Migration is a fast-changing and increasingly complex field: trends change fast, and the causal roots are typically multidimensional. Our current governance models and management practices, which rely on linear causal relationships and plans based on past trends, are not suitable for tackling the complexity and the pace of change inherent to migration.
Consequently, our attitude has been mainly reactive: managing crises as they come. In many cases, we are still treating migration as a national defence issue. This attitude indicates a lack of agency (i.e. a sense that you can act). Expanding our knowledge and understanding of futures helps build agency. Policies become more resilient to short-term shocks while allowing us to collectively visualise and define new pathways toward societal change.
We believe that building capacity around foresight will help policymakers find better societal pathways in the present. That is why we are working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to build an anticipatory migration policy in North Macedonia.
UNHCR Representative in North Macedonia Monica Sandri put this perfectly: “Change cannot be compartmentalised, so to be future-fit, we have to be open for a fundamental transformation to the way we work based on the commitment to look forward and be prepared while fostering participation, curiosity, courage, efficiency, and cooperative relationships.”
So, our goals in this project are:
1) To build capacities and systems for improved participatory, forward-looking, and innovative migration management for national stakeholders with competencies in migration management, with particular focus on the entities represented in North Macedonia’s Inter-ministerial body.
2) To develop foresight and future thinking capacities across key relevant stakeholders to advocate for a society-wide adoption of forward-looking planning and policy development in the domains of UNHCR interest (protection and solutions).
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Feature Image is a picture of Skopje from up high, by Mark de Jong/Unsplash.