Evaluation of Canada’s Membership in the International Organization for Migration

Evaluation Division
Research and Evaluation
March 10, 2015

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) conducted an evaluation of Canada’s membership in the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as part of the renewal its terms and conditions for membership. This evaluation was completed with the assistance of an external evaluation contractor.

Evaluation of Canada’s Membership in the International Organization for Migration

Table of contents

List of acronyms

AVRR
Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegration
CAD
Canadian dollar
CBSA
Canada Border Services Agency
CHF
Swiss franc
CIC
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
COA
Canadian Orientation Abroad
DFATD/DFAIT
Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
ESDC/HRSDC
Employment and Social Development Canada
EXCOM
Executive Committee of IOM (abolished)
GAIM
Global Assistance for Irregular Migration
GENEV
Canada’s Permanent Mission in Geneva
GFMD
Global Forum on Migration and Development
GMG
Global Migration Group
GoC
Government of Canada
FCC
Five Country Conference
FTE
Full time equivalent
IGC
Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum, and Refugees
IIR
Intergovernmental Relations (CIC Branch)
ILO
International Labour Organization
IMD
International Migration Dialogues
IMG
Interdepartmental Migration Group
IOM
International Organization for Migration
IPC
International Policy Coordination
IPM
Immigration Program Manager
IR
International Region (CIC Branch)
ISC
International Steering Committee
MCOF
Migration Crisis Operational Framework
MOU
Memoranda of Understanding
NHQ
National Headquarters (CIC)
PAA
Program Alignment Architecture
PICMME
Provisional Intergovernmental Committee for the Movement of Migrants from Europe
QA
Quality Assurance
RCM
Regional Conference on Migration
SCPF
Standing Committee on Programs and Finance
SO
Strategic Interest
UN
United Nations
UNDESA
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
USD
United States Dollar
ZNG
Zero Nominal Growth

Executive summary

Purpose of the Evaluation

Building on previous evaluations conducted in 2005 and 2011, this report presents the results of the evaluation of Canada’s membership in the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Covering a period of 2009–10 to 2013–14, the evaluation was conducted in fulfillment of the requirements under section 42.1 of Canada’s Financial Administration Act. The evaluation was guided by a logic model and examined Canada’s participation, contribution, and influence in the governance of the IOM, as well as the impact of this involvement on Canadian migration policies and programs. The effectiveness or efficiency of various IOM–delivered projects was not assessed as part of this study as they will be examined in evaluations of CIC programs which involve these specific services.

Membership Profile

The IOM is the leading intergovernmental institution in the field of global migration, with members representing almost every country in the world. As a full member of the IOM, Canada participates on the IOM governing bodies (the IOM Council and Standing Committee on Programs and Finance), as well as on various working groups and committees. CIC holds principle responsibility for managing and coordinating the Government of Canada’s relationship with the IOM;

The Immigration Counsellor assigned to the Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva (effectively the Immigration Program Manager), represents Canada on the governing bodies. Canada is the 7th largest contributor of membership fees (approximately CAD $1.9 million in 2014–15).1

The IOM is also an essential delivery agent for numerous Canadian migration–related programs, not only with CIC, but with other federal departments (most notably the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)), with some Canadian provinces, and with Canadian non–government organizations, such as sector councils, private corporations, and employer groups. A country is not obligated to be a Member State in order to pay for and receive IOM services, and the service relationship for each project is managed directly between the IOM and receiving organization. Canada is the 6th largest contributor of project–related fees to the IOM (approximately CAD $59.1 million in 2013).

Methodology

The evaluation was calibrated to align with the low materiality of IOM membership costs, the fact that recent evaluations have already been conducted, and that the nature of membership has not significantly changed over the evaluation time period. Therefore, the evaluation was limited to three lines of evidence: a document review; financial data review; and key informant interviews with CIC staff, IOM officials, staff in other implicated government departments, and representatives from other IOM Member States.

Evaluation Findings

Presented below, the evaluation findings are grouped into several themes: relevance, performance in achieving expected outcomes (identified in the logic model) and performance in effective resource utilization.

Relevance

Finding 1 – There is a continuing need to remain a member of the IOM given Canada’s prominent role as a key immigrant receiving country and user of IOM services; its tradition of multilateral engagement and international leadership; and given that the IOM is the primary international organization on migration, with membership from almost every country in the world.

Finding 2 – Canada’s membership in the IOM aligns with multiple, ongoing Government of Canada and CIC priorities.

Finding 3 – Constitutional authority concerning management of Canada’s membership in the IOM clearly falls within the federal role. The responsibility of Citizenship and Immigration Canada as the lead department is also appropriate given its immigration mandate.

Performance – Achievement of Expected Outcomes

Finding 4 – CIC has been successful in meeting 2011 Evaluation Recommendation #2; Canadian membership in the IOM has allowed Canada to actively monitor the strategic direction of the Organization so as to ensure that its mandate aligns with core migration issues and with CIC’s strategic interests.

Finding 5 – CIC has made strong efforts to address 2011 Evaluation Recommendation #3 through the establishment of informal networks within CIC and across the government, and by discussing IOM issues at the IMG and within the ISC. However, while collaboration on IOM membership within CIC has improved, engagement across federal departments remains challenging due to continuing organisational and contextual issues. New promising modes of engagement are currently under development.

Finding 6 – Membership in IOM governing bodies and working groups enhances CIC’s knowledge of global trends, priorities, and approaches to managed migration. However, the IOM’s decentralized structure and ongoing coordination issues between federal departments and with the IOM have limited the transfer of information as well as the Organization’s ability to conduct evidence–based results reporting across projects.

Finding 7 – The information and knowledge gained from Canada’s membership in the IOM has influenced and informed several policies and programs within CIC.

Finding 8 – Canada’s Membership in the IOM provides it with both formal and informal opportunities to influence IOM programs, policies, and strategic directions. Canada has an “influential voice” within the IOM and has had an impact on the IOM’s policy direction and decisions which align with Canadian and partner country strategic interests.

Performance – Resource Utilization

Finding 9 – Canada’s assessed contributions are growing but membership in the IOM produces added benefits and helps to facilitate Canada’s growing and varied service relationship with the Organization. While it is hard to quantify these benefits precisely in dollar terms, the amount paid in membership fees in relation to Canada’s overall contributions to the IOM is small and suggests continuing value–for–money.

Finding 10 – There is currently no other single organization or agency that has the same breadth of knowledge in global migration and delivery network as the IOM. Further, IOM’s extensive membership and operational focus contribute to a very comprehensive and holistic understanding of global issues that would be hard to replicate through any other existing agency.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Based on the evaluation evidence and findings presented in this report, the following conclusions and recommendations are put forward.

Recommendation 1 – Canada should continue its formal membership in the IOM.

Recommendation 2 – CIC should work with the IOM and other government departments to establish biennial, high level Canada–IOM bilateral meetings to improve coordination between federal departments, Canadian stakeholders and the IOM.

Recommendation 3 – CIC should actively monitor and report on IOM implementation of the 'budget strengthening plan' to ensure that increases to membership costs result in evidence–based reporting, policy guidance, higher quality research, and budgetary transparency.

Evaluation of Canada’s Membership in the International Organization for Migration – Management Response Action Plan

Recommendation #1: Canada should continue its formal membership in the IOM.

Response 1a:

CIC agrees with this finding.

Action 1a:

Briefing Note for the Minister will be developed and finalized. Accountability: International and Intergovernmental Relations (IIR) Branch. Completion date: Q4 2014/15.

