Whole of Government Approach to Migration Management in Iraq (IMAG)

Project IMAG is designed to promote inter-ministerial coordination mechanisms and enhance a Whole of a Government Approach (WGA) to migration management in Iraq.

Start date: 01 October 2022, duration: 18 months
Budget: CHF 500.000

The project objectives are to:  

  1. Establish a High level inter-ministerial coordination body for Migration to implement a WGA to migration management in Iraq through steering implementation of the national migration management priorities;
  2. Empower the High level inter-ministerial coordination body for Migration to steer implementation of selected priority actions in the area of migration, including implementation of the National Strategy for Migration Management in Iraq.


As a pilot intervention in Iraq, the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), with ICMPD as implementing agency, funded a 16-month project geared towards strengthening a Whole-of-Government Approach (WGA) to migration management in Iraq (November 2020 – March 2022). The project, ‘Developing the Iraqi Government’s knowledge and expertise in migration governance’, aimed to:

  • Engage key decision makers from multiple ministries in Iraq in forging solid and future-oriented migration partnerships with European counterparts (with initial focus on Switzerland) – referred to as the Project Core Group
  • Establish a common inter-ministerial approach to migration management through closer cooperation and coordination, specifically through the enhancement of coordination mechanisms amongst all Iraqi ministries of relevance to migration management at a senior level
  • Build the capacities, including the technical expertise, of key Iraqi ministries in the field of migration
  • Foster standards and best practices in migration governance in Iraq (through the development internal Guidelines on Migration Management in the Republic of Iraq)

The project paved way for an open dialogue in the area of migration management in Iraq. It allowed the Project Core Group (comprising 15 decision-makers from five ministries) to use the project as a platform for discussions on migration management; with the advantage of sharing challenges so as to further coordinate on strengthening existing frameworks within the sphere of migration in Iraq.

In addition, and given that migration also entails a whole-of-route approach, the project served to address complementary approaches/strategies towards migrants that are departing, in transit, abroad and intending to return.

In this sense, project implementation in Iraq relied heavily on a WGA in conceptualising documents, engaging in discussions, delivery of thematic workshops, and overall communication/coordination with the Project Core Group.  

This project is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).