Migration reshaping the landscape of development: Bridging the theory-practice gap
Wednesday, 04 October 2006
Hotel Barcelona / Room Madragoa, Lisbon, Portugal
Hosted by International Migration Institute
A workshop organised by Hein de Haas and Oliver Bakewell at the 11th International Metropolis Conference.
Migration scholars generally agree that development ‘progress’ initially tends to increase people’s propensity to migrate rather than to reduce it. This paradox is often referred to as the ‘migration hump’ or ‘migration transition’. While changes in access to social and economic resources partly explain this phenomenon, a fuller understanding must take into account the impact of development and migration on societies as a whole - in particular, their effect on people’s overall sense of well-being, their concepts of the good life and their aspirations.
Most development initiatives in Africa (and elsewhere) are based on the implicit notion that people’s conceptions of the good life entail establishing sustainable livelihoods in places of origin. They fail to recognise that migration is reshaping the very development landscape within which they work. Development actors, including states, tend to rely on outdated maps to guide their way through this landscape, with the result that their development goals are not consistent with the changing aspirations of the ‘target’ populations. Restrictive migration policies are therefore undermined by people’s increased resources and aspirations to move.
By bringing together academic, policy-makers and practitioners from different regions, this workshop will aim:
- To explore how this juxtaposition between the assumptions of top-down development models of policy makers and the actual dynamics of migration in Africa affects the relevance and effectiveness of both development and migration policies.
- To consider strategies for updating the ‘maps’ available to development and migration actors in order to improve their fit with the changing reality on the ground.
Oliver Bakewell, International Migration Institute, University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
Caroline Kihato, Development Bank of Southern Africa (South Africa)
Ronald Lucardie, Cordaid (The Netherlands)
Ayman Zohry, Researcher (Egypt).