in-depth insights on mixed migration dynamics

What is 4Mi?

4Mi is the Mixed Migration Centre’s flagship primary data collection system, an innovative approach that helps fill knowledge gaps, and inform policy and response regarding the nature of mixed migratory movements and the protection risks for refugees and migrants on the move. It is a regular, standardized, quantitative and globalized system, with a network of more than 120 field enumerators who conduct survey interviews with refugees and migrants on the move in more than 15 countries.

In-depth survey interviews with migrants and refugees

4Mi has a unique network of field enumerators situated along frequently used mixed migration routes and in major migratory hubs. Our enumerators use a standard in-depth survey to conduct more than 1,000 4Mi interviews per month with refugees and migrants who have recently arrived in a location or are still on the move. 4Mi has conducted more than 100,000 surveys since it began in 2014.

Through 4Mi, MMC places those on the move and what they say at the heart of our understanding of the mixed migration phenomenon, and the 4Mi approach enables MMC to gather extensive and timely data relating to individual profiles, drivers of migration and future aspirations, experiences and decision-making along the journey, interactions with smugglers, aspirations and destination choices.

More on how 4Mi works, our methodology and how we collect our data, can be found here in our FAQs

4Mi Interactive – enabling users to explore the data directly


4Mi Interactive allows MMC to share 4Mi data so that users can analyse the populations of interest to them and specific themes. Every quarter, we update the main dashboard with the latest round of our core 4Mi survey interviews, and users can filter information on profiles, experiences, drivers and aspirations, by age, gender, date, nationality, region of interview, etc. The dashboards are available in English, French and Spanish.

Our Covid-19 dashboard holds more than 20,000 surveys covering refugees’ and migrants’ experience of the Covid-19 crisis (interviewed in 2020 and early 2021), and the 4Mi Returns dashboard showcases data on the experiences of 2,046 refugees and migrants before, during, and after their return to Afghanistan (interviewed in 2021).

Learn more about 4Mi Interactive and find explainer videos with tips and tricks on how to use the portal.

Assisting decision-making on policy and programme responses

With a strong focus on protection and human rights, 4Mi data and analysis is used by humanitarian and development organisations, both governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as other researchers and think tanks, to increase knowledge and assist decision-making on both policy and programming. Media use 4Mi findings in their reports and advocacy organisations use 4Mi analysis to support their campaigns.

Flexibility to research different populations and themes

While the primary focus is on the ‘core’ 4Mi mixed migration survey, the 4Mi approach offers flexibility to research various populations and themes, and develop different tools. Examples include 4Mi Returns, focusing on returnees; 4Mi Cities, which focuses on migrants’ and refugees’ experiences in specific cities, and through a partnership with the Mayors Migration Council, brings city authorities and other stakeholders into the projects; and our smuggler survey, used to interview smugglers themselves and focusing on the smuggling economy and networks. We also have developed several ‘modules’ of questions on specific themes (including exploitation, livelihoods, children and youth, smuggling, destination, conditions in place of interview, onward movement), which are added to the core survey in a particular location or for a particular time period.

Adaptation and innovation: remote data collection, longitudinal data collection

In 2020, MMC developed a way to conduct 4Mi remotely, so we could rapidly obtain information on the impact of Covid-19. This remote approach has enabled longitudinal research and improved reach and access to populations on the move.

Click here to access all our publications featuring 4Mi data on the impact of Covid-19.

Latest Publications Featuring 4Mi Data