Get involved! Reviewing publications for the iom migration health evidence portal for covid-19

The IOM Migration Health Division (MHD) Research and Epidemiology Unit is currently updating the Bibliometric Analysis of COVID-19 in the Context of Migration Health full paper and repository, harnessing relevant research publications on COVID-19 in relation to migrants, migration, and human mobility. See Migration Health Evidence Portal for COVID-19, for reference.

To efficiently do this, we are seeking the help of interested MHADRI members, specifically in screening and tagging relevant publications in which MHADRI members can participate as reviewers. The MHD Research and Epidemiology Unit will then organize and deliver a quick training for the reviewers to guide them on the step-by-step process. Rest assured too that we will acknowledge your work in the paper.

Those interested may contact the MHD Research and Epidemiology Unit at Deadline for submission: 5th Feb 2021.

Harnessing Partnerships to Better Map Research Evidence on Migration Health

 Originally posted on:


What do we know about the landscape of migration health research? Who is doing the research? What are they researching on? Which migrant categories are included? What are the health related themes? How can we better understand the research and evidence gap in migration and health? What collaborations are taking place, and can we map who funds this research?

These are some of the questions that a group of scholars, policy makers and International Organization for Migration (IOM) staff investigated at a workshop on bibliometrics analysis of migration health research held in November 2019 at IOM’s Global Administrative Centre in Manila, Philippines.

The workshop was the first of this kind, harnessing research collaboration not only within IOM but also with the government agencies, clinicians and research institutions, mainly from South and Southeast Asia.

“Bibliometric analysis is a useful research method as it lets you look at the patterns of research activities such as publications. In any global health field, it is extremely helpful to know where the work is being done, who is doing it, where the collaborations are happening, and what topics are being explored,” said Dr. Margaret Sampson, an international expert on bibliometric analysis who facilitated the workshop.

Jointly organized by IOM, together with the Migration Health and Development Research Initiative (MHADRI) and the Migration & Health South Asia Network, the workshop served as a platform to develop research capacity, with particular focus on researchers in the Global South, in undertaking bibliometric analysis to identify the gaps in research output on migration health.   

BackgroundIn 2018, IOM and MHADRI undertook the first-ever bibliometric analysis of global migration health research in peer-reviewed literature focusing on international migrants. The study revealed major gaps in research productivity especially in the Global South as most literature is from high-income migrant destination countries, despite the significant migration flows within the countries in Asia, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, and Eastern Europe. For example, according to the study, only 6.2 per cent of the total published research output on the health of migrants focused on migrant workers, despite 60 per cent of international migrants represented within this category. Supporting the networking, capacity development of researchers, especially those from developing nations, to undertake migration health-related research was highlighted. The importance of undertaking more in-depth mapping of migration health research output for both international and internal migrants in low to middle income countries were also highlighted in the research by IOM and MHADRI.
Geographical distribution of retrieved documents in global migration health (2000–2016). Areas with no color in the map represent regions with no data available or no research output in the field of global migration health. To read the full paper: Bibliometric analysis of global migration health research in peer-reviewed literature (2000–2016)

The Manila Consensus Group forged at the workshop aimed at further refining and testing the search strategies for bibliometrics research and provide analytical rigour to apply these methods for migration health research.

The group committed to developing methodological guidelines in undertaking bibliometric analysis as well as to work on providing a standardized approach to undertaking bibliometric analysis relevant to research on international and internal migration dynamics.

The group committed to publishing these outputs in open source platforms supported by IOM so as to make this publicly available so that researchers, policy makers and UN agencies can utilize to undertake tailored analytics.

“It boils down to how you frame your question, the right key words, and the right way to search – maybe we are making it too wide or too tight – maybe we are not getting the right information. So, the tools and strategies presented were really helpful,” said one of the workshop participants, Dr. Roomi Aziz, Technical Lead Health Data and Communication, Pathways to Impact in Pakistan

The Manila Consensus group will delve into questions focusing on the research productivity relating to migration and health in Philippines, internal migration and health related research in South Asia as well as the research productivity relating to health assessments of migrants and refugees at pre- and post-migration phases and health outcomes in areas ranging from Infectious disease, communicable disease and occupational health.

