Migration Exchange

Cultivating insight, connection and action across the UK migration and refugee field.

Migration Exchange is a UK-based charitable programme whose mission is to cultivate insight, connection and action across the UK migration and refugee field, working together with civil society to achieve positive change. We focus particularly on independent funders and charities to achieve this mission, connecting people through convening, events and a funder network. As well as commissioning research and analysis on trends and patterns, we develop and co-design responses to shared challenges and opportunities.

See our strategic framework to learn about our key delivery and development objectives.

For our latest insights, reflections, and project updates, visit our blog.

Current Projects

  • In October 2023 we sent out a call for participants for a community of practice on leadership development in the UK refugee and migration sector, with our implementing partner Reem Assil. The aim is to bring together people working in the sector, funders and leadership practitioners to nurture existing connections, generate new ones and harness a collective approach to thinking about how leadership development opportunities in the refugee and migration sector can be more accessible, equitable and contribute to system change. Please contact us for more information.
  • In July 2023, we published ‘People, power and priorities’, a comprehensive report on the UK refugee and migration sector and independent funding landscape. The key priorities identified in the report continue to inform our programme. Please contact us if you are interested in MEX presenting the research at a briefing or event.
  • Together with Citizens UK and Praxis we are setting up a collective impact partnership working towards transformational change on the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) condition. We are asking funders to work together by committing resources to a shared strategy and coordination of efforts on NRPF. This could be through making a grant to a strategic pooled fund, or by aligning funding to partner organisations. If you are a funder interested in learning more about this collaboration opportunity, please find information on the Funders Collaborative Hub website. If you are an organisation interested in keeping updated about this partnership, please sign up to the mailing list here.
  • In June 2023 we announced our newly established Advisory Group. Currently comprised of nine people working across the sector and with funders in different types of roles, this group will support our team to put our values into action, strengthen our intersectional practices, keep us on track in our work to facilitate change, provide key insight and perspective, and above all be our ‘critical friends’ and hold us accountable.
  • Following the completion of our new strategic framework, in 2023 MEX will focus on more convening around key issues (including the new ‘Illegal Migration Act’ which has started already to have a devastating impact on people in the migration system and on the sector), and building our network.

Recent Highlights

  • (July 2023) We published ‘People, power and priorities’, a comprehensive report on the UK refugee and migration sector and independent funding landscape. The research outlines how more joined-up prioritising and strategising, backed up by funding for preparedness and collaboration, can win new political ground and protect the values and rights we all share. Read this blog post for a summary of our key findings.
  • (March 2023) Developed a new strategic framework, setting out the context, our mission, and how we will pursue our goals over the next five years.
  • (March 2023) Hosted an in-person networking and discussion session on leadership development in the UK refugee and migration sector. Read this blog post for key insights from the event.
  • (December 2022) Published A snapshot of leadership development in the UK refugee and migration sector. This scoping review delved into organisational and funder perspectives on leadership and the disproportionate impact of barriers to leadership development on particular groups. This has continued to shape our reflective work and projects on leadership development in the sector in 2023.
  • (April 2022 – March 2023) Hosted a ‘Welcome & Safety’ series of briefings and dialogues with independent funders, inviting them to hear from people working in the migration and refugee sector on approaches to promoting welcoming communities. Sessions in this series included speakers talking about the politics of welcome and public perception, community organising, campaigning to fight the hostile environment and resourcing welcome. It has also included a briefing to mark one year since the war on Ukraine, and what the response from the UK to people fleeing Ukraine can teach us about welcoming schemes (Read our blog for more information).
  • (2021 – 2022) Co-developed a Leadership for Social Change programme tailored to emerging and established migration sector leaders, with a focus on lived experience, delivered by Clore Social Leadership and the Centre for Knowledge Equity.
  • (September 2020) Developed a COVID-19 response programme, Respond and Adapt, distributing over £2.4m to 130 organisations across the UK
  • (2020 – 2021) Co-designed training & support on anti-racism, collective care & better data on sector trends & sources of support.
  • (April 2020) Published Taking Stock, a report on the infrastructure & resources of UK migration charities & funders highlighting leadership, collaboration & influencing as key focus areas. The report has informed the work and priorities for organisations and funders in the sector.
  • (2021) Shifted funder practice through co-designed programmes with people with lived experience & supporting funding to grassroots organisations (including £400,000 to Afghan-led refugee community organisations in 2021)

Scroll to the end of this page for Migration Exchange insights and publications.


With thanks to A B Charitable Trust, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Migration Foundation, Oak Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, This Day Foundation, Unbound Philanthropy for their support to Migration Exchange.


Connect with us

Would you like to stay up-to-date on our current activities and get involved in future events or projects? Join our mailing list

If you would like more information or to connect, please contact us on mex@global-dialogue.org

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