For a number of years, Switzerland has advocated realising the potential of migration for sustainable development and combating negative effects such as human trafficking. Solid facts and relevant statistics are indispensable instruments to carry out this work. KNOMAD, which is underwritten by the SDC, is to become the international reference point for knowledge management in this area. KNOMAD will be launched in Geneva on 11 September 2013 in the presence of the director-general of the SDC, ambassador Martin Dahinden, and high-ranking representatives of the World Bank and other partner organisations.
Platform for researchers
The overarching goal of KNOMAD is to give state and non-state actors access to facts, statistics and findings in the field of migration and development. Researchers from all over the world are invited to pool their knowledge in a single platform. It is the first time this has been possible on such a scale. In addition, new knowledge is to be generated through the participation of internationally recognised experts. KNOMAD will also use state-of-the-art technology to turn the information it collects into an easily accessible public good. The inclusion of partners in developing and emerging countries will ensure that issues that have hitherto received scant attention from the academic research community – such as South-South migration – will also be examined. Civil society will also benefit from KNOMAD by presenting its work to a broad public and by using the platform's products. KNOMAD can also, upon request, conduct specific studies and supply data sets to be used for policy development purposes.
Lastly, the platform will also play a key role in international dialogue on migration and development, for example in the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).
Switzerland in the steering committee
As early as the late 1990s, the World Bank emphasised the importance of knowledge in international cooperation, and played a pioneering role in knowledge management in the field of migration and development.
Switzerland has underwritten this multi-year project to the tune of CHF 5 million and is currently its largest donor. This contribution enables Switzerland, which is a member of the steering committee, to exert direct influence on KNOMAD's future development. Like the international community as a whole, Switzerland also stands to gain from KNOMAD and will be able to put its knowledge and information to good use, both in projects in the field and through its participation in international processes. Beata Godenzi, head of the SDC's Global Programme Migration and Development, also chairs the Technical Working Group on Policy and Institutional Coherence, one of KNOMAD's 12 thematic working groups.
KNOMAD website: www.knomad.org