Response 1b:

Based on the positive findings from the evaluation and benefits derived from membership, CIC will recommend to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration that the Terms and Conditions for the transfer payment (annual assessed contribution) to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) be renewed as per Treasury Board Transfer Payment Policy by March 31, 2016.

Action 1b:

Terms & conditions will be renewed. Completion date: Q4 2015/16

Recommendation #2: CIC should work with the IOM and other government departments to establish biennial, high level Canada–IOM bilateral meetings to improve coordination between federal departments, Canadian stakeholders and the IOM.

Response 2a:

CIC agrees with this finding.

Response 2b:

Building on the results of the evaluation, a Terms of Reference (ToR) for High Level Bilateral meetings have been negotiated with the IOM and have been finalized as of Q4 2014/15. They were consulted within CIC, with other relevant departments, and with the IOM.

Action 2b:

Hold first High Level Bilateral meeting. Accountability: International and Intergovernmental Relations (IIR). Completion date: Q3 2015/16.

Response 2c:

In addition to the ToR, CIC has drafted a proposed agenda for the first meeting (anticipated for Fall 2015) which includes the identification of priorities for collaboration and the development of a work plan as the main deliverables.

Action 2c:

Finalise priorities for collaboration with the IOM. Completion date: Q4 2015/16.

Response 2d:

Once priorities for collaboration have been agreed to by the Government of Canada (CIC lead, with DFATD, CBSA, ESDC) and the IOM, and dependent on reaching consensus, a work plan is to be developed.

Action 2d:

Develop a work plan to govern collaboration on priorities identified during the High Level Bilateral Meeting. Completion date: Q4 2015/16.

Recommendation #3: CIC should actively monitor and report on IOM implementation of the ‘budget strengthening plan’ to ensure that increases to membership costs result in evidence–based reporting, policy guidance, higher quality research, and budgetary transparency.

Response 3a:

CIC agrees with this finding. CIC, as a member of the IOM Council and Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance (SCPF), is monitoring and actively participating in the organization’s plan to strengthen its core budget (formerly the budgetary reform process). Oversight is focused on the organization’s ability to report on the results achieved, with particular emphasis on evidence–based reporting and policy guidance, higher quality research and budgetary transparency. This is carried out in consultation and concert with other member states whenever possible.

Action 3a:

Representatives from Canada’s Permanent Mission in Geneva will attend and advocate for CIC positions regarding the IOM budget at the 2015 budget reform briefing (March) and SCPF meetings (July and October) and will report back to IIR following these meetings. Accountability: International and Intergovernmental Relations (IIR) and Canada’s Permanent Mission in Geneva (GENEV). Completion date: Q3 2015/16.

Response 3b:

Separately, Canada’s Permanent Mission in Geneva (GENEV) will use these and similar opportunities to pursue Canada/CIC’s policy objective of encouraging the IOM to return to zero–nominal–growth as of 2017 (outcome dependant on other Member States). GENEV will update CIC on this issue semi–annually and as new developments unfold.

Action 3b:

Report to the CIC International Steering Committee on this issue semi–annually and/or as new developments unfold. Accountability: International and Intergovernmental Relations (IIR). Completion date: Q4 2015/16.

1. Introduction

1.1. Evaluation Purpose

Building on previous evaluations conducted in 2005 and 2011, this report presents the results of the 2014 evaluation of Canada's membership in the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which is administered and managed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) through an ongoing contribution arrangement

The evaluation was conducted in fulfillment of the requirements under section 42.1 of the Financial Administration Act, which mandates that all federal departments review the relevance and performance of grants and contributions programs once every five years. The evaluation covers the period from 2009–10 to 2013–14; the data collection was undertaken by CIC's Research and Evaluation Branch between October and December 2014.

The report is structured in four sections:

  • Section 1 presents an overview of the IOM and Canada's involvement with the IOM;
  • Section 2 outlines the methodology used for the evaluation;
  • Section 3 summarizes the evaluation findings; and
  • Section 4 presents the evaluation's overall conclusions and recommendations.

1.2. Overview of the IOM

Background

First established in 1951 as the Provisional Intergovernmental Committee for the Movement of Migrants from Europe (PICMME), the IOM began as an organization mandated to help identify, transport, and resettle nearly a million people who had been uprooted and displaced in Europe after the Second World War.

Since then, the IOM has undergone a series of name changes – from PICMME to the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration in 1952, the Intergovernmental Committee for Migration in 1980, and finally to the International Organization for Migration in 1989. These name changes reflect the expanding mandate of the Organization over time, from a situation–specific provider of logistical services, to the principle intergovernmental agency working with migrants, state governments, non–governmental organizations and civil societies to manage the process of migration and migration–related challenges, build the capacity of states to better manage migration, advance the understanding of migration issues and encourage social and economic development via migration.

Growth of the IOM:
  • Membership increased from 67 States in 1998 to 157 States in 2014, with a further 10 countries holding Observer status.
  • IOM Offices situated in more than 150 countries.
  • Field locations increased from 119 in 1998 to more than 480 in 2014.
  • Active projects increased from 686 in 1998 to more than 2,600 in 2014.
  • Operational staff increased from approximately 1,100 in 1998 to more than 8,400 in 2014.

This growth can be seen in all aspects of the IOM's delivery capacity, structure, and budget (see text box and Tables 1 to 3). The IOM has grown from 67 Member States in 1998 to 157 in 2014 and currently has more than 2,600 active projects worldwide.

The IOM uses a service–oriented business model, providing project–based services and policy advice to governments, migrants, and other migration stakeholders. IOM services span all aspects of migration, from arranging for the organized transfer of migrants, refugees, and displaced persons, to the recruitment, selection, medical examination, and processing of migrants, border management, humanitarian assistance, post–conflict reconstruction, counter–trafficking, and human smuggling prevention.2

As an intergovernmental institution, the IOM also acts as a forum for states and organizations, providing a venue for the exchange of views, best–practices and experiences. It promotes cooperation and coordination efforts on international migration issues, including undertaking studies that attempt to develop practical solutions to common migration challenges.

IOM Governance

The IOM operates under the guidance of its Member States and is directed by its Constitution, which is signed by all members and provides the mandate and operational framework for the Organization. In addition to various bilateral and multilateral informal consultations and working groups, Member States provide oversight to the IOM through two formal governance structures:3

  • The Council, on which each Member State has one representative and only one vote, is the highest authority and determines IOM policies.
  • The Standing Committee on Programs and Finance (SCPF) operates as a subcommittee of the Council and is open to all members. The SCPF meets twice a year to review policies, programs and activities; discuss administrative, financial and budgetary matters; and consider any matter specifically referred to it by the Council.

The Director General and Deputy Director General of the IOM are responsible for providing administrative leadership, as well as managing the Organization in accordance with the Constitution and the policies and decisions of the Council and SCPF. They are elected by the Council for renewable five–year terms.

IOM Budget

The tremendous growth in the breadth and scope of IOM's roles and services over the past 64 years has been mirrored in its yearly spending budget. Since 1998, total expenditures have increased from USD $242.2 million to roughly USD 1.3 billion in 2013.

Close to 96% of IOM funding is in the form of voluntary, paid–for services, also known as "voluntary contributions," which are charged to Member States and other nations and organizations to undertake specific projects carried out on their behalf and at their request. The remainder represents the administrative budget, which is funded from Member States' assessed contributions. Canada, along with all other Member States, is assessed an annual membership fee based on the UN Scale of Assessment.4 Assessed contributions are made in Swiss Francs (CHF).

