COVID-19 Response & Migration Reception Centers: Lessons from Panama. Migrant Protection and Assistance

As COVID-19 became a reality, the government of Panama instituted several  border  closures  with  aims  of  preventing  the  spread  of  the  virus.  Being  an  important  transit  point  of  extra  regional  migrants,  soon people on the move became stranded as a result. IOM Panama’s actions  focused  on  rehabilitating  migration  reception  centers  and  strategically  applying  DTM  to  cooperate  with  other  humanitarian  agents in the country to provide evidence-based assistance.


The Panama Profile of the Migration Governance Indicators was developed through an inter-institutional consultation and validation process led by IOM, that was conducted from October of 2018 until April of 2019. The Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) methodology was utilized for the process, which was designed in 2015 by IOM and The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) with the aim of  operationalizing the Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF), using approximately 90 indicators to analyze public policies and legal structures related to migration at a national level.

Since 2015, over 50 countries have participated in the MGI process, with Panama participating in the fourth phase of the initiative, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The document describes examples of well-developed areas of Panama’s migration governance structures and areas with potential for further development, as evaluated through the six domains of the MGI. These address migrants’ rights, a “whole-of-government” approach, partnerships, socioeconomic well-being of migrants, the mobility dimensions of crises, and safe and orderly migration. The results may be used to: identify good practices and areas with potential for further development in relation to migration management; foster dialogue between different levels and sectors on the issue of migration; facilitate communication about the challenges that exist and identify possible solutions; establish a baseline for monitoring the progress made in fulfilling national and international commitments.

Standard Operating Procedures for Front-line Border Officials at the Point of Entry in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak

A guide for border officials to prevent disease transmission and to manage suspected and/or probable COVID-19

Analysis of Flow Monitoring Surveys Chirique, Panama. 17th - 22nd of June, 2019

The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) is a methodology to track and monitor the displacement and mobility of the migrant population. It has been designed by IOM to capture, process and disseminate information in order to provide a better understanding of the movements and changing needs of moving populations. In Panama, the DTM was activated in 2019 in response to the arrival of extra-regional migrants from the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, though the National Park Darien in the Colombia border. The DTM is operated in Panama with the aim of collecting, analyzing and disseminating critical and multi-level information on the mobility, vulnerabilities and needs of populations on moving, enabling decision-makers to provide context-specific assistance.

Migration and the 2030 Agenda: A Guide for Practitioners

This guide is designed to serve government actors, both national and local, involved in any process of Sustainable Development Goal implementation, including those working specifically in migration, and those working in other sectors who are interested in integrating migration.

Strategic Map (2015-2020)

Glossary on Migration

Similarly to previous ones, this edition of the IOM Glossary on Migration is an accessible collection of definitions of migrationrelated terminology. It is designed for a broad range of persons engaging with migration at the international level. It also provides some insights on regional and national practices.