newdarkage: “The notion that additional data will…


“The notion that additional data will lead governments to formulate better policies also requires a reality check. Many states are currently trying to obstruct the movement of people, gripped by the notion that the world is experiencing an ‘unprecedented migration crisis’. In fact, the data show that the proportion of the global population moving from one country to another has remained remarkably stable for the past few decades. Similarly, while all of the evidence demonstrates that more people migrate from poor countries when economic growth occurs, industrialized states continue to act on the false assumption that pumping development aid into impoverished regions will encourage people to stay where they are. Looking to the future, there is a real risk that data management becomes an end in itself, absorbing scarce humanitarian resources while outstripping the ability of aid agencies to analyse the information they have collected and to use it in effective ways. Aid agencies that rely heavily on data collection and the introduction of new technologies may also limit the extent to which they interact with refugees and migrants at a human level, leading them to adopt an overly technocratic and apolitical approach to their work. Protecting people on the move starts not with better data, but with an ability to understand the key threats to their rights and to change the behaviour of those responsible for putting refugee and migrant lives at risk.”

Beware the Notion That Better Data Lead to Better Outcomes for Refugees and Migrants | Chatham House