Table 1 – IOM Expenditures
Members 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
# of Member StatesA 109 116 120 122 125 127 132 146 149 155
IOM Expenditures (USD million) 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Administration 29.9 30.0 30.1 32.0 34.8 36.0 37.3 44.3 43.2 41.8
Operations 607.9 922.0 703.2 751.8 978.2 991.3 1,322.1 1,265.4 1,187.4 1,190.8
Total 637.8 952.0 733.3 783.8 1013.0 1,027.3 1,359.4 1,309.7 1,230.6 1,232.6

Source: IOM Annual Financial Reports

1.3. Canada's Engagement with the IOM

History of Canada's Engagement

Canada, along with the United States and a number of European countries, was a founding member of PICMME in 1951, although Canada withdrew its membership in 1962, as the original mandate of the Organization had been successfully achieved. However, subsequent increases in Canada's immigration, refugee, and settlement activities and its growing service partnership with the IOM led to the decision to renew our membership in 1991 and Canada has been an active Member State since then.5

The IOM has become an essential delivery agent for numerous Canadian migration–related programs. For example, CIC uses IOM–designated panel physicians to conduct health examinations of migrants in many locations around the world. The IOM also operates some Visa Application Centres which receive applications and ensure that application fees have been paid and that the applications are complete and appropriate for assessment by officers. In terms of settlement services, the IOM delivers the Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) Program which helps approved applicants prepare for living in Canada prior to their arrival. The IOM helps transport refugees and other protected persons to Canada and provides care to those intercepted abroad as irregular migrants as part of CIC's Global Assistance for Irregular Migration (GAIM) Program.

Other Government of Canada (GoC) departments – most notably the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), also contract directly with the IOM to conduct a variety of projects related to migration. These include, for DFATD, responding to humanitarian crises, development programming, and capacity building initiatives to counter terrorism, organized crime, and human trafficking activities; and an Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegration (AVRR) pilot project with CBSA.

More recently, some Canadian provinces have begun to engage with the IOM to help assess the authenticity of migrant documents (i.e., personal identification, educational and financial credentials) as part of the Provincial Nominee Program. The IOM has also worked with non–government organizations such as Canadian sector councils, private corporations, and employer groups to help identify qualified migrant workers (see Annex B for a list of all Canadian–funded IOM projects in 2013).

CIC Roles and Responsibilities

As a full member of the IOM, Canada participates in the Council, EXCOM (prior to abolishment), and the SCPF, as well as various working groups and committees. CIC holds principle responsibility for managing and coordinating the Government of Canada's relationship with the IOM.

Canada's Immigration Counsellor assigned to the Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, who is a senior CIC official (effectively the Immigration Program Manager), represents Canada on the governing bodies of the IOM.6 The Immigration Counsellor and Canadian staff members in Geneva receive direction from CIC National Headquarters (NHQ) through the department's International and Intergovernmental Relations (IIR) Branch. IIR, in coordination with other implicated CIC branches, manages CIC's involvement with the IOM and, to the extent possible, provides a whole–of–government approach and perspective.

Given CIC's leading role in managing Canada's membership, other federal departments generally engage with the IOM on individual contracts, but do not have staff dedicated to managing their overall relationship with the IOM. Currently, there are no dedicated mechanisms to support provincial or non–government sector engagement with the IOM.

IOM's Engagement in Canada

There is no formal IOM representative office in Canada. However, the IOM has set up small field offices in Ottawa (for refugee resettlement and Canadian Orientation Abroad) and Toronto (for AVRR) to support specific projects. Formal responsibility for IOM's relationship in Canada is assigned to the head of IOM's Regional Office in San José, Costa Rica. The head of that office makes regular trips to Ottawa (coordinated through CIC but engaging the other federal departments that fund the IOM) and provides oversight to the field offices.

Canada's Contributions to the IOM

Every five years, CIC renews Canada's membership agreement with the IOM. Funding for Canada's annual contribution is authorized under the Treasury Board of Canada's Policy and Directive on Transfer Payments. The annual membership fees are applied to the IOM administrative budget. Canada's contribution to this budget in 2013 was approximately CAD $1.6 million (see Table 2), making Canada the 7th largest contributor of membership fees.7

Canada's assessed contributions have remained relatively stable over time. Much of this stability in administrative costs can be attributed to the IOM's long–standing policy of Zero Nominal Growth (ZNG)8 which meant there were no increases to the Organization's core administrative budget and assessed contributions. Table 2 illustrates that exchange rate factors over the past 5–year evaluation period have resulted in more significant fluctuations in the real cost of membership for Canada over this timeframe. As well, with a formal (though temporary) end to ZNG policy in 2013, the membership fees of all Member States, including Canada, is expected to increase by 4% each year over a three year period starting in 2014 and extending to 2016.

Table 2 – Canada's Total Contributions to the IOM 9
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Membership Fee (CHF) 1,233,289 1,251,350 1,369,284 1,368,930 1,368,911
% out of all Members 3.2% 3.2% 3.5% 3.5% 3.5%
CAD equivalency B $1,246,485 $1,332,062 $1,485,125 $1,487,616 $1,635,164
Total Voluntary Contributions (USD) C 29,957,502 24,743,085 35,074,782 35,488,021 55,588,485
% of all Members 3.6% 2.2% 3.8% 4.0% 6.0%
CAD equivalency $31,353,522 $24,609,472 $35,671,053 $35,307,032 $59,123,913

Voluntary contributions for project funding represented over 97% of Canada's total engagement with the IOM, amounting to roughly USD $55.6 million (approximately CAD $59.1 million) in 2013 – ranking Canada the 6th largest contributor of voluntary project funding (see Appendix B for a full list of Canadian funded projects in 2013). As shown in Table 3, DFATD is the largest Canadian donor, comprising close to half of Canada's total voluntary contributions.

Table 3 – Canada's Voluntary Contributions by Canadian Donor (USD million)
Donors 2011 % 2012 % 2013 %
DFATDD $16.6 47% $17.4 49% $27.4 49%
CICE $15.5 44% $13.7 38% $14.9 27%
OthersF $2.4 7% $4.4 13% $13 23%
Canada Ministry of Labour $0.6 2% $0 0% $0.2 0%
Grand Total $35.1 100% $35.5 100% $55.5 100%

Source: IOM Donor Relations Division, Donor Funding Analysis

2. Methodology

2.1. Evaluation Scope and Methodology

The evaluation focuses on Canada's membership in the IOM and is limited to examining Canada's participation, contribution, and influence in the governance of the IOM, as well as the implications on Canadian migration policies and programs as a result of its membership. Therefore, the effectiveness or efficiency of various IOM–delivered projects has not been assessed as part of this study as they will be examined in evaluations of CIC programs which involve these specific services.

A logic model presenting the activities and expected outcomes of IOM membership is provided in Annex A. To summarize, the immediate outcomes of membership are:

  • CIC gains knowledge and understanding of global migration; and
  • CIC influences IOM programs and policies.

These lead to the intermediate outcomes, which are that:

  • CIC policies and programs are informed by this knowledge; and
  • Canadian values and interests are reflected in the IOM's approach to global migration.

In accordance with the requirements of the Treasury Board Secretariat Directive on the Evaluation Function,10 the evaluation assessed the relevance and performance of Canada's membership in the IOM from 2009–10 to 2013–14. A complete list of the evaluation issues and questions is presented below in Table 4.