“The workshop provided an excellent opportunity to build research capacity among Global South scholars, to enable them to go back and take deep dives to understand the research productivity in the field of migration health in their local areas and use that as evidence to move the field forward,” said Associate Professor Charles Hui, Chairperson of MHADRI network and Chief of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario, Ottawa.

In addition to harnessing the synergies created through this initiative, IOM seeks to work with member states, partner organizations and research networks to replicate such mapping and collaboration in other regions.


2019     The BMJ Migration health series
2018     Sweileh WM, Wickramage K, Pottie K, Hui C, Roberts B, Sawalha AF, and Zyoud SH 
             Bibliometric analysis of global migration health research in peer-reviewed literature (2000–2016). BMC Public Health, 2018, 18:777
2018     The UCL–Lancet Commission on Migration and Health: the health of a world on the move

[Call for applicants] IOM Internship: Migration Health Division

Within the Department of Migration Management (DMM), the Migration Health Division (MHD) has the institutional responsibility to oversee, support and coordinate the Organization’s provision of migration health services globally. The Division provides technical guidance and policy advice, establishes partnerships with relevant governmental, multilateral, civil society and private entities in the domain of migration health, and identifies strategies and programmatic approaches that are informed by agreed policies, evidence, standards and trends in the sector.

The successful candidate will support day-to-day strategic activities and liaison to strengthen the Division’s ability to bridge the needs of migrants and IOM Member States through evidence-based policy activities, and thus to ensure the delivery of equitable, rights-based and accessible migration health programmes and initiatives for its beneficiaries. He/she will be support the Senior Migration Health Policy Advisor in liaising with relevant Divisions/Units in HQ on policy related matters.

More information here

• Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted, and additional enquiries will only be addressed if the candidate is shortlisted.

• Depending on experience and location, IOM provides a monthly stipend to help offset costs. Travel costs will be covered.

• Please consider the cost of living in the Duty Station prior to applying.

• Applications must be submitted by 04 April 2019

[re-post] #DecolonizeGlobalHealth: Rewriting the narrative of global health


#DecolonizeGlobalHealth: Rewriting the narrative of global health

Re-posted from

February 11, 2019

Published online:

A Filipino physician and 2014 Emerging Voice for Global Health, Renzo Guinto (@RenzoGuinto) is a Doctor of Public Health candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The history of the field of global health is always traced back to tropical medicine, an earlier discipline started by former Western empires. Generally, the focus of tropical medicine was the study of infectious diseases prevalent in colonies in the tropics. The purpose was to find measures to protect the colonizers from acquiring these diseases and bringing them back to their home countries. Today, while almost all colonies have already been emancipated and the study of such diseases has evolved into ‘international health’ and later ‘global health,’ tropical medicine remains embedded in some academic institutions in the Global North (ex. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Institute of Tropical Medicine-Antwerp) and the term is still widely used in former colonies (ex. The University of the Philippines College of Public Health is a SEAMEO-‘TropMed’ Collaborating Center).

Nevertheless, while global health’s mission has already expanded from protecting colonizers from disease to improving health equity worldwide, it can be argued that there are still some signs of colonialism lingering in the field. Old colonial powers still very much control the restricted space of global health policy and decision-making – though the rise of China’s Silk and Belt Road and the backlash against globalization as shown by Brexit and Trumpism may also be initial signs of (global health) crumbling empires. Recent decades have seen the birth of neocolonizers – from non-state actors without legitimacy to emerging economies demanding a seat at the table – that rather than offer a new narrative, end up helping perpetuate the status quo. Meanwhile, dissidents and emerging voices from the Global South still largely assume token positions in global health discussions instead of playing meaningful roles in global health operations – though I would be remiss to ignore programs such as the Emerging Voices for Global Health from which I greatly benefited and that are attempting to, borrowing this blog’s tagline, switch the poles in international health policy.

The past months have seen a surge of interest in the idea to decolonize global health. Late last year, I started a hashtag #DecolonizeGlobalHealth on Twitter which generated some initial feedback and suggestions, especially from fellow young Global South voices. Some even reiterated that the growing movement towards advancing women leadership in global health is deeply intertwined with progress in global health decolonization. Last week, my fellow students at Harvard organized a conference on the decolonization of global health, whose slots were not just immediately filled but which was also widely anticipated in livestream worldwide. (I missed the conference because I’m currently based in the Philippines finishing my doctoral thesis. As part of my decolonization project, it was my intentional choice to focus on a community-based action project in my home country rather than write a global health policy paper for an international organization.) In the past weeks, I was approached by some colleagues asking what can be done to move this conversation from Twitter to the real world.

