The Mobility Governance Lab (MGL) explores the governance of mobility at multiple scales across the global south. It is an autonomous, critical space working to realise principles of innovation, independence, and equitable partnership. Through collaborative research, it offers original insight and perspectives to scholars, civil society, and practitioners while fostering the next generation of engaged researchers from Africa and beyond.
The Mobility Governance Lab (MGL) explores the governance of mobility at multiple scales across the global south.
About the Mobility Governance Lab (MGL)
The Mobility Governance Lab is an innovative partnership between the African Centre for Migration & Society at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Oxford’s Department of International Development. It offers original insight and perspectives to scholars, civil society and practitioners, while fostering the next generation of engaged researchers from Africa and beyond.
Launched in 2021, MGL emphasises equity, independence, and rigorous analysis. With its origins in the global south, it amplifies the work and positions of voices, issues and approaches often marginal in global scholarly and policy debates. Its original social scientific analysis informs graduate training and early career fellowships while creating a strong foundation for public engagement.
MGL is governed as an equal partnership between Wits University’s African Centre for Migration & Society and Oxford’s Department of International Development. Housed in Johannesburg, it is co-directed by Jean Pierre Misago (Wits) and Loren B Landau (Oxford and Wits). Its strategic vision is overseen by the heads of their respective departments, Jo Vearey (Wits) and Diego Sanchez-Ancochea (Oxford).
The lab capitalises on existing research initiatives involving partners in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and Zimbabwe. It is currently expanding into areas where there is comparative advantage to multi-sited research or the inclusion of research staff or students across multiple locations. Projects are expressly designed to create opportunities for doctoral students and early career researchers from across the global south through funded studentships, post-doctoral fellowships and staff mobility programmes. In all cases, initiatives are developed jointly to ensure equitable ownership of data, promote transnational collaboration and publishing, and support scholarly and policy engagement in multiple sites and scales.
At MGL’s foundation is support for emerging scholars and graduate students. It creates opportunities for fellows and students through its research and outreach initiatives and supports a series of thematic, translocal ‘academies’ through its connections to the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA). These thematically oriented events bring together students and scholars from multiple institutions around mobility governance themes.
MGL will foster the incorporation of independent and empirically informed analysis on migration and mobility in policy making, programme design, and social justice advocacy. It actively develops initiatives to foster public and policy dialogues while engaging in non-traditional forms of knowledge production including documentary film, photography, and the visual arts.