in-depth insights on mixed migration dynamics

What is 4Mi?

4Mi offers a regular, standardized, quantitative and globalized system of collecting primary data on mixed migration flows. It is managed by the Mixed Migration Centre under the overall auspices of the Danish Refugee Council.

Since 2014, 4Mi has been developing a unique network of field monitors situated along frequently used routes and in major migratory hubs. These monitors conduct in-depth interviews with adult migrants and refugees on a continuous basis. In some locations, they also interview smugglers and others involved in the facilitation of mixed migration. Monitors are trained and closely supervised and use a smart phone-based survey application to record and transmit completed interviews to regional 4Mi hubs for validation and analysis. On average, 4Mi collects more than 1,000 interviews per month.

4Mi uses a closed-question survey to invite respondents to anonymously self-report on a wide range of issues that results in extensive data relating to individual profiles, migratory drivers, means of movement, conditions of movement, the smuggler economy, aspirations and destination choices. For particular projects, ad hoc surveys and additional survey modules are also used.

Latest 4Mi data and analysis

Afghans en route to Turkey: access to critical information

This snapshot examines how Afghans en route to Turkey gather information before and during the journey, what kind of information they have access to, what the gaps are, and which sources of information are the most used and the most trusted. It contributes to a solid evidence base to inform targeted responses on the ground, and advocacy efforts related...

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New mixed migration data tool: 4Mi Interactive

4Mi Interactive is a portal for exploration and visualisation of data on mixed migration – it means we can share what refugees and migrants are saying more directly, and you can find exactly the information you are looking for.

On the main dashboard you can find data from our core data collection among refugees and migrants travelling on mixed migration routes in. The dashboard is also available in French and Spanish. Updated quarterly, the new dashboard currently features thousands of interviews taking you through the journey of people on the move, their aspirations, experiences and decision-making.

Our Covid-19 dashboard holds 9 months of data on refugee and migrants’ experience of the Covid-19 crisis. Beginning April 2020, we conducted more than 20,000 interviews by phone, to find out exactly how the crisis has affected refugees’ and migrants’ lives and journeys without putting anyone at risk. 

Our 4Mi Returns dashboard showcases data on the experiences of refugees and migrants before, during, and after their return to Afghanistan. It features a total of 2,046 surveys collected from 1st March to 31st July 2021. MMC aims to start implementing the 4Mi Returns survey among returnees in other relevant countries and regions beyond Afghanistan; once data comes in, this will be added to the 4Mi Returns dashboard.

We invite you to explore the portal!

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

4Mi data collection in 2021

MMC has developed its methodology so that in 2021 4Mi will be able to function both remotely and face to face. We will return to our standard migrant survey and its eight key themes, retaining some key questions about the long-term impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on mixed migration.

4Mi’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic

MMC has responded to the Covid-19 crisis by changing the data it collects and the way it collects it. In March 2020, MMC revised its methodology, to be able to recruit and interview participants by phone instead of face-to-face. It developed a new survey, continuing to collect information on individual profiles and routes, but also capturing information on Covid-19 – awareness of the disease and access to health services, as well as the broader impact of the crisis.

In July, MMC launched version 2 of the Covid-19 survey. Developed in collaboration with numerous agencies and partners working on refugee and migrant response, the survey looks in-depth at the impact of the crisis on needs, protection issues, migrant smuggling, and the drivers of migration.

The timeline on the right shows how MMC adapted 4Mi to collect over 20,000 interviews with refugees and migrants in 17 countries. Click here for all MMC publications on Covid-19.

Why 4Mi?

4Mi places those on the move and what they say at the heart of our understanding of the mixed migration phenomenon.

Information collected directly from refugees and migrants on the move or who have recently arrived at a point of destination or returned home is critical to understanding the drivers of migration, the choices people are making in terms of their journeys and destinations, their intentions and aspirations, and especially the conditions under which they travel and their protection needs.

Where is 4Mi?

As of early 2021, more than 120 4Mi monitors are conducting interviews with refugees and migrants on key mixed migration routes in 6 regions: South and South-East Asia; East Africa, North Africa; West Africa, Latin America and Europe.

Who uses 4Mi?

4Mi fills information gaps around protection and vulnerabilities with a view to informing policy and humanitarian programmatic response as well as enhancing sector understanding and knowledge on migration dynamics.

The data gathered from the 4Mi network is increasingly becoming the foundation of MMC’s analysis and policy influencing work and is used in the reports and databases of other agencies. It provides an evidence base for both policy and operational responses within the migration, humanitarian, and development communities.