CfP: “Measuring Migration: Why? When? How?” hosted on June 9-10, 2022
The University of Oxford’s Migration and Mobility Network (MMN) and Nuffield College invite
academics, early career researchers, postgraduate students, policy experts, activists, artists,
practitioners, and other stakeholders to present original research during the conference “Measuring Migration” which will take place in person and online (hybrid model) on June 9-10, 2022 at Nuffield College (University of Oxford). We particularly welcome submissions from early
career researchers, postgraduate students, non-academics, and all that are typically
underrepresented in academic conferences.
Conference Themes and Objectives
This conference seeks to explore the idea of “measuring” migration, to the extent that is possible,
using a variety of methods from interdisciplinary perspectives. We aim to explore the ethics and
implications of what it means to track migratory flows, and we discuss when this might be
appropriate and why these data are helpful/harmful.
This conference is particularly relevant and timely in light of the many facets of social change.
The COVID-19 pandemic has, for many, changed the means of and reasons for migration, and the
pandemic has also changed the way researchers have had to collect migration data. Further,
advances in fields, such as digital demography, have changed the methods that are used to analyze
and visualize data. However, with these burgeoning methods and data, there are increased concerns
about data protection and privacy: For example, there are manifold implications for ethics around
the use of AI or digital trace data. This conference hopes to bridge these ideas—changing social
realities, advances in data and methods, and need for ethical approaches—across different
branches of migration research.
The conference will have 5 overarching topics for the 10-15 minute presentations:
1. How do we measure migration? Methods and advancements:
In this panel, we are interested in methods that measure migrant stock/flows and mobility.
Presentations may include (but are not limited to) those that use digital trace data, geolocation
data, demographic surveys, population registers, and other forms of documentation.
2. When should we measure migration? Ethical considerations of data collection and harm
In this panel, we are interested in understanding motivations and appropriate circumstances
for data collection on migration/migrants. We want to throw into question the default
assumption that more data is always better, and we hope to collect a panel of presentations
that questions the bounds of ethical data collection around migration
3. What are the implications of measuring migration? Policies and implementation
In this panel, we are interested in the policy implications of measuring migration. What
happens when we have migration counts? What are these data used for? Presentations for this
panel should reveal evidence of the practical consequences of having sound methods in
4. How do we represent migration? Developments in data visualization
In this panel, we are interested in data visualization for migration. How should we convey
population flows and counts? Are there differences in visualizations for internal/international
migration? What types of data are most conducive to which kinds of visualizations?
5. How has COVID-19 affected migration and mobility? Crisis and measurement
In this panel, we are interested in COVID-19 and the way that this has changed the migration
landscape, and thus produces methodological challenges. How are the research questions in
the pandemic different/similar to those before (or perhaps, after) the pandemic? Are there
specific issues relating to measurement that might change from this period?
The conference aims to generate interdisciplinary between and among academics, researchers,
practitioners, activists, and all other stakeholders and critical thinkers. Therefore, we invite
abstracts from all levels and disciplinary perspectives including, but not limited to, Anthropology,
Computer Science, Cultural Studies, Data Science, Demography, Development Studies,
Economics, Environmental Studies, Geography, History, Human Sciences, Journalism,
Languages, Law, Linguistics, Medicine, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Public
Policy, Socio-Legal Studies, and Social Policy, Sociology.
Confirmed Speakers and Discussants
Confirmed speakers include: Mina Fazel (Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford);
Isabel Ruiz (Department of Economics, University of Oxford); Carlos Vargas-Silva (Centre on
Migration Policy and Society, University of Oxford)
Confirmed discussants include: Madeleine Sumption (Migration Observatory, University of
Oxford) and Francesco Rampazzo (Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, University of
To provide a submission, use this Microsoft form, which will ask for a 250-500 word
abstract/presentation descriptions and a 100-word speaker bio. This form is due by 5pm GMT on
February 15th, 2022. Please specify with which of the topics (see above) your presentation best
aligns. The form will also ask whether the speaker hopes to present virtually or in-person and
whether the speaker would like to be considered for need-based travel funding. Decisions will be
communicated by March 25th, 2022 via email. Submissions that are not based on an abstract/academic paper, particularly for those whose work does not commonly take this
Registration details will be released in due course, once speakers are confirmed. Attendees and
participants are welcome to attend individual panels as they wish. Accessibility is a priority, and
due to the hybrid nature of the event, the conference will not charge a fee. The organisers will also utilize automated closed captioning for those attending online. They would be happy to hear your ideas, and you are welcome to contact them if there are ways that we can make this conference more accessible and/or conscientious.
Please do not hesitate to contact the conference organisers at