But what do we really mean by #DecolonizeGlobalHealth? In order to prevent this new concept to end up becoming a buzzword that will later fade away, it is vital that the global health community of scholars and practitioners unpack, examine, and reflect upon this idea. From my view, there are at least three areas of inquiry where researchers and policy-makers can ask questions, debate ideas, and find answers.

1) The analysis of global health. All global health action emanates from a certain understanding of the world. There are values, assumptions and premises on which decisions and relational arrangements are based, and frameworks for analysis define the boundaries and dictate who is included and who is not. Just a few years ago, developing countries were still generally seen as mere recipients of charity and generosity, bereft of good ideas and innovation, and possessing limited potential for leadership. Along the same lines, ‘capacity-building’ of poor countries was (is?) a ‘white man’s burden’ of the ‘developed world’. Today, arguably, new narratives are evolving, moving away from the traditional donor-recipient relationship towards country ownership and partnership – though some may feel that this is more rhetoric than practice.

Territorial colonialism may be long over, but the colonization of the mind, of culture, of domestic politics and of the economy continues and reparations are yet to be realized. Meanwhile, colonial powers did not just dominate over foreign lands – the Western mindset of progress and capitalist ‘development’ (copied pretty much everywhere in the world now) also exerted enormous pressures on the very Earth that sustains our health and wellbeing, leading to the climate crisis that puts our future health at great risk in return. The new frame of planetary health offers the best form of hope – but it will require a deep expression of humility from planetary colonizers of all forms – countries and corporations alike.

2) The institutions of global health. Who are the agents of modern-day colonialism in global health? This question requires scrutiny of a wide range of actors – from formal institutions such as the WHO and World Bank, to non-state players such as the Gates Foundation and the pharmaceutical industry, to influential personalities that control what Richard Horton once called (on Twitter) the ‘old boys’ club’ of global health – whether they are in Lancet Commissions, Twitter feeds, or conference organizing committees. One time, I saw an academic tweeting a photo of an all-white global health meeting – I thought ‘global’ was more colorful than that!

Promoting diversity and inclusion in boards and staff of global health organizations is a good first step. For instance, apart from UN agencies and philanthropic foundations, I have always wondered about the composition of global health departments in elite schools of public health. A quick count of faculty members in my alma mater, Harvard Chan School, shows that out of 35 primary faculty at the Department of Global Health and Population, only 13 have non-Western-sounding names and 14 are non-white or white Latin Americans. Only 1 professor worked in a developing country immediately prior to joining the faculty, which may indicate that almost everyone from the Global South stayed in the US or Europe either prior or shortly after graduate school. One piece of good news is that a Brazilian professor just got appointed as department chair, replacing a Sudanese who served for seven years.

But decolonizing global health actors is more than having additional Global South seats in still-colonial organizations. Colorful composition does not automatically mean transformed structures and changed values. To decolonize institutions, there is a need to retell the story, rewrite the rules, and even redesign the system.

3) The processes of global health. Finally, apart from critiquing the starting framework and the cast of characters, it is also important to investigate the processes that animate the global health space. The management of organizations, shaping of rules, making of decisions, generation of knowledge, and allocation of resources are just some examples.

Let me describe two processes that receive little attention. Part of the decolonization of processes is to level the playing field so that emerging scholars and practitioners from the Global South can have a chance. The first are the procedures and requirements governing journal publications. I once had my Global South-perspective commentary about a novel emerging issue rejected not because of it being not well-written but because of ‘oversubscription’ and ‘lack of space.’ Meanwhile, a colleague from the Global North who has clearly penetrated the ‘old boys’ club’ published six commentaries within a six-month period in that same journal – or at a rate of one article per month!

Another area that needs to be examined is the recruitment of global health professionals and how their work is recognized. To illustrate, a year-long stint done in a developing country by a colleague from a rich country will be counted as ‘global health experience.’ Meanwhile, coming from a developing country in the process of health reform, my decade-long contributions at home will be considered only ‘domestic work.’ This means there is a high chance that the development bank, which counts the number of countries an applicant has worked in, will hire the other and not me.

Some initial steps: write, mobilize, reflect

To start global health’s decolonization and rewrite its narrative, more Global South scholars and practitioners must begin writing and talking about global health – its analysis, institutions, and processes – as they see it. There is nothing to fear about sounding politically incorrect – after all, there is nothing politically correct about colonialism. But there is always room for a respectful conversation.

As an indication of the need for alternative global health stories, only seven of the global health books included in a list recently generated from a Twitter survey are written by a Global South author (plus Global Health Watch by the People’s Health Movement, and not counting Harvard-based Amartya Sen). Meanwhile, Paul Farmer – the white Harvard doctor who would cure the world – has six books out of 100 – five written by him, and one about him. (Don’t get me wrong – I admire him and his work.)

Another essential step is to ensure that the decolonization discourse does not only occur in Twitter-verse and global health reunions. Decolonization begins at home, and so movement-building at the country level is crucial. A Global South expert sitting comfortably at a desk in Geneva is not decolonization. #DecolonizeGlobalHealth must inspire a new generation of global health leaders to question the status quo and take bold action at home and elsewhere.

Finally, for us who were educated in schools of public health that are based in former colonizers or were agents of colonialism themselves, we need to be constantly reflexive about our position of privilege. We might not be noticing it, but in our pursuit to decolonize global health, we could very well end up becoming neocolonizers ourselves.

[Call for Papers] 2019 RISC Consortium Conference on “Barriers and Borders: Human Mobility and Building Inclusive Societies”

Call for Papers:

‘Barriers and Borders: Human Mobility and Building Inclusive Societies’

2019 International Conference of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC)

4-5 November 2019

Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Organized by the UJ Department of Politics and International Relations, the University of Helsinki, the University of Luxembourg (Migration and Inclusive Societies Group), and INECOL (GAMMA)

The Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC) promotes the comparative examination of the human and environmental impacts of various aspects of regional integration across geographic areas. The movement of human beings across borders is a serious international concern, becoming increasingly more so in recent years, and has potentially devastating consequences not only on the scattered communities fleeing hazardous circumstances but also for policymakers, health practitioners, the environment and ecosystems, local communities, urban planners, social activists and national governments alike. Border and migration issues generally continue to challenge policymakers in states and regional bodies across the globe. Similarly, the conversation around the nature and role of the state, including the open-border debate, in a continuously globalizing and increasingly complex international system continues too. The implications of human movement that characterise evolving trends in 21st century societies, are so great and all-encompassing that an interdisciplinary lens is almost a necessity in attempting to grapple with their consequences and to measure their impacts. These discussions underscore mainstream theoretical arguments and highlight regional thinking on people versus resources; society-specific values versus universal norms; access to land; the definition of ‘illegal’; impact on economies, the value of human capital, and fundamentally the question that demands constant societal reflection: Who decides what, where, when and why? The conference will include both keynote panels (by invitation) and panels organized by the consortium’s working groups.

The deadline for the submission of paper proposals is 20 March 2019. All proposals should be sent to including 1) Proposed paper title, 2) Author name(s) and contact information, 3) Author affiliation(s) and position(s), 3) A 100-200 word abstract and 4) The name of the panel for which the paper is being proposed. All papers presented at the conference can be submitted for publication in the RISC Consortium’s peer-reviewed journal Regions & Cohesion (Berghahn Journals) and may also feature in a special edition of Politikon (South African Journal of Political Studies).

The RISC Consortium values proposals from early-career scholars which can be combined with participation in the consortium’s doctoral/postdoctoral school on “Barriers and Borders: Human Mobility and Building Inclusive Societies” that will be held from 6-8 November in association with this conference (see call for applications at

Conference Costs: The RISC Consortium provides accommodation and conference meals for participants affiliated with the consortium’s member institutes. Non-affiliated scholars must pay for their own accommodation as well as a 100 Euro (roughly R1600) conference registration fee. International travel is the responsibility of conference participants.


