Strengthening cities for migration and development

Cities are the main destination for migrants worldwide. They play a crucial role in ensuring migrants’ social and economic inclusion and in leveraging migration as a source of innovation and prosperity. Switzerland aims at strengthening the evidence base on how to manage urban migration to maximize its development effects and at leveraging the voice and experience of cities in shaping effective migration policies. The project will involve Swiss cities and benefit from Swiss research expertise.

Land/Region Thema Periode Budget
Beschäftigung & Wirtschaftsentwicklung
Migration allgemein (entwicklungspolitische Aspekte und Partnerschaften)
Städtische Entwicklung
15.10.2017 - 31.12.2021
CHF 10'150'000
Hintergrund Urbanisation and migration are closely inter-connected demographic processes. They not only affect the growth and distribution of the population, but can have significant effects on a country’s long-term development path. As history has shown, migration and urbanisation are essential for socio-economic transformation and wealth generation, and sustained economic growth is hardly achievable without these phenomena. Globally, urbanisation is increasing at unprecedented rates; projections estimate that 67% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by 2050. Urbanisation is expected to mostly take place in low- and middle-income countries, where it will be strongest in secondary cities. If not managed proactively, the pace of urbanisation will put pressure on the infrastructure, service provision, and societal fabric of a city, instead of building on the economic and social potentials of migration and urbanisation processes.
Ziele Disadvantaged migrants and host communities benefit from cities that promote inclusion and social cohesion and embrace migration and diversity as sources of innovation and prosperity.

Ultimate beneficiaries are poor and vulnerable female and male (internal and international) migrants, as well as local communities. 

Direct beneficiaries are local governments, municipal authorities, municipal service providers, and the private sector in the Global South.

Mittelfristige Wirkungen
  • Evidence and data on the migration and urbanisation nexus and the complex interactions between migrants and cities is created and informs policy-making and programming for sustainable development.
  • Capacities of cities, their authorities and other local actors (especially the private sector) are strengthened in addressing migration & sustainable development, leading to innovative approaches and partnerships.
  • Urban migration is promoted as a key theme in global policy dialogue processes and the voice of cities is leveraged.

Erwartete Resultate:  

  • Improved data on urban migration and evidence-based knowledge and approaches are generated, with the following thematic areas: (i) cities and inclusive migration governance, (ii) cities and labour migration, (iii) cities and forced migration (conflict-related and due to natural disaster).
  • The generated evidence feeds into development programming and policy works.
  • Pilot initiatives trigger innovative local governance systems and programs on the ground in the identified thematic areas.
  • Enhanced exchange, cooperation and peer-learning among local, national, and international urban stakeholders for improved management of migration to cities.
  • Strengthened ability of local governments to engage in migration and refugee diplomacy between local governments and vis-à-vis the multilateral (inter-state) system.

Resultate von früheren Phasen:  

  • Continous advocacy for the local perspective has triggered important developments in global fora on migration & development (M&D), such as the planned set-up of a Mayoral Mechanism within the Global Forum on M&D.
  • Cities have increasingly engaged in global processes: through the SDC-supported Mayoral Forum on Human Mobility, Migration and Development and through targeted inputs to the Global Compact for Migration process.
  • Research partnership with ETHZ focusing on migration in West Africa (coast of the Gulf of Guinea) has yielded relevant insights on the mutually reinforcing dynamics of migration and urbanisation and their effects for development.
  • The Mediterranean City-to-City Initiative, gathering cities from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East around migration issues, has established a dynamic network for peer-to-peer learning and a community of practice, fostering dialogue and capacity-building in migration governance.
  • The new partnership of Switzerland (SDC & SECO) with Cities Alliance has been strengthened with the elaboration of a Joint Work Programme on “Cities and Migration”.

Verantwortliche Direktion/Bundesamt DEZA
Kreditbereich Entwicklungszusammenarbeit
Projektpartner Vertragspartner
Internationale oder ausländische NGO
Andere internationale Organisation
Schweizerische Hochschul- und Forschungsinstitution
  • ETHZ Zürich
  • Andere internationale oder ausländische NGO Norden
  • Other OI
  • SDC Field Office

Andere Partner
Various strategic partners: Cities Alliance, Open Society Foundation, ETHZ and potentially other Swiss research institutions, International Centre for Policy Migration Development (ICMPD)
Koordination mit anderen Projekten und Akteuren

International organizations and agencies in the area of migration & sustainable development, international organizations specialized in cities and sustainable urban development, academia and think tanks, private sector associations, Swiss and international NGOs, local government /city networks and associations, bilateral cooperation partners;

Synergies are developed with the GPMD program and will be sought with SDC global and bilateral programs.

The program will be closely coordinated with SECO and its experience in urban contexts.

Budget Laufende Phase Schweizer Beitrag CHF   10'150'000 Bereits ausgegebenes Schweizer Budget CHF   8'512'638