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 mhdrap@iom.int. Deadline for submission: 5th Feb 2021.

Migration Health Evidence Portal for COVID-19

This evidence portal is a repository of research publications and high-yield evidence briefs on COVID-19 and its intersection with migration health.

The scientific literature and knowledge base on the epidemic rapidly expand daily. Tremendous efforts are being made by the global community of clinicians, researchers and journal editors to advance scientific evidence to guide policy and decision making at the field level. However, there is a need to build evidence platforms to share and distill key findings emergent from this growing body of scientific literature that is relevant to migration, health, and human mobility to ultimately assist evidence-informed decision making from a migration lens.

The portal contains:

Research Publications on COVID-19 and Migration Health

This section reflects the output of the publication mapping exercise involving the quantitative assessment of a set of published scientific articles (i.e., bibliometric analysis) on COVID-19 with reference to migrants, migration, and human mobility. Bibliometric analysis provides an important snapshot of a specific field of interest/domain. The baseline information from bibliometric analysis helps identify research gaps that future studies can investigate. The bibliometric analysis conducted by IOM and MHADRI on international migration and health is one example.

Key messages

  • As of 30 March 2020, the publications related to COVID-19 totaled 21,779 (no restriction set in terms of language and subject area). From this, a total of 43 publications were relevant to migration health and human mobility.
  • Most of the studies investigated the cases and disease transmission dynamics of COVID-19 in the context of national and international population movement, with most studies undertaken in China. The distribution of research to date indicates the role of travel and migration in the importation of the virus.
  • Research on the epidemiology of the disease among migrant groups such as migrant workers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and asylum seekers is lacking. Evidence with attribution to migrant groups within clinical datasets are seldom reported.
  • Despite multiple studies from high-income countries (HICs) using mathematical modelling to predict spread, and model social distancing, border closures and impacts on health care system capacities, there were only a few studies that model outbreak in low-to-middle-income countries (LMICs) contexts. None hitherto have focused on camps and camp-like situations.
  • There is a real need to strengthen the current knowledge base on the epidemiology and social determinants of COVID-19 and examine health-related outcomes in specific migrant groups, especially migrant workers.
  • Investigations on COVID-19 and migration health should not be limited to the role of movement/mobility in the dynamic importation of cases in a pandemic; a more inclusive research strategy that integrates the relevant interests of migrant populations should be considered.
  • Advocating for the right to health of migrants and migrant inclusion within the global, regional, national and sub-national pandemic preparedness and response plans is of critical importance.
  • The most productive authors and institutions come from Hong Kong, whose geographical proximity to and socio-economic ties with China were likely contributing factors in their early contributions to the field.

Network map of common keywords

The network map below shows an overview of the common keywords that appear in the title, abstract, and keywords of the relevant publications retrieved on the topic of COVID-19 and migration health. Network maps of keywords reveal key topics in a research area or domain as well as the relationship (co-occurrence) between common keywords. It is a relative indicator of important research areas that are drawing attention in the field. 

  • The large circles in the figure represent the most frequently occurring author keywords in the research publications (N=43) such as ‘pneumonia’ (n=26), ‘epidemic’ (n=22), ‘travel’ (n=19), ‘quarantine’ (n=18), ‘outbreak’ (n=15), and ‘disease transmission’ (n=14). 
  • The lines connecting the circles represent the co-occurring keywords. The distance between two keywords approximates how strongly the words are related based on the number of their co-occurrences (i.e., the more publications in which two keywords co-occur, the stronger the relation between them). Thus, the strongly related words appear closer together on the map. 
  • Each distinct color represents a cluster of keywords that are strongly related to each other. In the figure, ‘pneumonia’, ‘travel’, and ‘disease transmission’ are strongly related to ‘virology’, ‘animals’, ‘nonhuman’, ‘zoonosis’, ‘fever’, ‘genetics’, and ‘pandemic’ (red cluster). The keyword ‘epidemic’ is strongly related to ‘outbreak’, ‘quarantine’, ‘mass screening’, ‘air travel’, ‘travel medicine’, ‘global health’, ‘infection control’, and ‘risk assessment’ – these keywords are shown to be closer together forming the green cluster. 
  • These topics on COVID-19 and migration health can be classified into the following thematic areas: disease epidemiology (i.e., travel, disease transmission, virology, animals, nonhuman, zoonosis, genetics, pandemic); clinical management (i.e., pneumonia and fever); and public health intervention (i.e., quarantine, control, etc.).

Note: See the full paper for the Methodology and Limitations of this analysis.

[Call for Proposal] Qualitative research on vulnerabilities to and risks of exploitation of Vietnamese migrant workers in the context of international labour migration

In December 2018, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) together with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), launched a 12-month inception phase of a project that aims to reduce instances of exploitative working conditions, forced labour and debt bondage experienced by Vietnamese women and men migrant workers in the context of international migration. The project is funded by the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS) and co-financing is provided by the IOM Development Fund.

To support preparation and piloting of tools and methodologies under the project, and with the objective of providing evidence on the migration journeys, vulnerabilities and risks to modern slavery of Vietnamese migrant workers, IOM will commission a qualitative research aimed to identify and analyse the risk factors, determinants and conditions of migrant workers’ vulnerability that give rise to exploitation and abuse that can amount to modern slavery. Findings from this research will further inform the project design for the coming years by identifying patterns of migrant worker experiences that need to be disrupted to sustainably reduce instances of modern slavery, including forced labour and human trafficking.

Interested service provider should send an application including a technical and a financial proposal following the attached templates via e-mail to hcmc@iom.int or by post to: IOM Viet Nam, Sub-office in Ho Chi Minh city, 1B Pham Ngoc Thach, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam, by midnight 10 March 2019 (GMT+7). The application should be titled: “Proposal_Qualitative research on vulnerabilities to and risks of exploitation of Vietnamese migrant workers”.

The technical proposal should include:

  • An organizational profile which provides information about the background and mission of the organization and a list of the pertinent research studies it has successfully completed (including the organization contracting the research)
  • A registration certificate for the organization
  • CVs of the research team leader and key personnel

The financial proposal should include:

  • A detailed breakdown of costs per activity
  • Personnel costs
  • Any other costs relating to the implementation of the tasks outlined under the attached Terms of Reference

For further details of the tasks and requirements, please see the TOR in the attachment

Terms of Reference (TOR)

IOM Technical and Financial Proposal Standard Forms

IOM Proforma contract

Report: Global Consultation on Migration and Health (2017)

1st Global Consultation on Migrant Health

2010 | Madrid, Spain

The 2010 Global Consultation on Migrant Health was convened as a result of the 2008 World Health Assembly Resolution on the Health of Migrants, which asks Member States to take action on migrant-sensitive health policies and practices. Accordingly, WHO and IOM, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Policy of Spain, held a Global Consultation on Migrant Health in March 2010 in Madrid to: take stock of actions taken since the endorsement of the Resolution; reach consensus on priority areas and strategies; and identify the elements of an operational framework to assist Member States and stakeholders in making further progress on the issue. This consultation report offers a summary of the issues discussed at the consultation and presents an outline for an operational framework to guide action by key stakeholders. The report also includes the thematic papers that informed the consultation discussion, background materials concerning selected migration-related terminology, the text of key speeches and other relevant documents.

The report can be downloaded here.


2nd Global Consultation on Migrant Health: Resetting the Agenda
Jointly Organized by IOM, WHO and the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
21-23 February 2017 | Colombo, Sri Lanka

Convened in Sri Lanka in February 2017, the 2nd Global Consultation on Migrant Health brought together approximately 130 participants from all geographical regions representing various sectors within Governments, as well as civil society organizations, academics, experts, international organizations, regional institutions and professional and migrant associations. It provided a platform for in-depth discussion on migration health and explored ways to address the fact that millions of migrants are still denied access to health services and remain invisible in global health initiatives. Moreover, the event identified key opportunities, concerns, recommendations, and actions to advance the agenda. The participants’ rich contributions to the Consultation allowed for debates on the development of a progress monitoring framework, actionable policy objectives and a research agenda on migration health.

The final report can be downloaded here.


The IOM Migration Health Division

The IOM Migration Health Division

Within its Migration Health Division (MHD), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in its role of United Nations Migration Agency, delivers and promotes comprehensive, preventive and curative health programmes which are beneficial, accessible, and equitable for migrants and mobile populations. Bridging the needs of both migrants and IOM member states, MHD, in close collaboration with partners, contributes towards the physical, mental and social well-being of migrants, enabling them and host communities to achieve social and economic development.

More here.