Panel I: Environment and Sustainable Development Paradigms at a Crossroads with Border Issues

Working Group: Management of Strategic Resources, Environment and Society

Coordinators: Dr. Carmen Maganda (INECOL, Mexico) and Dr. Edith Kauffer (CIESAS Sureste, Mexico)

It has been said (many times by now) that the environmental/natural resources know no borders. Yet, all the globe is about administrative divisions and eventually some physical barriers with considerable impacts on the sustainable management of strategic and natural resources in both sides of the lines. This panel calls for papers on environmental issues at a crossroads, considering borders at any level, which can address cooperation or conflictive situations pointing the paradigms of sustainable development in border areas. We will welcome inter and transdisciplinary analysis on border environmental management/governance including resources such water (lakes, basins, aquifers), land, mining, gas, forest and protected areas, but also air pollution and climate change impacts. Two guiding questions are: Which are the impacts of administrative and physical barriers on environmental/natural resources and its management? Who is doing what, when and how (from decision taken, institutional programs to any kind of social participation) in regards to the sustainability of shared environmental resources?


Panels II and III: Policy Coherence for Inclusive Societies: What Roles for Borders and Mobility?

Working Groups: Development, Equity and Policy Coherence and Comparative Border and Migration Politics (co-sponsored)

Coordinators: Dr. Lauri Siitonen (University of Helsinki, Finland) and Dr. Harlan Koff (University of Luxembourg)

Migration has been recognized by international institutions as a fundamental contributor to development processes, through the establishment of transnational development networks, diaspora funding of projects and contributions to increasingly segmented labor markets. Simultaneously, most advanced industrial states have responded to migration flows with securitized policies due to the recent rise of nativist and/or populism in different world regions. Development aid has generally been co-opted by governments as part of securitized migration policies in order to 1) reinforce border controls, 2) externalize borders through the use of conditionality in development aid to neighboring states and 3) dissuade migration in sending states. These trends seem to undermine the notion of policy coherence for sustainable development (PCD). This panel broadly calls for papers addressing how migration and borders can promote inclusive development in different world regions. While all topics related to migration/borders and inclusive development are pertinent to this panel, particular attention will be paid to the definition, implementation and evaluation of policy coherence for development in relation to migration and border governance.


Panel IV: Migration, Borders and Well-being: Examining Public Health Through the Lens of Inclusiveness

Working Group: Civil society, Vulnerable Populations, and State Policies of Health and Well-being

Coordinators: Dr. Robert Dover† and Dr. Claudia Puerta Silva (both of the Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia)

The current global trend towards a more integrated world is challenging our understanding of public health. Whereas health services were traditionally viewed as public goods provided by states to citizens, current health systems are characterized by a plurality of actors that intervene in different political, socio-economic and territorial contexts. Governance seeks to clarify how different actors operate and interact in systems characterized by shifting borders and human mobility. Also, public health is viewed less as a public good and more as a fundamental pillar of inclusive societies. Building on previous initiatives fostered within the RISC Consortium, this panel calls for papers that examine public health within the context of migration and transnationalsm. Some questions to be addressed include: What strategies address health challenges linked to migration? How do migrants respond to their own health needs? How can regional strategies address the health needs of cross-border communities, including vulnerable populations? What cultural issues must be addressed in order to respond to the health needs of transnational ethnic groups? How can civil society and government promote healthy cities in regional contexts? How does public health reflect and contribute to inclusiveness in different world regions?


Panel V: Establishing Policy Coherence between Ecosystem Integrity, Disasters and Development: Honing in on Mobility/Migration

Working Group: The Social Construction of Risk and Disasters

Coordinator: Dr. Dora Ramos (ECOSUR, Mexico)

It has been well documented, that 1) development processes have been forged on the assumption of exploitation of nature, usually in fragile ecosystems and 2) development promotes urbanization, mobility, and illegality which has resulted in inequality, migration, and dispossession. Development then goes against ecosystem integrity and creates vulnerable conditions for societies which are the bases for disasters. In this panel, we look for cases in which it has been possible to identify policy coherence between ecosystem integrity, disasters, and development in relation to mobility/migration.  The panel enquires how it is possible to establish a relationship between environment and society that reduces risks in the territories where the development processes are implemented.


Panel VI: Violent Resource Extraction, Conflict and Threats to Ecosystem Integrity

Working Group: Conflict, Violence and Citizen Security

Coordinator: Dr. Juan Carlos Velez Rendon (Universidad de Antioquia, Mexico)

Insecurity and human mobility has been associated to describe opposite phenomena, which reappear intermittently in different contexts. On the one hand, situations of forced displacement for economic, political or cultural reasons, in which people accuse a strong violation of their rights in the places they live and from which they are expelled, in places that they travel during their migration and in the spaces they arrive to try to rebuild their lives. In these cases, the migrant is a person without rights, unprotected and exposed to numerous risks, that is, insecure. On the other hand, insecurity is also associated with the migrant, especially in these latter spaces, in which the migrant is represented by different actors as a threat or potential danger to a supposedly stable community or to an idealized social and political order. In this situation, the migrant is the apparent generator of other people’s insecurity. The Group calls for theoretical, methodological or descriptive analyzes of such phenomena in which insecurity and human mobility are associated; analysis of public policies aimed to protecting migrants or violating their rights; description of cases in which such situations are exposed; uses of the notion of insecurity associated with human mobility for political or ideological purposes; incidence of this form of mobility in security discourses or in governmental actions; expressions of xenophobia associated to population forced to move.


Panel VII: Quality of Democracy and Migration: Key debates and policy dynamics

Working Group: The Quality of Democracy

Coordinator: Dr Vicky Graham (UJ)

There is a general assumption that large scale migration poses serious challenges to the effective functioning of good quality democracies, with some arguing that large migration impacts governments’ ability to deliver services effectively as well as raising questions around the capacity of democratic institutions to integrate effectively refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants into society. Moreover, public opinion appears to be split over the potential value of the political participation of migrants and refugees to the good health of a democracy. This panel examines these assumptions. Key questions, amongst others, to be addressed by the panel include: What is the relationship between the quality of democracy and large migration flows? How does the quality of democracy relate to policy making issues around immigration, citizenship and multiculturalism? To what extent should governments enable migrants’ political participation and integration in society? Comparative research is especially welcome.


Panel VIII: Migration issues in International Relations

Working Group:  International Relations

Coordinator: Dr Suzy Graham (UJ)

Traditionally International Relations (IR) as a discipline has emphasized the role of power politics and conflict in the international system. However, the study of migration and immigration and their links within, and to, IR have increasingly emerged within the discipline. Indeed, the two intersect in many interesting and important ways.

“First, migration is itself a function of the international system of states. Without states, there are no borders to cross and it is the crossing of borders that remains at the heart of the politics of migration: who crosses, how, where, and why, are the operative issues at the heart of policymaking,  debate, and practice in migration. This also places the state at the heart of much of the analysis; the ability to control borders is at the core of questions of state sovereignty. It is state action, regulation and law, therefore, that shape and determine much international migration. As many critical scholars have pointed out, however, migrants themselves also have agency and autonomy; their   movements are not simply reactive to state policy and practice, but determine its direction. Here, then, we see a manifestation of one of the foundational debates of world politics: which actors have power, and how that power is understood. Further, international migration by its very definition involves more than one state, calling attention to interstate relations, and to questions of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The emergence of key international institutions, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), also brings us questions of institutional power (often versus state power), and of the development of international regimes. Migration studies is located at the intersection of several different disciplines and fields of study” (Heather Johnson, 2017: DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199756223-0204).

Key debates within IR and migration studies relate to the nature of migration, cooperation and security; intergovernmental regulations and frameworks; policy and governance issues, and emerging scholarship on asylum seekers and refugees and alternative voices from the Global South. Conference papers touching on the above debates are welcome.


Conference Scientific Committee: Dr S Graham (University of Johannesburg), Dr V Graham (University of Johannesburg), Dr Lauri Siitonen (University of Helsinki), Dr Harlan Koff (University of Luxembourg)

Contact Info:

Harlan Koff
Professeur en Sciences Sociales

Maison des Sciences Humaines


11, Porte des Sciences

L-4366 Esch-Belval


Téléphone : ++ 352 46 66 44 62 70
Fax : ++352 46 66 44 63 48


Contact Email:

[Call for applications] Early Career Researcher Workshop – ‘Engendering research and reframing policy debate on Migration & Health and intersectional rights’

Building capacities & disrupting mainstream narratives

Workshop for Early Career Researchers on ‘Engendering research and reframing policy debate on Migration & Health and intersectional rights’



Download the call for applications

The Centre for Global Public Health and the Global Policy Institute at Queen Mary University (London), University of Edinburgh and Delhi University in collaboration with the International Organisation on Migration (IOM), UN UniversityInstitute of Global Health (UNU-IIGH), Nepal Institute for Development Studies (NIDS) & Migration Health and Development Research Network (MHADRI) invite abstracts from early career researchers to participate in a SouthSouth research collaboration & skill development workshop, to be held in Kathmandu from 25-28 April 2019.

