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Migration and Development Research Scoping Study

Abstract : This consultancy assess es current migration research to determine the key factors which need to be considered in order to better understand the drivers of migration for poor people, as well as the social and economic costs and benefits of migration. The purpose of the consultancy is to carry out a scoping ex ercise that will inform the design of a new research programme on migration to be funded under the DFID Research Strategy. E mpirical work has highlighted the development potential of migration, but has also emphasised the fundamental heterogeneity of the ways in which migration affect s development in migrant sending localities, regions and countries. While the effects of migration and remittances on development indicators such as poverty, health, inequality, income growth, investment and general wellbeing are often positive, this is not automatically the case. Under unfavourable political and economic conditions, South - North and South - South migration can have adverse consequences and can even undermine the development potential of migrant sending countries. The challenge for migration policy and more general development policy is to shape conditions which will minimize the negative effects and maximise the benefits of migration for both sending and receiving countries as well as the migrants and their famili es themselves. Research has an important role to play in meeting this challenge, by providing the information and analysis crucial to evidence - based policy - making. This Scoping Study highlights the main gaps and deficiencies in existing knowledge on migra tion and development linkages . Due to the widespread research and policy focus on remittances and economic impacts of South - North migration, the socio - cultural and political impacts of migration on sending societies as well as the crucial role of South - Sou th and internal migration in development and poverty reduction have often been neglected . Besides the need to address several data gaps, there is also a need to reconceptuali s e migration as an integral part of general development processes in order to deve lop a more realistic understanding of the complex migration - development linkages. This report identif ies significant gaps in our current knowledge and associated research tasks , which may help to fill those gaps, in four overarching areas: * The drivers of migration: it is important to identify the economic, environmental, political, social and cultural forces which shape migratory dynamics in order to outline possible future migration trends. * Linkages between migration and development: the fundamental quest ion is not whether migration leads to development or not, but which factors explain why migration has more positive development outcomes in some countries and communities, and more negative outcomes in others. There is a need to go beyond local empirical s tudies in order to achieve more comprehensive insight s on the interactions between migration and development. * Linkages between migration policies and migration/development dynamics: the research has highlighted the need for research on the impacts of gener al development strategies, governance and conflict on migration. * Data collection: significant improvement could be made by promoting the introduction of appropriate questions in censuses. Centralising and coordinating other existing or ongoing surveys cond ucted by public organisations, universities or NGOs at the local or regional level are also ways of improving collection and access to data.
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Thomas Lacroix. Migration and Development Research Scoping Study. 2008. ⟨halshs-00820370⟩

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