New IOM Report: Community-Led Forums Help People Make Informed Migration Decisions

IOM conducts Community Conversations awareness-raising campaign across different regions in Ethiopia.
Photo: Kaye Viray/ IOM 2022

Berlin/Addis Ababa –  The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), in collaboration with the IOM Mission in Ethiopia, released a new report today (02/10/2023) on the impact of awareness-raising initiatives on informed migration decisions. 

The IOM study shows that, compared to others, people who were aware of the Community Conversations awareness-raising campaign were more likely to say they understood migration risks and opportunities, had easier access to official information about how to migrate using regular pathways, and were more likely to agree that returnees should receive support from the community.

The study is based on a survey of 5,100 respondents collected in 198 villages from Oromia, Amhara and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Regions of Ethiopia. To assess the impact of an information campaign, the study compared outcomes between two groups of respondents. One group had been exposed to the campaign, while the other had not. This grouping was established through a quasi-experimental technique known as 'statistical matching.' The purpose of this method was to increase the probability that the differences in outcomes between the group that participated in the programme and the one that did not could be attributed to the campaign, rather than other external factors.

The programme supported the training of facilitators who engaged with influential local leaders, including youth and women’s groups, teachers and religious leaders, to disseminate messages within their communities through forums.

Eighty-seven per cent of respondents who were aware of the Community Conversations Programme trusted the information communicated.

“The Community Conversations Programme’s impact evaluation highlighted significant achievements in promoting leadership among underrepresented groups like youth and women. It served as a platform for local authorities and communities to discuss migration topics,” said Betsy Dankenbring, Impact Evaluation Officer at IOM Ethiopia. “The evaluation also identified opportunities to increase its efficacy.”

 “The campaign assumes that information spreads evenly among the community, but to maximize its impact, the focus should be on specific subgroups who find migration-related information more relevant, such as people who express an interest in migrating more explicitly,” mentioned Eduardo Acostamadiedo, Data Officer at IOM GMDAC.

‘Community Conversations: The Impact of Awareness-raising Forums on Migration Attitudes in Ethiopia’ is part of a series of studies addressing the evidence gaps in awareness-raising campaigns identified by IOM. See previous reports from West Africa, Guinea and Senegal. This project was implemented with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) is part of the newly-established Global Data Institute which also consists of IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).

Read the full report here.

For more information, contact:
In Berlin: Jorge Galindo, Communications Officer,
In Addis Ababa: Kaye Viray, Media and Communications Coordinator,

SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals