San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose: Local Migration Governance Indicators (Local MGI)


The Municipality of San José participated in the Local Migration Governance Indicators Process (Local MGI) from 2020-2021. The objective of this process is to gain a better understanding of the policies, programs and structures in place to manage migration, identify areas with good practices as well as areas that could be further developed and establish priorities based on these findings. One of the key benefits of embarking in this process, is that it promotes the exchange of experiences between local authorities to discuss common challenges and identify potential solutions. Through this process, we were invited to participate in the Training Program on Migration Policy and Governance with a Local and Municipal Level Approach, in which we were able to engage in a rich discussion about the local authorities’ priorities and needs to strengthen their capacities to manage migration.


Through the Local MGI process, the Municipality of San José was able to take stock of the policies, structures and initiatives in place related to migration. The results of the assessment provided key insights about the challenges and opportunities, and the importance of having disaggregated data to understand the patterns of migration and the profiles of migrants that come to the municipality, to provide differentiated assistance to this vulnerable population. Moreover, through the discussions fostered through the Local MGI consultations and workshops, we identified the need to strengthen our articulation with the national government on migration issues. Further, the exercise has highlighted the importance of integrating migrants in the existing services and social programs, and the inclusion of migration as a key issue to be addressed in the municipal development plans. As a result, the Municipality was able to prepare a plan of action and set priority actions that reflect its capacities and competencies.

Lessons Learnt

The Local MGI process provided the Municipality a comprehensive understanding of the roles and responsibilities of governments’ agencies working on migration. Moreover, the process has underscored the importance of enhanced communication and institutionalized collaboration among government officials. Lastly, the Local MGI contributed to increase our awareness of migration as a cross-cutting issue that spans across several policy areas, including health, education, labor, among others; and as such it is crucial for the development of our Municipality and the wellbeing of our communities, to build stronger institutional capacities to manage migration.

Priority Objectives
Eliminating all forms of discrimination and promote evidence-based public discourse
Engaging in regional and multilateral partnerships and increasing city-to-city cooperation
Improving migration governance and forced displacement protection
Costa Rica
Local or regional government
San Jose
Paula Vargas
Start of Project
End of project