Evaluation of the Global Assistance for Irregular Migrants Program
2.1 Evaluation Scope and Data Collection Methods
2.1.1 Evaluation Scope
The evaluation focused on the implementation of the GAIM program in response to trigger letters received from the time of program launch at CIC in April 2013 to September 2014. While there were two trigger letters addressed to CIC within this timeframe, only the first trigger letter was examined, as the second letter had not resulted in a significant response at the time the evaluation was conducted. The first trigger letter requested the GAIM program's implementation as a result of the interception of Sri Lankan migrants in 11 countries in West Africa.Footnote 12 The response to this situation began in 2012 and was first addressed by DFATD. Given that the IOM has been involved in both the DFATD and CIC responses in West Africa and has provided a continuous response, the scope of the evaluation includes information, when applicable, on the results achieved under both DFATD and CIC.
The evaluation questions, organized by core issue,Footnote 13 are presented in Table 3.
Table 3: Summary of Evaluation Issues and Questions
Relevance (Need, Alignment, and Federal Role)
- Is there a continued need for the GAIM program? Does the program have the flexibility to adapt to changing migration patterns?
- Are the program objectives aligned with CIC objectives, domestic and international, and with government-wide priorities?
- Are the activities funded through the program aligned with the roles and responsibilities of the federal government?
Performance (Achievement of Expected Outcomes)
- To what extent has the program provided migrants with basic needs and support services in a timely and effective manner?
- To what extent have migrants been screened, registered and referred for refugee status determination as required?
- To what extent has the program assisted migrants to return to, and reintegrate into, their countries of origin?
- To what extent has the program fostered collaboration and cooperation in other countries with respect to irregular migration?
- To what extent has the program increased awareness of irregular migration and its consequences?
- To what extent have migrants' successfully reintegrated into their country of origin?
- To what extent has CIC contributed to the detection, disruption, deterrence of human smuggling and illegal migration?
- Have there been any unintended consequences of the program?
Performance (Economy and Efficiency)
- To what extent has the program been efficiently delivered?
- Are there alternative ways to deal with irregular migration that would be more efficient or effective?
2.1.2 Evaluation Methodology
The methodology and level of effort for the evaluation were calibrated in recognition of the program's level of maturity and the number of trigger letters that have resulted in a response. As a result, the evaluation relied on three lines of evidence to examine the relevance of the GAIM program and performance relative to the intended program outcomes over the period under review.
Table 4: Line of Evidence and Description
A total of 27 interviews were conducted from three key stakeholder groups: CIC (11), PCO and DFATD (6), and IOM staff abroad (10).
Documents reviewed included foundational program documentation, Contribution Agreements, the GAIM performance measurement strategy, legislation, departmental plans and reports, speeches, and press releases.
In conducting the document review, it was noted that data on the movement of irregular migrants are not widely available, and reliable statistics on the scope of human smuggling is scarce.Footnote 14 The evaluation relied on estimates from sources that deal with movements of regular and irregular migrants worldwide to provide an accurate portrait of the human smuggling situation.
IOM Monitoring and Claims Data
The evaluation included an analysis of program performance data collected and reported by the IOM and submitted to DFATD and CIC. This included migrant specific data, survey results, and cooperation/capacity-building data.
2.2 Limitations and Mitigation
The evaluation relied on both qualitative and quantitative data. Limitations identified during the evaluation, along with the mitigation strategies used to minimize their impact, are presented below. These limitations do not have a significant impact on the evaluation findings.
The data available on CIC's GAIM program were minimal given that the program has only been operational since May 2013 and only one significant event resulting in a GAIM program response had occurred. Prior to launching the evaluation, consultations were held in order to confirm whether there was enough information available to inform an evaluation. It was agreed that, while only one significant event had occurred, it would provide sufficient information on the impact of the program. However, issues with the GAIM program may be reflective of the limited number of incidents that had occurred during the evaluation scope years.
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