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 migrants on the move. It is a regular, standardized, quantitative and globalized system, with a network of more than 120 field enumerators who are conducting survey interviews with migrants on the move in around 15 countries at any one point in time.

In-depth survey interviews with migrants 

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 migrants who have recently arrived in a location or are still on the move. MMC has conducted more than 125,000 surveys since 4Mi 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, experiences and decision-making along the journey, interactions with smugglers, and 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 and topics of interest to them. Every quarter, we update the main dashboard with the latest round of 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 migrants’ experience of the Covid-19 crisis, and the 4Mi Returns dashboard showcases data on the experiences of 2,046 migrants before, during, and after their return to Afghanistan.

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, 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’ 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. We also develop ‘modules’ of questions on specific themes, including exploitation, livelihoods, children and youth, smuggling, destination intentions, conditions, and onward movement, which can be added 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.

Latest Publications Featuring 4Mi Data