The workshop is part of Strengthening Policy And Research Capacities (SPARC) on migration, rights and global health initiative funded by the British Council aimed at strengthening research capacities and skills and facilitating crosscultural mentorship of early career researchers (ECRs) from both the UK and South/ South East Asia to advance collaborative research agenda on Migration, Health & Intersectional rights. The overall objective of this initiative is to develop a South-South knowledge exchange and learning platform on Migration & Health rights to strengthen community of research & practice and engender new collaborations to address evidence gaps for responsive and coherent migration & health policies.

A total of 18 ECRs from the Southern region and 6 from the UK will be selected to participate in a three-day workshop that will focus on:

1. Reviewing theoretical concepts and methods for migration research, and how these can incorporate gender and intersectionality lens and equity focus

2. Exploring regional and domestic perspectives on migration, and introducing current gaps in scholarship and policy discussions on migration health

3. Facilitating development of research clusters on cross-cutting areas of Migration and Health Rights, and pairing Southern and Northern researchers to develop collaborating research and writing on following indicative thematic areas: a. Gender in migration and health research b. Access to healthcare c. Social care, livelihoods and occupational health d. Mental health & well-being e. Violence and social justice

4. Mentoring projects and supporting structured writing and learning

Eligibility: Applications are invited from Migration and/or Health inequalities scholars from (and residing in) countries in South & South East Asia region (especially Bangladesh, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia) and the UK.

We use the term ECR to include researchers at both academic institutions as well as other policy and voluntary sector organisations that have research as part of their mandate. If affiliated to an academic higher education institution, applicants should have either completed their PhD or be near submission (in their final year).

Applicants do not have to be established independent researchers but should demonstrate a research trajectory and some experience of conducting research on any aspects of migration and health (from policy, experiential or other perspective). Successful applicants will be offered full support for participation i.e. costs of accommodation, visa and travel (economy return ticket to Kathmandu) will be fully covered.

How to apply: The deadline for submission of application is 5pm (GMT) on Friday, 25 January 2019.

As part of your application, please submit the following to

i) A personal statement of 300 words that outlines your current research in migration, and what research problem you are interested in developing in future – with some consideration of why this knowledge is useful and for what purposes will it be utilised.

ii) Indicate what, according to you, are the top 2 issues in migration and health field in your country.

iii) 250 word proposal for an academic paper/policy brief/commentary/op-ed/blog or other creative output(s) that you would like to produce through the workshop and subsequent collaboration.

You can direct your queries to Dr. Anuj Kapilashrami or Dr Jeevan Sharma on



Migration is a global phenomenon. Alongside significant benefits it offers to individuals, states and economy, it presents significant public policy, humanitarian and human rights challenges. Yet, implications of mobility for migrants’ health is a neglected field; and the policy field of migration and health continues to be fragmented, and mired with conceptual and methodological gaps. First, academic scholarship on migration & health is fragmented; with disproportionate attention on specific categories / population groups of migrants (such as refugees/ asylum seekers, internally displaced and labour migrants etc.) and their vulnerabilities. Moreover, while there is growing recognition that migration is a gendered process, migration studies continue to be devoid of an explicit gendered analysis (Nawyn 2010) and have developed only cursory approaches to diversity and intersectionality (Bürkner 2012; Kapilashrami & Hankivsky 2018). These omissions limit analysis of how migration processes create differential risks for migrants at different stage of their mobility and settlement, and intersecting inequalities (Alsaba and Kapilashrami 2016), resulting in exclusionary policies and institutional responses.

Ongoing consultations as part of an ESRC-ICSSR funded research project examining what India’s urban transformation means for low-income migrants, their inclusion and social justice and British council funded consultations in the wider region have highlighted critical gaps in our knowledge of gendered experiences, as well as status of entitlements and provisions for migrant communities. These consultations also underscored the argument that policy and research outputs on forced migration and displacement has been dominated by scholars in North-based institutions and represents perspectives of high-income countries and not countries of origin (Landau 2012); while the debate in Global South has rarely made into global migration debates.

Acknowledging this as a major lacuna, this initiative attempts to create a platform to truly globalise scholarship and policy response by generating and sharing insights from both global north/south. Second, the policy sphere on migration is fragmented as policies are developed in silos (of policy sectors such as immigration, humanitarian aid, security, labor, public health among others) with distinct and often conflicting goals (Zimmerman et. al. 2011). Attention to health and social care of migrants is particularly deficient in policy dialogues on migration; devoid of rights language and southern perspectives (for e.g., the Global Compact for Migration). However, as debates on ‘global health governance’ and ‘global migration’ expand and begin to converge in different policy spheres, there is a growing imperative for policy makers to engage in cross-sector dialogue to align priorities and coordinate responses to migration across regions. Such responses must go beyond narrow public health interventions and protectionist policies(ibid), and embrace rights based approaches to address complexities of circular migration and migrants’ vulnerabilities and agency. The above scholarship and policy gaps form the basis of this UK-South (East) Asia collaboration. This collaborative initiative is developed as a timely response to the recent call for a global research agenda on migration, mobility and health.

The 2nd Global Consultation on Health of Migrants (GCMH) held in Sri Lanka in February 2017, called for:

the development of a research infrastructure on migrant health by securing support for research programs and institutions and building needed capacity, especially for researchers in the global South

Report from the Global Consultation on Migration and Health 2018:pg 48

The report further underscored the importance of “migrant health research network, communities of practice, and international partnerships with those working on other global health priorities” as key to enhance the quality and breadth of research evidence and evidence-informed policy. The workshop will draw on collective experience of prior and ongoing research projects, networks and collaborations to examine what is known and migrant’s differential social position (of class, gender, race/ethnicity, livelihood etc.) shape risks to their health and violence, and regional level policy discussions on health and social protections. These offer exciting opportunity to develop research capacities and amplify methodological and empirical learnings to engender migration scholarship and policy.

Tentative Agenda

Day 1 Probing understandings & Knowledge on Migration & Health – Identifying research gaps in global/regional/national migration and health research – Challenges in defining and finding migrants Methodological insights from ESRC-ICSSR research – How can research link with policy makers/policy community and communities of practice ..etc. Sharing research interests and initiating collaborations

Day 2 Interdisciplinary Research Skills – Approaches for researching vulnerable populations – Using bibliometric approaches to take stock of research output – Critical appraisal of research reports on Migration and health – Policy perspectives on Migration & Health Group work: Developing a collaborative project

Day 3 Amplifying learnings for transformative agenda in migration, health & intersectional rights – ‘So what?’ – Political and Ethical questions in researching migrants – Evidence and policy links – Charting policyscapes for migration and health Group work: Peer review of project proposals and firming up mentorship arrangements


[1] Alsaba, K., & Kapilashrami, A. (2016). Understanding women’s experience of violence and the political economy of gender in conflict: the case of Syria. Reproductive health matters, 24(47), 5-17. [2] Bürkner, H. J. (2012). Intersectionality: How gender studies might inspire the analysis of social inequality among migrants. Population, space and place, 18(2), 181-195. [3] Kapilashrami, A. & Hankivsky, O. (2018) Intersectionality and why it matters to global health. The Lancet. 391(10140): 2589-91 [4] Langer A, Meleis A, Knaul FM, et al. (2015) Women and Health: the key for sustainable development. The Lancet; 386: 1165– 210. [5] Nawyn, S. J. (2010). Gender and migration: Integrating feminist theory into migration studies. Sociology Compass, 4(9), 749- 765. [6] Zimmerman, C., Kiss, L., & Hossain, M. (2011). Migration and health: a framework for 21st century policy-making. PLOS medicine, 8(5), e1001034.

MHADRI Early Career Researchers

We are forming a Working Group to create an Early Career Researchers (ECR) sub-committee of MHADRI. The purpose of the sub-committee is to promote the research and careers of ECR network members through collaboration and knowledge exchange.

The aims of this working group would be:

  1. To determine the core activities of the ECR sub-committee.
  2. To develop its operational strategy and set priorities.
  3. To develop global and regional recruitment and engagement strategies.

If are you interested in becoming involved, please send an email to Rachel Burns for more information!