Table 4 – Evaluation Issues and Questions

TBS Core Issues/Relevance

Continued Need for the Program: (assessment of the extent to which the program continues to address a demonstrable need and is responsive to the needs of Canadians)

Question:

1. Is there an ongoing need to maintain Canada's membership in the IOM?

TBS Core Issues/Relevance

Alignment with CIC and Government of Canada Priorities: (assessment of the linkages between program objectives and (i) federal government priorities and (ii) departmental strategic outcomes)

Question:

2. Is membership in the IOM aligned with CIC and Federal Government priorities?

TBS Core Issues/Relevance

Alignment with Federal Roles and Responsibilities: (assessment of the role and responsibilities of the federal government in delivering the program)

Question:

3. Is the federal government role in the IOM appropriate?

TBS Core Issues/Performance

Achievement of Expected Outcomes: (assessment of progress toward expected outcomes (incl. immediate, intermediate and ultimate outcomes) with reference to performance targets, program reach, program design, including the linkage and contribution of outputs to outcomes)

Questions:
  1. To what extent have previous evaluation recommendations been addressed/ implemented?G Recommendation 2: Actively monitor the governance and strategic direction of the IOM, paying particular attention to mandate issues so that potential impact on core service can be highlighted and minimized. Recommendation 3: Ensure a sufficient level of coordination between government departments that use IOM services to maintain alignment of projects with Canada's position in relation to the IOM.
  2. To what extent does membership in the IOM enhance CIC's knowledge and understanding of global migration?
  3. To what extent has Canada influenced the decisions of the IOM governing bodies in ways that promote Canada's views and interests?
  4. To what extent does membership in the IOM inform CIC's policies and programs?
  5. What would be the impact of discontinuing membership in the IOM?
TBS Core Issues/Performance

Demonstration of Efficiency and Economy: (assessment of resource utilization in relation to the production of outputs and progress toward expected outcomes)

Questions:
  1. What are the relative costs and benefits to CIC from membership in the IOM?
  2. Could CIC derive similar benefits and outcomes by participating in alternative international fora?
The evaluation was calibrated to address the level of complexity and risk associated with Canada's membership in the IOM, taking into consideration:
  • The low relative materiality of IOM membership costs, valued at approximately CAD $1.7 million annually;
  • The fact that there have been two previous evaluations of CIC's IOM membership, conducted in 2005 and 201111, with generally positive results; and,
  • That the nature of membership (CIC's role, and Canada's level of involvement) has not changed significantly over the evaluation time period.

Given these factors, the evaluation approach was reduced in scope and relied on three lines of evidence:

Document Review – Relevant contextual IOM and internal Government of Canada program documents were reviewed. These documents included, but were not limited to: briefing notes, progress reports, and working group documents of the IOM; CIC financial, statistical, and annual reports; Government of Canada strategic documents; contribution agreements; departmental reviews; policy documents; operational profiles; meeting notes; official visit reports; and process and procedures documents.12

Key Informant Interviews – A total of 16 key informant interviews were conducted in person or via telephone with relevant CIC managers and program officers at NHQ and abroad (7 interviews), with IOM officials (3), with officials from DFATD and ESDC (3), and with other IOM Member States (Mexico, the United States and Australia). Discussion guides were developed for each of the three categories of key informants. Discussion guides are available in the Technical Appendix to this report.

Review of Financial Data – Financial data was collected from CIC Finance Branch, the yearly IOM budget and financial reports, and special donor reports produced by the IOM's Donor Relations Division.

2.2. Limitations and Mitigation

The evaluation relied on three sources of data, two of which were qualitative in nature, and a modest number of interviews. However, key informants interviewed included CIC officials, officials from other government departments, IOM representatives, and IOM member states, ensuring that a wide range of perspectives were represented in the study.

3. Evaluation Findings

3.1. Relevance

3.1.1. Continued Need for Membership in the IOM

Finding 1 – There is a continuing need to remain a member of the IOM given Canada's prominent role as a key immigrant receiving country and user of IOM services; its tradition of multilateral engagement and international leadership; and given that the IOM is the primary international organization on migration, with membership from almost every country in the world.

IOM as a key forum and leader in migration management

Both publically and internally available documents indicate that the IOM is viewed as the leading international organization working on global migration, whose members include all major immigrant–sending and receiving countries. The prominent position of the IOM makes it a credible, reliable, and influential body in migration affairs.

Canada's membership gives it a seat at the governing bodies of the IOM, including the Council and the SCPF, as well as provides channels for active participation in meetings and discussions, and opportunities to develop and maintain strong relationships with partner countries. Membership also grants Canada voting rights in the selection of the Director General and Deputy Director General, as well as the ratification of policy and operational decisions.

For instance, Canada has often made important contributions to policy debates, discussions, and responses in the face of natural and humanitarian catastrophes, such as those witnessed recently in Haiti, Syria, the Philippines and Iraq. Canada's participation on the Council, SCPF and the working groups on Budget Reform and IOM–UN Relations has influenced IOM decisions to: abandon a long–standing policy of Zero Nominal Growth of its administrative budget and introduce increases to the administrative budget as part of a budget strengthening plan to enhance the IOM's evidence–based reporting, budgetary transparency, policy guidance, and research; maintain the Organization's emphasis on core migration services;13 and promote the IOM's primacy among other international organisations in dealing with migration issues.

Interviewees commented that full participation in the IOM through membership is needed because without it, Canada would be left out of global migration discussions and decisions such as in key areas of strategic importance (e.g., refugee movement, settlement orientation, medical examination protocols and approaches to humanitarian aid).

Canadian immigration and use of IOM services

Canada's record of migration management is extensive and ongoing. On a yearly basis, Canada admits over 250,000 permanent residents, including roughly 24,000 refugees, 160,000 economic immigrants, and 65,000 members of the Family Class. In 2014, Canada also admitted roughly 200,000 Temporary Foreign Workers.14 These levels rank Canada among the top ten destination countries for migrants in the world.15 Canada is, therefore, among the few countries that treat migration as a major public policy matter, which is reflected in its active engagement and cooperation with other countries and with the IOM on migration issues.

Canada's involvement in migration issues and programs has propelled growth in its client–based relationship with the IOM. At the end of 2013, the IOM conducted 50 ongoing Canadian funded projects, amounting to roughly USD $55.6 million in voluntary contributions (6th out of all Member States) – compared to USD $35.5 million in 2012.16 Given this growth, and the importance of immigration issues to Canada, all interviewees stated unequivocally that Canada needed to continue to participate in the governance of the IOM through active membership.

IOM officials also recognized that Canada's assessed contributions and level of involvement add credibility to the Organization's work and help to strengthen its administrative capabilities. CIC's IOM representatives felt that without Canada's membership contributions, the IOM's small but nimble administrative structure would be weakened since the core administrative cost of the Organization is already very small.17 The withdrawal of Canada's assessed contributions could affect its ability to collect, synthesize and report on overall results and findings across projects. Therefore, it was suggested by interviewees that Canada needed to remain a member to support the continuing viability of the IOM, whose services are a matter of national interest.

Canada's tradition of multilateral engagement and international leadership

Interviewees noted Canada's strong history and recognized leadership in multi–lateral and diplomatic engagement over migration issues as a key reason to remain a member of the IOM. Interviewees representing other IOM Member States (Mexico, the United States and Australia) indicated that Canada has a strong reputation of being a world leader in migration management, with expertise on issues ranging from refugee affairs to temporary and permanent migration.

The growth of the IOM has also increased the diversity of members who hold different views and strategic interests. Interviewees noted that it is more important than ever for Canada and other like–minded countries (such as those within the Five Country Conference group and the European Union) to work together to pursue their collective goals. This makes it particularly important for Canada to continue to have a voice on the IOM's governing bodies and influence over its policy direction and decisions. All key informants who were asked the counterfactual – i.e., what would be the impact of Canada withdrawing from the IOM – viewed it as not being a viable option.

3.1.2. Alignment with Government of Canada (GoC) and CIC Priorities

Finding 2 – Canada's membership in the IOM aligns with multiple, ongoing Government of Canada and CIC priorities.

Alignment with GoC priorities

The GoC's current foreign policy and migration–related priorities have been well articulated in various documents such as in the Prime Minister's speech at the Davos World Economic Forum in 2012 and subsequently within the Federal Budget 2012 and Budget 2014. These priorities include the GoC's commitment to:

  • Leveraging the benefits of migration in contributing to the economic prosperity and labour market growth of Canada, with an emphasis on expanding and diversifying relationships with other countries;
  • Promoting democracy and a respect for human rights and contributing to effective international security and global governance;
  • Reducing global poverty, reuniting family members, and providing humanitarian assistance.18

Three key elements within the IOM Constitution, which Canada and all Member States have signed, align directly with these GoC priorities, above. The IOM constitution commits the IOM to:

  • Contributing to economic and social development of States through research, dialogue, design and implementation of migration–related programmes aimed at maximizing migration's benefits;
  • Enhancing the humane and orderly management of migration and respect for the human rights of migrants in accordance with international law; and
  • Providing secure, reliable, flexible and cost–effective services for persons who require international migration assistance including refugees and displaced persons.
Alignment with CIC Priorities

Membership in the IOM is aligned with Strategic Objective (SO) 4 of CIC's Program Alignment Architecture (PAA): Managed migration that promotes Canadian interests and protects the health, safety and security of Canadians; as well as PAA sub activity 4.3 – Canadian influence in international migration and integration agenda.

CIC's engagement on migration with international partners is also a key strategic action item identified in the department's International Strategy – Articulating a Forward Agenda 2011–2015, in which the department identified four key objectives: supporting Canada's international competitiveness; strengthening the identity management of migrants; fostering an integrated society; and advancing global migration management. All interviewees considered there to be strong and clear alignment between membership in the IOM and the stated objectives in CIC's International Strategy.

3.1.3. Appropriateness of Federal Roles and Responsibilities

Finding 3 – Constitutional authority concerning management of Canada's membership in the IOM clearly falls within the federal role. The responsibility of Citizenship and Immigration Canada as the lead department is also appropriate given its immigration mandate.

Constitutional authority over the responsibility for engagement in and management of Canada's official membership within international organisations (such as the IOM) rests with the Government of Canada.

CIC's mandate for migration comes from the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Interviewees from both CIC and other government departments point to these legislative documents as justification for CIC's role over management of Canada's membership in the IOM. In addition, interviewees noted several other reasons for CIC's management role, including:

  • Its expertise in immigration issues, which is relevant given the IOM's core mandate to promote humane and orderly migration for global benefit;
  • Its existing high–level engagement mechanisms within the department and with the IOM, which articulate roles and responsibilities, including the placement of dedicated and senior migration–focused CIC representatives in Geneva and dedicated resources to manage membership and collaboration across the Government; and
  • The lack or lesser degree of similar engagement mechanisms, subject–matter interest and knowledge, or priority–setting for the Canada–IOM relationship that currently exist in other federal departments holding service agreements.19

3.2. Performance – Achievement of Expected Outcomes

3.2.1. Addressing Previous Evaluation Issues

CIC's 2011 evaluation of Canada's Membership in the IOM identified concerns among key CIC informants over the continuing expansion in the mandate of the Organization and the impacts this could have on the nature of IOM projects, including their alignment with core migration issues. As well, it was identified that there was a lack of coordination among federal departments that use IOM services, which resulted in Canada undertaking certain projects with the IOM (like overseas election monitoring) that were felt to be only tangentially linked to its core migration function.

The 2011 evaluation20 concluded that weak coordination among Canadian partners and a lack of emphasis on central migration issues within Canada's project portfolio had the potential to undermine the country's principled stance for sustaining and safeguarding the IOM's core mandate.

The 2011 evaluation recommended that CIC should:

  1. Maintain its membership in the IOM;21
  2. Actively monitor the governance and strategic direction of the IOM, paying particular attention to mandate issues so that potential impacts on core services can be highlighted and minimized; and
  3. Establish a sufficient level of coordination between Canadian government departments using IOM services to ensure projects are aligned with Canada's official position on global migration.
In the Management Response Action Plan, CIC's IIR Branch agreed to all recommendations. CIC committed to renewing Canada's membership and continuing to monitor the IOM's strategic directions and governance arrangements through various formal and informal meetings in Geneva. CIC also noted the formation of an Interdepartmental Migration Group (IMG) which would act as a venue to engage various departments and agencies on the IOM and re–affirm the government's position on the IOM's mandate and strategic direction. As a way to further bolster internal coordination, IIR Branch also committed to use the department's ADM–chaired International Steering Committee (ISC) as a place to discuss IOM matters at a higher level (ADMs, DGs and Directors of Policy and Operations).
Maintaining IOM's Strategic Focus

Finding 4 – CIC has been successful in meeting 2011 Recommendation 2; Canadian membership in the IOM has allowed Canada to actively monitor the strategic direction of the Organization so as to ensure that its mandate aligns with core migration issues and with CIC's strategic interests.

When asked the extent to which CIC has addressed the first of these recommendations, CIC interviewees at NHQ and in Geneva expressed that Canada's representatives, under the direction of IIR Branch, have continued to monitor the IOM's strategic directions and governance arrangements through representation on the Council and SCPF, as well as in various working groups, informal discussions, and meetings in Geneva and Ottawa.

IOM meeting records, interviewees from other Member States, and IOM staff also referred to Canada's active participation on IOM governing bodies, meetings, workshops, consultative processes, and conferences. The representatives of other Member States noted that Canada, together with its like–minded partners in the Five Country Conference (FCC) and European Union, has had an influence on ensuring the core strategic direction of the IOM. Records show that this strategy of maintaining the IOM's strategic mandate was reaffirmed in Council in 2010 and then again in later Council meetings and during recent visits by IOM senior staff to Ottawa in 2012 and 2014.

Ensuring federal coordination and better engagement with the IOM

Finding 5 – CIC has made strong efforts to address 2011 Recommendation 3 through the establishment of informal networks within CIC and across the government, and by discussing IOM issues at the IMG and within the ISC. However, while collaboration on IOM membership within CIC has improved, engagement across federal departments remains challenging due to continuing organisational and contextual issues. New promising modes of engagement are currently under development.

CIC's International Steering Committee is a collaborative and horizontal forum for senior management from different implicated CIC Branches to better provide direction, advice, recommendations and decision–making on the department's international priorities. Following the previous evaluation, IIR Branch raised IOM issues at several meetings of the ISC, which interviewees considered to have contributed to better internal CIC coordination over membership in the IOM.

