IOM work is guided by institutional priorities that abide by global agreements, frameworks and polices that were devised collectively with humanitarian and development partners aiming to deliver better services to the institutions and people supported by the organization and enhance collaboration with member states. These priorities are embedded in policies and guiding documents and translated into a set of approaches to promote consistent and principled programmes and operations. This page compiles some of these elements that are particularly relevant to the Asia Pacific region.


IOM adheres to the IASC Protection Policy definition: “All activities aimed at ensuring full respect for the rights of the individual in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the relevant bodies of law” and is committed to the IASC Statement on the Centrality of Protection in Humanitarian Action. IOM actively participates in the Global Protection Cluster and is a core member, chair or active participant of its sub-thematic groups such as gender-based violence (GBV), child protection and anti-trafficking. IOM has strengthened its protection portfolio and increasingly funds programmes specifically to integrate or mainstream protection, or to carry out specialized protection activities. IOM’s Protection programming cuts across preparedness, response, recovery, transition and peacebuilding phases of the Organization’s response and includes work on both policy and programming, including child protection in emergencies, GBV and support to persons with disabilities (PWD). 


Similar to our protection efforts, IOM integrates community participation and engagement in all phases of its programming in humanitarian, transition and development contexts. The inclusive nature of participation is crucial to developing and implementing relevant and robust programming. Participatory processes must be meaningful and ensure that affected communities have a leading voice in influencing and shaping the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects. Particular attention is given to the most marginalized and vulnerable groups in order to adequately identify the most sensitive and effective strategies best suited to the context. Accountability and Participation are guided and ensured by IOM’s Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) Framework, which underscores IOM’s commitment to the Grand Bargain Agreement and the “participation revolution”. 


In order to ensure a community’s ability to withstand, accommodate and recover from hazards and shocks in a sustainable manner, IOM endeavours to mainstream effective approaches that strengthen the resilience of vulnerable persons and communities. Through resilience-building activities led by local and national authorities such as emergency preparedness and DRR bodies, vulnerable communities prone to natural and man-made crises are able to effectively cope in the face of stressors, functionally adapt to emergencies, and anticipate and prepare for upcoming difficulties. By doing so, they have the ability to mitigate structural and socio-economic damage that may be caused by natural or conflict hazards.

Social Cohesion

While there is no universal definition, social cohesion is usually associated with such notions as solidarity, togetherness, tolerance and harmonious co-existence. IOM targets social cohesion particularly in relation to forced migration, including displaced and migrant communities and host communities, and communities at risk of conflict induced displacement. In fragile contexts, programmes support community-based processes to define a common vision and a sense of belonging, focusing on the capacity to co-exist peacefully and resolve conflicts without resorting to violence.

Conflict Sensibility

Conflict sensitivity is IOM’s commitment to understand the contexts in which we operate and specifically how our presence and actions interact with the context to create negative (i.e. divisive) or positive (i.e. connective) impacts on individuals, and conflict dynamics within and between social groups. Conflict sensitivity is relevant for all IOM’s interventions in conflict-affected environments. This approach requires detailed analysis, design and monitoring of the possible impacts that IOM programming may have on existing or latent tensions in a conflict affected environment. 

Cash based interventions (CBI)

Cash transfers have long been a major part of IOM operations. However, technological advances and developments within the banking sector have led to a renewed focus on cash as a tool for delivering assistance. CBI assistance is a “transfer modality” tool and a means to a programmatic outcome. It is not a separate stand-alone sector and when implemented CBI is done in association with technical assistance to beneficiaries. IOM produced cash distribution guidelines with specific focus on mitigating the risks of gender-based violence and organized a global workshop for field staff aimed at reviewing and improving IOM’s financial and administrative systems in relation to cash-based interventions.