IOM and Snowflake delve deeper into migration management in EHoA

image of birds migrating | IOM and Snowflake

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has recently hosted its first hackathon in collaboration with Snowflake to provide insights into the intersection of environmental factors with migration management and policymaking in the East and Horn of Africa (EHoA).

The two-part hackathon dedicated to “Bridging Climate Change and Human Mobility” brought together participants in London and Nairobi to explore data-driven solutions and improve understanding of the complex relationship between climate change, disasters, environmental degradation and human mobility in the region.

The hackathon brought together over 50 participants from various sectors including the tech industry and academia such as Microsoft, the University of Liverpool, the London School of Economics and the Addis Ababa University who work in areas critical to addressing climate migration in the EHoA region.

Participants in Nairobi presented different analytic approaches tested on 70 different datasets to explore the feasibility of modeling the links between different drivers of mobility in the region. Additionally, participants explored the use of new technologies, including telecom data and ML for analyzing migration flows and identifying new indicators.

Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are currently facing the longest and most severe drought in over 40 years, putting a strain on livelihoods, rain-fed agriculture, ecosystem services and people’s resilience as well as increasing forced migration and related vulnerabilities.

As of June 2023, three million people are internally displaced due to drought across these countries, with an estimated 6.6 million internally displaced people living in drought-affected areas.

Fawad Qureshi, global industry field CTO, Snowflake, said: “Together with IOM and with the power of modern cloud data platforms, we can use deep data insights to rapidly create a more accurate picture of the impact of climate change on migration.

“We are experiencing a world that is undergoing seismic climate changes and IOM’s hackathon is a springboard to better understand its impact on migration trends and finding solutions that can positively impact lives.”

Laura Nistri, IOM’s displacement tracking matrix global coordinator, said at the event’s kick-off: “We are thrilled to host this hackathon and with Snowflake’s help, transform ideas into action while harnessing the potential of data to address climate change and mobility challenges. Human mobility must be integrated into national adaption plans.”

Following the event, both companies will produce a comprehensive report synthesizing the results, which is to be published in the lead-up to COP28.