As a way to improve coordination across departments, CIC's IIR Branch also organized several meetings through a reinvigorated Interdepartmental Migration Group, with attendees from all relevant departments and agencies, including ESDC, CBSA, DFAIT and CIDA (now merged as DFATD). Beginning in January 2013, these quarterly working group meetings were intended to re–affirm a whole–of–government position on migration, including the IOM's mandate and strategic direction, and to ensure there was an up–to–date and comprehensive understanding of all the work the Government of Canada was doing, or could be doing, with the IOM.

However, after several IMG meetings in 2013, the working group ceased. Interviewees noted limited resources and competing priorities within CIC, which eventually ended the IMG meetings. As well, the level of interest and engagement from other departments waned – in part because the meetings were perceived to focus primarily on CIC needs. Engagement was also exacerbated by staff turnover in all participating departments and the investment of coordination responsibilities in only a limited number of individuals.

As a result, federal interviewees (from CIC and other federal departments) indicated that coordination of Canada's involvement with the IOM continues to be challenged by:

  • The increasing number of service relationships between Canada and the IOM, which has led to a greater number of different Canadian stakeholders across multiple jurisdictions, including non–government organizations. While CIC remains an effective lead on Government of Canada initiatives, it does not represent a whole–of–Canada perspective at the IOM.
  • The IOM is also entrepreneurial and decentralized, with no one department or point of contact to manage engagement with Canada in Geneva. The creation of such a contact point would help to coordinate and ensure coherence with Canada's Permanent Mission representatives.

In response to these challenges, CIC's IIR Branch and representatives in Geneva have recently begun efforts to re–establish former networks and develop new models of engagement. Beginning in 2015–2016, CIC plans to hold high–level biennial meetings (every two years) in Ottawa between the Deputy Ministers of departments involved in migration issues and the senior management of the IOM. The IOM is also hoping to meet with provinces during the same trip.

At the time of this evaluation, IIR Branch is in the process of drafting a Terms of Reference for the new biennial meetings, accompanied by a proposed agenda for the first meeting. CIC anticipates that these meetings will provide an opportunity to work with contacts across the Government to coordinate on the IOM file and will help to establish regularized contact with the IOM where Canada speaks with one voice.

Beyond this, CIC is exploring the possibility of sending working–level interdepartmental representatives to Geneva for similar discussions in the intervening years between biennial meetings, on the margins of other international forums. CIC interviewees also noted that efforts are underway to establish and maintain updated lists of contacts at other government departments in order to facilitate ongoing communication and opportunities to work more closely in the future.

3.2.2. Enhancement of CIC Knowledge

Finding 6 – Membership in IOM governing bodies and working groups enhances CIC's knowledge of global trends, priorities, and approaches to managed migration. However, the IOM's decentralized structure and ongoing coordination issues between federal departments and with the IOM have limited the transfer of information as well as the Organization's ability to conduct evidence–based results reporting across projects.

Knowledge Transfer

When asked about the impact of Canada's participation on IOM governing bodies, interviewees felt strongly that Canada's continuing membership is effective in providing CIC with knowledge of global priorities and conditions related to global migration (including the views of developing nations) and what other countries are doing with respect to Canadian migration concerns and trends. Interviewees added that this level of in–depth knowledge would be difficult, if not impossible, to gain without membership in the IOM.

Documents further demonstrate that Canada's representatives in Geneva (the Immigration Counsellor and staff in Geneva) act as one of the main conduits for the transfer of information back to CIC and other government departments. The Immigration Counsellor regularly sends IOM reports, provides contextual descriptions of events and trends, presents IOM findings, and conducts ad hoc communications with various federal stakeholders regarding best–practices.

Many key informants spoke about the valuable knowledge gained through the IOM's reporting of project results. Examples included regular reporting on projects such as the AVRR program, health management, and Canadian Orientation Abroad. While these project reports are not tied to membership specifically, interviewees supported the idea that membership both facilitates the transfer of these reports (by creating an avenue for Canadian representation and information exchange) and allows CIC free web access to the IOM's other thematic research products, which could inform the implementation of Canada's own migration–related services. For example, an internal information brief from June 2012 by CIC's IIR Branch cited recent improvements to IOM's World Migration Report, which has become higher in quality and more topical to Canada as a result of the IOM's efforts in expanding its policy support and development capacity.

Ongoing Challenges

Review of documents and interviewees pointed to several barriers which affect the IOM's capacity to provide relevant information and knowledge to Canada and influence policies and programs:

  • The project–based nature of reports and research makes it difficult for the IOM to aggregate results against its full range of strategic goals, making some research and reporting less relevant for Canada.
  • Limited funding to conduct evidence–based results reporting above the field level.
  • A lack of a interdepartmental coordination in Ottawa, as well as a lack of IOM representation in Canada and a single point of contact at the IOM in Geneva to deal with Canada.
On these fronts interviewees and internal planning documents noted several recent developments which may yield improvements:
  • IOM management and the Working Group on Budgetary Reform have worked over the past several years to update the IOM's cost and organizational structures to improve financial and operational capacity in delivering higher–level reporting against IOM strategies and global objectives. This has involved support from governing bodies to increase assessed contributions so as to enhance the Organization's capacity to centralize and bolster evaluation and evidence–based results reporting.
  • Current plans and discussions to hold biennial meetings with senior IOM representatives in Ottawa beginning in 2015 are expected to provide a single point of contact to support better coordination and information exchange.

3.2.3. Influence on CIC Policies and Programs

Finding 7 – The information and knowledge gained from Canada's membership in the IOM has influenced and informed several policies and programs within CIC.

When asked to comment on the extent to which Canada's membership in the IOM influences specific CIC policies and programs, interviewees noted that the contextual knowledge Canada gains from the IOM's project reporting and participation in key IOM bodies allows Canada to make informed decisions on such things as its national strategy regarding asylum and refugees; admission control and enforcement; and immigration and integration.

Documentary evidence supports these comments. For example, CIC has adopted and used specific tools developed by the IOM like the Migration Crisis Operational Framework, which became a foundational document at CIC and DFATD, used to develop Canada's approach to managing the migratory implications resulting from international humanitarian crises like those recently witnessed in Haiti, Iraq, and Syria.

Other recent work conducted by CIC Evaluation Division on the Canadian Orientation Abroad Program and the Health Screening and Notification Program has also revealed that membership and engagement with the IOM has informed CIC's medical screening procedures and processes, and information packages for permanent residents.

3.2.4. Impact of Canadian Membership on the IOM

Finding 8 – Canada's Membership in the IOM provides it with both formal and informal opportunities to influence IOM programs, policies, and strategic directions. Canada has an "influential voice" within the IOM and has had an impact on the IOM's policy direction and decisions which align with Canadian and partner country strategic interests.

Canada's influence is recognized by other countries. Interviewees from the IOM and other member states expressed that Canada is seen as a world leader with a long history of managed migration and results–based management. Beyond this, interviewees from the IOM referred to a number of factors that make Canada a very credible and influential member, such as the fact that Canada's representative to the IOM is an immigration official (unique among most Member States whose representatives are generally foreign affairs staff members) and that the country is one of the top contributors and service users.

Formally, Canada's membership gives it a seat and voting rights at governance bodies and working groups of the IOM. Both interviewees and documents have illustrated Canada's active participation in discussions and influence over specific strategic decisions of the IOM in directions that Canada supports. This alignment between Canadian interests (and those of like–minded countries) and the IOM's evolution, is not merely a coincidence, but also demonstrates the continuing value of Canada's engagement as a member. These examples include:

The IOM's commitment to its core migration mandate as a guiding operational policy, which supports Canada's view that mandate creep could result in the undermining of the Organisation's leading role on migration.

