Regional Lab: Social Innovation to Address the Nexus of Human Mobility and Development





2022, 2020-2021

Incubation and Impact Phase: 2020 to February 2022 (online)

Organised by Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL) members Edna Martinez and Carolina Sheinfeld and Challenge Holder Daniel Gamboa from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Mexico and supported by Myriam Martinez in strategy design, this Lab aimed to co-design solutions for immigrant integration in Mexico. The country has the second-largest number of migrants in the world and is as a neighbour to the Northern Triangle a recipient for emigrants. People from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador migrate to Mexico, in addition to refugee communities from Venezuela and Haiti.

Over the span of eleven days, over thirty participants from thirteen different countries participated in workshops and discussed with expert practitioners, journalists, scholars and grassroots leaders on what the root of the problem is and how solutions can be actionable.

The problem found is the relevant gap between the global initiatives and local communities. We wanted to understand how this aperture between the efforts of the national government, local authorities, private sector or international organisations and bottom to top efforts of the civil society, the media as well as migrant women and youth, came to be. Reasons for that are various. Little visibility of efforts, or poor coordination between actors could result in every attempt of solution to nullify. Links between institutions could be broken and make cooperation more difficult; especially if the solutions are unscalable as the numbers are still unknown.

The Incubator Lab approached the challenge with defining the issue on hand at first and focusing on the hypothesis and statements. Awareness, education and transparency are also issues that needed to be considered, as well as other stakeholders and the involvement of institutions and understanding their processes.

Solutions and ideas to improve the situation on the border of Mexico involved migrant / refugee encampments and involving the private sector. But also changing the perception towards migrants positively and improving gender inclusion, for example regarding the LGBTQ community, are crucial.

Photo Credit: Carlos Aranda

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