IOM backs communication for development as a tool to promote regular migration in Mexico and Central America.

Date Publish: 

development; communication for development; C4D


Communication for development (C4D) is a methodology that seeks to generate participatory processes through which local actors can find solutions to promote behavioral changes that bring about social change. IOM has used C4D with great success in other regions, such as Southeast Asia, with the project IOM X. In this case, the “IOM X Roadshow” model will be utilized in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico. 

“The IOM X Roadshow model is an evidence-informed, participatory process, wherein community members design their own communication materials. First implemented in Asia in 2016, IOM X Roadshows in the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Myanmar reached close to 300 million people, achieving positive impacts on levels of knowledge, attitudes, and safer behaviors. The Roadshows also influenced important institutional changes in the communities in which they took place, and contributed to an overall strengthening of infrastructure for safe and regular migration,” said Tara Dermott, IOM X Program Leader. “We are so excited to see the positive impact of the Roadshow model grow, as it is implemented by a number of IOM offices across the globe, starting with IOM Central America.” 

“C4D is ideal for addressing issues like migration, because it provides the tools to understand the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the target audience. Once we have this clear, it is possible to develop custom tools and strategies, which is the key to success in any kind of effort related to information, prevention, and behavioral change,” explained Tatiana Chacón, Communication for Development Official of the Regional Migration Program Mesoamerica - Caribbean.  

The ultimate aim of this project is to build national and community capacities to develop awareness-raising campaigns based on Communication for Development. As part of the first stages of execution, a C4D Train-the-Trainer workshop was held with IOM staff and government counterparts from Mexico and northern Central America.  

Esteban Martínez Segovia, Head of Communications and Protocol of the General Directorate of Migration and Foreign Nationals in El Salvador, was one of the government representatives who participated in the workshop. He emphasized that, “Using this focus, more strategic communication plans aimed at achieving better results can be promoted. Empathy with communities is key for understanding the causes of migration, which as we know is evolving and taking new forms.”  

“Central America is a region where all of the countries are, to a greater or lesser degree, countries of origin, transit, or destination for migrants. Addressing the issue of migration from a responsible and comprehensive perspective is indispensable for the social development of these countries. C4D is an ideal tool for approaching these problems from a perspective that incorporates the greatest number of social actors possible,” stated Alexandra Bonnie, Regional Coordinator of the Program. 

Various trainings for over 50 volunteers were held in January 2019, in coordination with counterparts from the four participating countries, and data collection began for the more than 400 surveys per country that will form the research foundation of the project.  

This regional initiative is part of the IOM X global project and is implemented within the framework of the Regional Migration Program Mesoamerica-Caribbean, with support from the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State of the United States. 

For more information on C4D in Mesoamerica, contact Tatiana Chacón at


It’s Time to Think Universal!

Date Publish: 
22 / 03 / 2019

Geneva – IOM´s successful Tuberculosis (TB) control efforts have surpassed their targets, benefiting communities in countries of origin and destination for migrants around the world. IOM´s successful Tuberculosis (TB) control efforts have surpassed their targets, benefiting communities in countries of origin and destination for migrants around the world. The sustained high treatment success rate is largely attributed to early detection, active case finding, directly observed treatment (DOT) and targeted patient-centred, migration-sensitive care. 

In today’s increasingly mobile and interconnected world, with about 258 million international and 760 million internal migrants[1], migration must be recognized as a social determinant of health, impacting upon every individual’s vulnerability and well-being. Migration also profoundly affects the lives of families back home, as well as people in communities of origin, transit and destination world-wide.

Despite well-established diagnosis and treatment regimens, TB remains a public health burden in many parts of the world and a leading infectious killer, with an estimated 10 million new cases andapproximately 1.3 million deaths in 2017[2], disproportionately affecting poor and marginalized populations, such as migrants. TB prevention and control efforts often do not address the specific vulnerabilities of migrants, which leads to delayed diagnosis and/or discontinued treatment.

The way in which many migrants travel, live and work, can carry risks for their physical and mental well-being.   Many work in dangerous, difficult and demeaning jobs, and live in isolation and sub-standard housing. Others may be detained in over-crowded detention facilities or live in camps as refugees or internally displaced persons. Migrants are thus among the vulnerable groups that face a particularly high level of TB risk factors.

In addition, migrants face barriers to accessing health services due to language and cultural difference, and administrative hurdles. Migrants are often excluded from social protection in health and are invisible to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programmes. As a result, many migrants pay out-of-pocket to get the health services they need, which may result in catastrophic health expenditure, delayed and substandard care.

It’s time for inclusion of migrants!  Worldwide, in 2018, IOM conducted more than 376,800 pre-departure health assessments for migrants and refugees and detected 584 active cases of TB, which translates to a TB detection rate of 155 per 100,000 health assessments. Active TB cases were either confirmed by sputum culture or diagnosed based on clinical and radiological findings. IOM works in collaboration with National TB Programs and is committed to accelerate the end of TB through the strengthening of migrant-sensitive health systems, able to assess and focus on the specific vulnerabilities and conditions of the migrant population. (see video with story from Jordan)   

It's Time to set ambitious goals for treatment success, which is possible based on the success story from IOM’s Migration Health Assessment Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, where DOT clinics surpassed targets with comprehensive care, by including active reach-out to patients and nutritional support, ensuring that neither patients nor their households suffer catastrophic costs due to TB, a key element in achieving the target 3.8 of the Sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Successful treatment of TB hinges on DOT and patient-centered, migration-sensitive care, where an individual’s specific health needs, migration related vulnerabilities and desired health outcomes are taken into consideration. Treatment of persons testing positive is a core part of IOM’s health assessments for migrants, including refugees prior to resettlement. From 2010 to 2016, IOM’s Migration Health Assessment Centre in Kenya diagnosed 426 cases of active TB, treating 363 of them at IOM Kenya’s TB DOT clinics, while the others were referred for treatment. IOM Kenya’s TB DOT clinics sustained high treatment success rates over this period, ranging from 90% to 100%.

It’s time to be accountable to the TB commitments. IOM’s experience has shown that failing to address the health of migrants has severe consequences for the well-being of millions of migrants and communities of origin, transit and destination. Migrants urgently need to be included at global, national and local prevention and control strategies to end the TB epidemic, in line with the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Resolution 70.15 of the World Health Assembly on Promoting the health of refugees and migrants (2017).

Moreover, the End TB Strategy, the Moscow Declaration and the UN High Level Meeting Declaration “United to End Tuberculosis” afford a tremendous opportunity to ensure and commit at the highest level to not leave migrants behind and promote cross-border collaboration amongst countries towards reducing TB and HIV burden. Jacqueline Weekers, Director of IOM’s Migration Health Division said: “Ending TB means addressing the intrinsic linkages between population mobility and tuberculosis as well as acknowledging that UHC is only real if high risks groups are accounted for”.

For more information please contact IOM HQ

Carlos Van der Laat, Tel +14227179459, Email: