Building trust with a hidden and dispersed population: trust is essential when working with migrant populations, who may be distrustful of outsiders. Trust takes time and capacity to build, and though it may be feasible in a more settled camp setting, it can be more difficult with people who are hidden, dispersed, or on the move. Agencies working with migrants should adapt implementation approaches to build trust, such as limiting putting them at risk through discrete distributions or hiring a team that reflects the diverse nationalities of the migrant populations.
Building partnerships with local and national actors: including local and national actors and authorities are essential to ensuring the success of any project and long-term sustainability. This can be difficult in the context of migration, where actors may be more hesitant to get involved due to the irregular status of some migrant communities and possible existing discrimination or bias. It’s important to find incentives that can lead to common goals being achieved for all stakeholders involved, including migrants. It’s also important to engage multiple actors in various types of advocacy, so that the same agency that is implementing isn’t also the sole agency leading on advocacy.
Ensuring flexible context analyses: projects should avoid treating nationality-based communities as homogeneous groups, as this misses the more complex relationships and tensions existing within one nationality group. Indeed, ethnic and political tensions in the countries of departure do not disappear along the migratory route. Conflict management training can be a good approach empower communities, and should not only include migrants, but also host communities (such as landlords or merchants) as well as implementing partners.