  • The IOM's long–standing administrative budget freeze through an official policy of Zero Nominal Growth, which was supported by Canada and led to increased value–for–money and operational efficiency.22
  • The IOM's implementation and exploration of transparency measures throughout the Budgetary Reform process, which has come about as a result of Canadian and other member states' recommendations and calls for a risk assessment on the impacts of ending ZNG policy.

3.3. Performance – Resource Utilization

3.3.1. Costs to CIC

Finding 9 – Canada's assessed contributions are growing but membership in the IOM produces added benefits and helps to facilitate Canada's growing and varied service relationship with the Organization. While it is hard to quantify these benefits precisely in dollar terms, the amount paid in membership fees in relation to Canada's overall contributions to the IOM is small and suggests continuing value–for–money.

Table 5 shows the amount of membership fees (assessed contributions) the department spends. While, these figures are relatively stable from year to year, there is a notable increase in the amount charged after FY 2012–13. FY 2014–15 represents a 41% increase over the cost in FY 2008–2009. This increase in membership fees can be attributed to two primary factors: an end to ZNG policy in 2013 resulting in 4% yearly increases in assessed contributions beginning in FY2013–2014, and the weakening position of the Canadian dollar relative to the Swiss franc over this time.

Looking forward, CIC may expect to spend more on yearly assessed contributions, especially in light of a weakening Canadian dollar and recent decisions by the Swiss National Bank (as of January 15, 2015) to abandon its long standing policy of maintaining a 1.20–franc–per–euro cap.

While it is difficult to predict the full impact of this decision on future foreign exchange markets, the Swiss move has already resulted in a dramatic 20% rise of the Swiss franc against the Canadian dollar at the time of this report. In this new exchange rate reality, CIC's annually assessed contribution for 2016 is anticipated to be over CAD $2 million.

Table 5 – IOM Expenditures by CIC for Membership (CAD)
2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15
$1,344,162 $1,201,171 $1,439,528 $1,495,871 $1,488,745 $1,721,009 $1,899,012H

Table 6 – Top 10 Contributors in Membership Fees in 2013 (CHF)
Member State (CHF)
United States of America 9,390,507
Japan 5,348,308
Germany 3,422,495
United Kingdom 2,818,906
France 2,613,599
Italy 2,133,839
Canada 1,368,911
Spain 1,356,106
Mexico 1,005,654
Republic of Korea 96,4679
Total – Top 10 Member States 30,423,004
Total – All Members States 39,404,908

Source: IOM Financial Report (PDF, 2.3 MB) for the year ended 31 December 2013. See:

Internal CIC NHQ costs to manage Canada's membership in the IOM are small, requiring roughly one full time equivalent (FTE) staff member within the IIR Branch (85% of the time of one officer, plus management oversight). Some ad hoc time and travel may also be required for other NHQ staff to participate in IOM events. As well, two Geneva–based CIC staff members (i.e., the Immigration Program Manager, who is the official Canadian representative, and a CIC officer) spend up to one–third of their total work time on activities related to Canada's membership in the IOM. Participation from Canada's Ambassador in Geneva may also be required from time to time at some IOM meetings and events.

Costs versus benefits

Overall, it is difficult to quantify the benefits of membership described earlier in this report in an exact dollar figure given the participatory nature of that engagement. It is equally difficult to compare the value obtained from membership to its costs, given that assessed contributions are fixed (non–negotiable) and are calculated through a UN formula to maintain fairness between countries of various means. This system results in some countries paying less, or more, in absolute costs than Canada, but receiving the same benefits through membership. (Table 6 provides a list of the ten countries with the highest annual membership fees in 2013).

Despite these limitations, all CIC and other departmental interviewees who were asked felt that it is reasonable to conclude that Canada continues to receive good value for money from membership, chiefly because membership allows Canada to influence the strategic priorities and direction of the IOM; it provides valuable knowledge and information on migration issues; and adds consistency and stability to Canada's service–oriented relationship with the IOM, which is large and significant.

3.3.2. Alternatives

Finding 10 – There is currently no other single organization or agency that has the same breadth of knowledge in global migration and delivery network as the IOM. Further, IOM's extensive membership and operational focus contribute to a very comprehensive and holistic understanding of global issues that would be hard to replicate through any other existing agency.

This evaluation sought to determine whether there are alternative organizations in which Canada could become a member and retain a level of benefits similar to those that they gain from the IOM.23 In general, the evaluation found no comparable alternatives to the IOM; it continues to be the only international organization solely dedicated to migration, with broad operational reach, membership, and organizational characteristics that make it an effective international forum for migration policy coordination.

For example, CIC interviewees noted a number of UN agencies, such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN–DESA), which have sought an increased mandate in global migration management within the UN structure. However, interviewees felt that not only do these agencies lack the present migration knowledge, experience, and flexibility of the IOM, they are also guided by a norms–based approach. Interviewees described how under a UN arrangement, emphasis would be placed on the ratification of conventions and other legally binding frameworks, which would limit the freedom of nations to make decisions on managing their own borders. These interviewees also cautioned that a UN arrangement would be less flexible and nimble than the less bureaucratic IOM, and would manage migration in a less practical and action–oriented way, which would make negotiations and coordination across partners more challenging and time–consuming.

A number of other groups exist to support global cooperation on migration matters. Under CIC's Migration Policy Development Program (MPDP), Canada provides funding and participates in organizations that are active in areas of international migration policy development and research. Some of these international organizations include the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC),24 the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM),25 and the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).26 Interviewees noted these forums exist as platforms for discussion and information–sharing. Their continuing existence is based strictly on membership, whereas the IOM is a functional organization, with operational capacity and policy roles and an ability to take action on migration situations like humanitarian crises and the transportation of refugees. The IOM is also a participating member in these other international forums on migration.

Ultimately, key informants felt that Canada's membership in other migration organisations complemented the Government of Canada and CIC's international migration strategy, but were not viable replacements to our membership in the IOM.

4. Conclusions and Recommendations

In the past decade, the International Organization for Migration has undergone rapid and tremendous growth which has raised the Organization's presence and level of influence in global migration. The IOM is an established leader at the forefront of international migration management.

Given Canada's long history of managed migration and the importance of effective immigration policies and programs to the country's social and economic well–being, Canada has an interest in being a member of the IOM, with which it also holds a significant service relationship.

Sustaining Canada's membership in the IOM is important because it helps to maintain Canada's international reputation of multilateral engagement and its influence over global migration management. Membership increases CIC's knowledge of global trends, stakeholder priorities, and approaches to migration management. These goals align with the expressed international priorities and federal responsibilities of the Government of Canada and CIC.

Moreover, Canada's membership is considered by interviewees to provide good value–for–money and there are currently no alternative organizations that can provide the same level of service, expertise, and network. Therefore, the direct impact of discontinuing membership would be a weakening of the many benefits Canada gains from the IOM and would undermine Canada's position as a respected leader on migration issues. Based on these findings, the evaluation recommends that:

Recommendation 1 – Canada should continue its formal membership in the IOM.

The increasing diversity of service clients and spectrum of Canada's voluntary contributions has made Canada's engagement with the IOM and collaboration on a whole–of–government approach more challenging. While initially promising, measures introduced since the previous evaluation to strengthen interdepartmental coordination suffered from limited resources and capacity, waning interest and engagement, and human resource issues.

