplicated records in public services. The work and collaboration at this CMC meeting will lead to greater inter-agency communication and data sharing, a priority already identified by participating governments.”

The regional workshop was made possible with support from the United States Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), and the cooperation of the Government of Jamaica, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and IOM's Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC).

For more information, please contact Brendan Tarnay at the IOM Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean; Tel: +506 2212 5312, Email:

Caribbean governments exchange experiences managing migrant and refugee flows in conjunction with IOM and UNHCR

Date Publish: 
03 / 07 / 2019

The Caribbean region faces an increasingly complex mixed migration phenomenon including asylum seekers, refugees, stateless people, and vulnerable migrants. It is a region of destination and transit for thousands of people, including people needing international protection, each year. To mark World Refugee Day, on June 20 the Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC), in coordination with representatives from IOM and UNHCR, presented a webinar to work directly with Caribbean governments to discuss effective systems for protecting refugees.

During this online event, participants addressed global trends and priorities related to the protection of refugees, and discussed the two tools promoted by UNHCR within the framework of CMC, the Technical Guide for Refugee Legislation in the Caribbean and the Checklist for a Comprehensive Asylum System.

Additionally, the webinar served as a space for sharing best practices in the region. Christopher Eakin, Director of Policy and Strategic Management of the Ministry of Employment and Border Control of the Cayman Islands, presented issues related to the asylum system and experience protecting refugees in the Cayman Islands, accompanied by Bruce Smith, Deputy Chief of Border Control, and Joey Scott, Deputy Chief.

A total of 36 representatives of Caribbean countries such as Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago participated.

“I am very pleased with this CMC webinar, an excellent way to unite the countries of the region and maintain close collaboration efforts. I would like to see this as a permanent arrangement,” commented José Laurent of the Ministry of Legal Affairs in Antigua and Barbuda.

“These spaces for engagement are extremely important since they facilitate technical training for governments, regional dialogue among stakeholders, and interactive learning for all parties, including for IOM,” concluded Brendan Tarnay, Project Coordinator for the Caribbean.

Click here to watch the webinar.

For more information, contact Brendan Tarnay at the Regional Office of IOM for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean. Phone: +506 2212 5304, Email: