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Global Development Institute

The Global Development Institute joins major research project on South-South migration, inequality and development

19 December 2018

A group of leading international migration experts – including from the Global Development Institute – has won backing from the UK government’s science and research funding agency to explore how South-South migration is affecting inequality and development in less developed regions.

The South-South Migration, Inequality and Development Hub won funding for the five-year project under the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) call to establish interdisciplinary research Hubs addressing complex global challenges. The recipients of the awards were announced on 10th December 2018.

GDI’s Tanja Bastia and Oliver Bakewell are among the experts who, as part of the Hub, will investigate how South-South migration – or the movement of people between less developed countries in the Global South (for example between African countries) – contributes to the delivery of UN Sustainable Development Goals such as ending poverty and reducing inequality.

They will work alongside academics, artists, community leaders, international organisations and policymakers from 12 countries across South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Middle East to better understand international migration patterns and consequences, and to support and influence global migration policy development.

South-South migration is estimated to account for nearly half of all international migration (up to 70% in some places), but its potential benefits have been undermined by limited and unequal access to rights and the economic and social opportunities that migration can bring.

Using a wide range of research methods and creative approaches, the Hub will map, record and draw attention to the experiences of those who move, generating a better understanding of – and encouraging a greater range of policy responses to address – the challenges associated with international migration. It is hoped that the work will rebalance academic and political debates, currently driven largely by the perspectives and priorities of countries in the Global North.

The GCRF South-South Migration Inequality and Development Hub will be led by Heaven Crawley, Professor of International Migration at Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, and delivered in partnership with:

  • 20 leading universities, as well as the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and PositiveNegatives;
  • Six international organisations – the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Research Institute For Social Development (UNRISD); and
  • Numerous local organisations in the 12 countries in which the hub will work: Burkina Faso, Brazil, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Jordan, Malaysia, Nepal and South Africa.

 GDI’s Tanja Bastia said:

“We are delighted to be part of this new research Hub that will examine how migration in the global south affects different aspects of inequality. GDI’s contribution will focus on the links between migration and gender, poverty and income inequality.”

Oliver Bakewell followed:

“One of the most exciting elements of the Hub is the way that it is drawing together research partners from across the world to bring new perspectives to the study of migration, shifting the focus to movement between developing countries. This is a great opportunity for us to build new partnerships and together undertake exciting new research that can help change thinking and policy approaches to migration across the world.”

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