CIC has planned new measures to enhance the communication and coordination across federal departments and with IOM senior managers through biennial meetings in Ottawa. With the added involvement of IOM officials and a higher level of departmental representation, it is expected that these new meetings will strengthen Canada's strategic alignment regarding funded services and extend the impact of our relationship with the IOM to other government departments and jurisdictions. CIC is also planning additional stakeholder meetings in Geneva and seeking opportunities for more active ad hoc networking between departments, facilitated by updated contact lists. Given that these activities are still in the planning stages, the evaluation recommends that:

Recommendation 2 – CIC should work with the IOM and other government departments to establish biennial, high level Canada–IOM bilateral meetings to improve coordination between federal departments, Canadian stakeholders and the IOM.

The expansion and diversity of IOM services in the field has raised several organizational, administrative, and budgetary concerns, including the potential for a weakening of the IOM's emphasis on its core migration mandate, an ever–evolving relationship with other agencies that seek to increase their roles in migration management, and added strain on the IOM's central administrative capacity to report on results across projects and field offices.

Canada supported the recent Council decision to end the IOM's Zero Nominal Growth policy and allow for annual increases to the cost of membership, in recognition of the need for the IOM to have stronger oversight, accountability and policy capacity. As part of this budget strengthening plan, CIC has also supported the use of increased administrative funding to help improve evidence–based reporting, research, and further transparency in how administrative funding is used. Consequently, it will be important for Canada and other Member States to monitor and assess whether the budgetary increases as a result of the end to ZNG will achieve their intended outcomes. The evaluation recommends that:

Recommendation 3 – CIC should actively monitor and report on IOM implementation of the 'budget strengthening plan' to ensure that increases to membership costs result in evidence–based reporting, policy guidance, higher quality research, and budgetary transparency.

Appendix A – Logic Model

Annexe A described below

Text version: Appendix A – Logic Model

Appendix A illustrates the logic model for Canada’s membership in the International Organization for Migration, which serves as a visual representation of the activities, outputs and intended outcomes of membership.

The logic model is divided in two components, one related to participation in the IOM, and one related to membership coordination.

The Participation (in the IOM) component relates to the following activities: participation in IOM governance bodies/meetings/workshops/conferences on migration issues; participation in IOM consultative processes; and liaison with IOM officials, and officials of other Member States.

The Membership Coordination component relates activities involving: CIC’s engagement with other federal departments (DFATD, CBSA, etc.) to coordinate Canada’s involvement with the IOM; briefing CIC senior management; and managing membership agreements.

These main activities lead to several outputs, including: meeting agendas, minutes, motions, and decisions; consultation documents; informal feedback/recommendations/agreements; and position papers, briefings, and presentations.

These activities and outputs lead to immediate intended outcomes of gaining knowledge and understanding of global migration conditions, trends and practices, as well as giving Canada influence over IOM programs, policies, and strategic directions. These outcomes further lead to intermediate outcomes:

  • CIC’s policies and programs are informed with respect to global migration conditions, trends and practices.
  • Canadian values and interests are reflected in IOM’s management of global migration.

Together, these intermediate outcomes contribute a final outcome: Canada’s position on managed migration, integration, and international protection is advanced in international forums. This outcome falls under Strategic Outcome 4 of CIC’s Program Alignment Architecture – managed migration that promotes Canadian interests and protects the health, safety, and security of Canadians.

Appendix B: Total Voluntary Contributions (2013)

Total Voluntary Contributions (2013)
CANADA – 2013 (USD)
Canadian resettlement programme $13,155,214
Assisted voluntary return and reintegration pilot programme – Canada $10,997,388
Resettling Haitian families $9,442,871
Syria crisis – IOM regional response $3,873,146
Canadian orientation abroad $1,927,344
Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan action plan $1,888,574
Emergency shelter and non–food item assistance for families affected by the 2012 floods – Pakistan $1,479,290
Reconstruction of police commissariats for the endangered population of earthquake–affected areas – Haiti $1,384,896
Assistance to address irregular migration and smuggling in West Africa: AVRR – Ghana $1,191,586
2013 support for humanitarian response and assistance for affected populations – Haiti $1,179,941
Emergency humanitarian assistance for Sudanese refugees in the upper Nile state – South Sudan $986,193
Preparedness response capacity and emergency assistance for mobile and vulnerable residents – Zimbabwe $983,284
Emergency shelter support for typhoon Bopha–affected communities – Philippines $704,935
Capacity–building in border management programme for Guinea $630,388
Tracking of internally displaced persons in South Kordofan, Abyei, Blue and White Nile states – Sudan $478,011
Capacity–building to address security threats at Juba international airport – South Sudan $439,852
Front–line officer awareness training on proactive and preventive policing: FLOAT–3P – Indonesia $403,421
Iraqi refugees resettlement processing to Canada – Syrian Arab Republic $396,232
Document examination support centre – phase II – Bangkok $380,721
Prevention of people smuggling through and from Myanmar by enhanced migration and border management $360,273
Enhancing capacities of law enforcement agencies in Malaysia to combat smuggling and trafficking $343,184
Strengthening the border management and intelligence capacity of the Thai government – phase II $326,193
Police perimeter wall construction to reduce risk of displacement due to earthquake damage – Haiti $285,848
Building comprehensive capacity to combat migrant smuggling in Viet Nam – phase II $196,679
Mozambique flood response and recovery 2013 $194,742
Research and policy dialogue initiative on migration and remittances in Ukraine $194,742
Strengthening border security to prevent migrant smuggling and related crimes in Cambodia $192,564
Strengthening immigration management systems to combat terrorism and irregular migration – Bangladesh $192,319
Strengthening the border management capacity of Lao officials to combat migrant smuggling $185,005
Improving labour migration administration in Central America and the Dominican Republic (ILMA–CA–DR) – phase II $183,379
Regional coordination and capacity–building for border security in Central America – El Salvador $181,357
Rehabilitation and renovation of an administrative building and other essential works – Haiti $155,169
Support to two Guinean border posts by personal identification and registration system installation and training – Guinea $151,056
Establishment of the technical support unit of the regional conference on migration $118,263
Police commissariat containers for use by the Haitian national police $101,298
Addressing displacement through reparations and restitution – Colombia $97,117
Document verification service in China for Manitoba province – Canada $65,226
Canadian immigration medical examination and pre–departure screening of Bhutanese in Nepal (CIMEP) $48,035
Assisted voluntary return and reintegration for potential migrants from West Africa to their country of origin $41,231
Roll–out of the e–Medical system for Canadian immigration medical examinations – Switzerland $21,035
The modernization of a legal counter–trafficking framework to strengthen enforcement in El Salvador $17,349
Return of highly vulnerable migrants to Central America and Mexico $15,000
Administrative and logistical support services in Kyiv $12,850
Conducting and transmitting resettlement needs surveys for Bhutanese refugees in Nepal $12,111
Pre–consular support services for Alberta province – Canada (CSSA) $11,663
Strengthening organic coffee production in five indigenous communities of the Darien – Panama $9,785
Preventing corruption by building capacities of prosecutors in trafficking and migrant smuggling – Peru $8,143
Document verification services in China for the Manitoba province of Canada $1,022
Improving labour migration administration in Central America and the Dominican Republic (ILMA–CA–DR) – for refund ($5,036)
Reinforce capacity of military and justice systems and protect the population from violence – Democratic Republic of the Congo – for refund ($52,402)
Total $55,588,485

Source: IOM Financial Report for the year ended 31 December 2013

Date Modified: