Migration for Inclusive African Growth Network

Lead Research Organisation: Open University
Department Name: Faculty of Arts and Social Sci (FASS)

Abstract

The link between migration and development is well-established in theory and policy circles. However, the focus has been on migration from the global South to the global North, underplaying the importance of North-South flows and migration within the global South. These alternative flows have important implications for inclusive growth, understood as economic growth that creates opportunities for all in society and where the monetary and non-monetary benefits are fairly distributed. The Migration for Inclusive African Growth network will look at how inclusive growth is, and can be, strengthened through inward investment by migrant groups in the service sector of 4 African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique.

There are 3 factors which suggest that this is an important focus. First, the economic downturn revealed the fragility of the growth experienced by many African economies over the past decade. Too much of this growth was based on commodity exports whereas recent academic and policy analysis suggests that services may hold the key to future growth. Second, alongside growing migration within Africa, we are also seeing a rise in new migration flows into Africa, both from the highly developed economies of the global North and the emerging economies of the global South. Third, these migrant flows contain entrepreneurs and professionals who not only invest in the service sector, particularly areas of critical importance for development such as health, education, and ICTs, but also bring new finance, knowledge and social networks that have the potential to enhance local capabilities and thereby support inclusive growth.

While these new migration flows have the potential to generate more inclusive growth in Africa, our knowledge of their size, motives, organisation and impacts is fragmented and largely anecdotal. Therefore, the central aim of the network is to bring together Northern and Southern researchers, policy makers, migrant groups and business representatives to generate and share existing knowledge on contemporary South-South and North-South migration flows to and within Africa and design a research agenda to better understand these flows and how their contribution to inclusive growth can be enhanced through policy and practice.

The network assembles expertise in migration research to, from and within Africa. The co-applicants in each country have a track record in policy-relevant research and are well networked nationally and regionally with academic, business and policy actors. The network will interact through a mix of virtual and face-to-face means - what we call evidence cafés - across a 17-month programme of work. These will be organised by the African partners in Africa and supported by the Open University which has experience of organising such learning events.

Our hypothesis is that new migrant communities in Africa have the potential to make important contributions to inclusive growth and economic competitiveness in the countries and locales where they settle. In order to assess whether and how such benefits may be occurring the co-applicants in the 4 African countries first have to map existing data in order to gain a much clearer picture of what gaps exist and where our research energies should be focused. The focus will be services since this is a growth sector where migrant participation appears highest and within this the African co-applicants will identify the 3 most relevant sub-sectors in their contexts from education, health, ICTs, and cultural industries.

The outcome will be a new international research network and advice to GCRF on migration's role in inclusive growth. We will also develop a series of collaborative bids to GCRF and other funders in 2018. The network will innovate by using the evidence cafés and distributed academic and practitioner networks to meet the learning needs of migrant investors in Africa as well as local actors who engage with them.

Planned Impact

The network will bring together researchers from multiple disciplines and non-academic stakeholders from public, private, and third sectors in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique and Nigeria who will be the immediate target for impact activities. Learning across cases and the development of conceptual frameworks will benefit national and international policy-makers, firms and civil society organisations. The final report will set out an impact agenda for the GCRF around the potential for migration to deliver inclusive growth.

Using the Overseas Development Institute's methodology (Shaxson 2014), the inception phase and evidence café 1 will develop impact strategies for each African country as well as the UK and internationally. This will identify stakeholders and a theory of change, which will lead to a series of linked impact strategies, overseen by Mugwagwa, the OU's International Development impact champion. The likely beneficiaries and benefits are:

1) Policy-makers & African NGOs in the case study countries: The benefits will be greater awareness of new migration flows into and within Africa, a better understanding of the cross-cultural business relations involved, and knowledge about how best to realise the potential for knowledge transfer and local capacity building. This will be achieved through the evidence cafés, evening receptions, policy briefs, and video blogs during the life of the project, and builds on the deep connections all partners have in their national and regional contexts. For example, AMADPOC was commissioned by the International Organisation for Migration to produce Kenya's migration profile, NOMRA was deeply involved in preparation of Nigeria's National Policy on Migration and National Labour Migration Policy, EMU has worked with the Southern Africa Migration Project on cross border entrepreneurship, and CMS has worked with the ILO, the EU, the Ghana Government and ECOWAS on migrant labour and diaspora engagement.

2) The migrant communities and local actors in the case study countries: Experience from ESRC-funded research with Chinese migrants in Africa suggests that limitations in mutual understanding between migrant groups and local actors are barriers to successful investment and skills exchange. Through evidence cafés and receptions, the research will provide greater knowledge of how migrant entrepreneurs and professionals can invest effectively in the case study countries, not only in terms of their own businesses but also in terms of supporting the development of local capabilities. By scoping the knowledge exchange needs we ultimately intend to co-design training materials to enhance the potential of new investors in African economies. We will assemble and work with migrant associations (e.g. Overseas Chinese & Chinese People's Association, Nigeria; Lebanese Women's Association, Ghana), returnee networks (e.g. Return Migrants Association, Ghana; MoveBackToNigeria.com), bi-national chambers of commerce (e.g. Nigerian-Indian Chamber of Commerce, British Chamber of Commerce Kenya) and representatives of local government, business and employee interests, such as ministries of trade and investment, chambers of commerce, trade unions, professional associations and vocational training centres.

3) International policy-makers and NGOs: Building on the immediate impacts we intend to provide longer-term advice to policy makers working in UN organisations (UNCTAD, IOM, ILO), multilateral agencies (World Bank), regional bodies (EU, AU, ECOWAS, EAC, SADC), national organisations (e.g. DFID, Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy, China-Africa Development Fund), and NGOs (e.g. AFFORD, Business Council for Africa) by disseminating recommendations for how to maximise the mutual benefits of these important trends. We will also engage with researchers from international migration research and policy organisations including IMISCOE, IOM, UNRISD, ODI and Chatham House to co-develop policy advice.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The aim of the MIAG network was to bring together researchers, policy makers, migrant groups, professionals, entrepreneurs and business representatives from Africa and beyond to share existing knowledge on contemporary North-South and South-South migration flows to and within the continent, and to design an interdisciplinary research and impact agenda to better understand these flows and how their contribution to more inclusive growth can be enhanced through policy and practice. We did this through 'evidence cafes' with a range of migration stakeholders in each of our partner countries - Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Mozambique.

The key findings from these consultations, which are free-standing but have also informed a recently successful GCRF-ESRC grant application, are:

1. Debates around the efficacy and impacts of migration to and from Africa are shaped by popular opinions, often generated by the media. As such, knowledge about migration's contribution to inclusive growth is largely anecdotal or procedural rather than analytical and systematic.

2. The concept of inclusive growth is broad and often poorly specified which makes analysing it difficult. However, some theoretical pointers and case studies exist with which to sharpen our framework for linking migration and inclusive growth. This is being done through a special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and will be tested more thoroughly in our new project.

3. Data is patchy and unreliable, and some official data sources are not utilised at all. Moreover, some officials do not make use of rigorous analysis generated by researchers and/or are not always well-equipped to undertake their own basic analysis of data.

4. There is a lack of understanding about what skills are needed in a given African economy and what skills migrants coming to that country possess. As such there is a mismatch between supply and demand for skills and better policy could help align them.

5. Remittances from both internal and international migrants remain an important source of finance for households but the costs of remitting remain high and undermine their contribution to development. There also remains a gap around the aggregation of remittances beyond individuals so that they could be pooled for more transformative investment, such as in agriculture.

6. Policies around integration and re-integration of migrants are confusing and time-consuming for the migrants themselves which acts as a major disincentive to 'return'. Such policies are very often not joined up which creates contradictions and inefficiencies which further undermine the potentially positive impacts of migration.

7. While some national policies around harnessing migration for development exist it is at the sub-national level that such policies are implemented and where the impacts of migration are felt. As such, decentralisation policy linked to migration is crucial for harnessing the impacts of migrants for inclusive growth.
Exploitation Route We are producing a special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies on 'Migration and Inclusive African Growth' in 2019. This will have both theoretical papers and those applying the theory to concrete cases. We have also applied for a GCRF grant to more thoroughly analyse migration using an 'inclusive growth' frameowork.
Sectors Construction,Government, Democracy and Justice,Retail

 
Description The PI (Mohan) and Co-I (Raghuram) contributed to various consultations around the UN's Global Compact on Migration. The meetings were also attended by Co-I (Raimundo) which was jointly organized by the International Organisation for Migration and Mozambique's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. The PI (Mohan) and Kenyan co-I (Oucho) have secured a small amount of funding from the Open University (via a GCRF pot) to produce a short 'badged open course' on using the evidence cafe methodology for migration researchers. To achieve impact the course will be open access and online to maximise its reach. We hope it goes live in early Spring 2020.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Contributions by MIAG colleagues to the consultations around the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. We submitted statements for the Fourth Informal Thematic Session towards the UN global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration: 'Contributions of migrants and diaspora to all dimensions of sustainable development, including remittances and portability of earned benefits'. Two papers (a) Beyond remittances: International migration and inclusive growth The Open University, UK (giles.mohan@open.ac.uk; ben.lampert@open.ac.uk), 9th August 2017; (b) Student migration and negative remittances, The Open University, UK (parvati.raghuram@open.ac.uk, gunjan.sondhi@open.ac.uk), 21 July, 2017
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
URL https://refugeesmigrants.un.org/sites/default/files/ts4_open_university.pdf
 
Description Migration Research Leaders Syndicate. Dr Oucho attended the syndicate meeting in Tunisia on July 4-5 2018 to discuss the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description GCRF New Models of Sustainable Development
Amount £794,173 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/S000550/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 02/2021
 
Title Evidence cafe 
Description Evidence cafes are a way of working with research users to identify their learning needs and what forms of data are needed to better serve their knowledge needs. The method has been trialled at the Open University's Institute for Educational Technology with UK public services. This project is using the evidence cafe method for migration stakeholders and brought together researchers, migrant entrepreneurs and policy-makers. These one-day events have generated a deeper understanding of how these stakeholders acquire evidence and that this is rarely systematically analysed in decision making. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact It rapidly enables a research team to understand how people learn and enables better design of future research projects to address these learning needs and so generate impact. 
 
Description Collaboration with African Migration and Development Policy Centre (AMADPOC) 
Organisation African Migration and Development Policy Centre
Country Kenya 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The collaboration was set up under the MIAG network grant but has continued into the current award. We assisted our collaborators in running evidence cafes in Kenya, networking with other MIAG team members, and developing academic publications. Currently, we are working directly with their more career early researchers who will be doing much of the data collection for the current award.
Collaborator Contribution AMADPOC are an excellent research organisation based in Kenya but working across East Africa and beyond. They bring a wide network of stakeholders and the experience of conducting qualitative and quantitative research into migration.
Impact Organising evidence cafes Producing publications for special issue
Start Year 2017
 
Description Collaboration with Eduardo Mondlane University 
Organisation Eduardo Mondlane University
Country Mozambique 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The collaboration was set up under the MIAG network grant but has continued into the current award. We assisted our collaborators in running evidence cafes in Mozambique, networking with other MIAG team members, and developing academic publications. Currently, we are working directly with their more career early researchers who will be doing much of the data collection for the current award.
Collaborator Contribution Eduardo Mondlane University have brought a deep knowledge of Mozambican and Southern African migration issues, particularly around gender and trade. They also have good local contacts in terms of migrant organisations and policy makers.
Impact Organising evidence cafes Producing publications for special issue
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaboration with Network of Migration Research on Africa (NOMRA) 
Organisation Network of Migration Research on Africa
Country Nigeria 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The collaboration was set up under the MIAG network grant but has continued into the current award. We assisted our collaborators in running evidence cafes in Nigeria, networking with other MIAG team members, and developing academic publications. Currently, we are working directly with their more career early researchers who will be doing much of the data collection for the current award.
Collaborator Contribution NOMRA is based in Nigeria but has a pan-African remit. They have produced work for international organisations as well as advised the Nigerian and other African governments. They have very good network in Nigeria, particularly among government officials and civil society organisations, which they will bring to the project. They will be responsible for undertaking the Nigerian fieldwork and contributing to research outputs.
Impact Organising evidence cafes Producing publications for special issue
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaboration with University of Ghana 
Organisation University of Ghana
Country Ghana 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The collaboration was set up under the MIAG network grant but has continued into the current award. We assisted our collaborators in running evidence cafes in Ghana, networking with other MIAG team members, and developing academic publications. Currently, we are working directly with their more career early researchers who will be doing much of the data collection for the current award.
Collaborator Contribution The University of Ghana's Centre for Migration Studies is an excellent research centre and has worked on a number of international and externally funded projects as well as doing research for the Government of Ghana. They have brought high-level contacts from government into our wider network and will facilitate much of the field research.
Impact Organising evidence cafes Producing publications for special issue
Start Year 2018
 
Description MIAG 
Organisation African Migration and Development Policy Centre
Country Kenya 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The Open University team has organised a series of 'Evidence cafes' with four African partners in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Mozambique. The evidence cafes involved the African partners, migrant entrepreneurs, and African policy makers.
Collaborator Contribution Each partner recruited participants, publicised the events, organised the venues, and ran all the other logistics. From each event we gathered data on the ways in which African migration stakeholders use data and what gaps exist in knowledge that future research could fill.
Impact Policy makers were impressed with the methodology and have requested the reports.
Start Year 2017
 
Description MIAG 
Organisation Eduardo Mondlane University
Country Mozambique 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Open University team has organised a series of 'Evidence cafes' with four African partners in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Mozambique. The evidence cafes involved the African partners, migrant entrepreneurs, and African policy makers.
Collaborator Contribution Each partner recruited participants, publicised the events, organised the venues, and ran all the other logistics. From each event we gathered data on the ways in which African migration stakeholders use data and what gaps exist in knowledge that future research could fill.
Impact Policy makers were impressed with the methodology and have requested the reports.
Start Year 2017
 
Description MIAG 
Organisation Network of Migration Research on Africa
Country Nigeria 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The Open University team has organised a series of 'Evidence cafes' with four African partners in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Mozambique. The evidence cafes involved the African partners, migrant entrepreneurs, and African policy makers.
Collaborator Contribution Each partner recruited participants, publicised the events, organised the venues, and ran all the other logistics. From each event we gathered data on the ways in which African migration stakeholders use data and what gaps exist in knowledge that future research could fill.
Impact Policy makers were impressed with the methodology and have requested the reports.
Start Year 2017
 
Description MIAG 
Organisation University of Ghana
Department The Centre for Migration Studies
Country Ghana 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Open University team has organised a series of 'Evidence cafes' with four African partners in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Mozambique. The evidence cafes involved the African partners, migrant entrepreneurs, and African policy makers.
Collaborator Contribution Each partner recruited participants, publicised the events, organised the venues, and ran all the other logistics. From each event we gathered data on the ways in which African migration stakeholders use data and what gaps exist in knowledge that future research could fill.
Impact Policy makers were impressed with the methodology and have requested the reports.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Southern Africa Migration Programme 
Organisation Wilfrid Laurier University
Department International Migration Research Centre
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution - The Southern African Migration Programme (SAMP) is an international network of organizations founded in 1996 to promote awareness of migration-development links (linkages) in SADC (Sothern African Development Community). SAMP conducts applied research on migration and development issues, provides expertise policy advice and, offers training in migration policy and management, and conducts public education campaigns on migration-related issues. In this context our organization made possible the linkage in policy agenda within local Government, such as Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation; Ministry of Labour; Ministry of Interior and National Directorate of Immigration as well Cross Border Traders Associations. - We discussed with them the priority studies. Since SAMP is focusing on regional issues, we discussed about the need to do cross studies, such as migration between South Africa and Mozambique; Migration between Mozambique and Zimbabwe and Migration between Swaziland and Mozambique. - Contribution on research design and data collection methods, study areas selection
Collaborator Contribution - The great contribution made by partners is categorized in the following levels: - Funds availability at any time according to our research needs; - Possibility of expansion of our research in the case of need - Availability of scholarships for short term training programs, such as Certificate in International Migration that was held at the School of Public and Development Management at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa - Attendance to Regional meetings of Migration Dialogue in Southern Africa - Attendance to regional and international conferences - Joint publications
Impact - The collaboration is multidisciplinary as involved: geographers, economists, political scientists, sociologists, historians.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Conference paper on researching China-Africa relations 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Paper was entitled Mohan, G., Lampert, B., Tan-Mullins, M., and Atta-Ankomah, R. (2017) 'The (im)possibility of Southern theory: co-producing knowledge about China-Africa relations', and presented at the workshop entitled 'Researching South-South Development Cooperation: Critical Reflections on Epistemological and Methodological Challenges', 3-4 April, University of Cambridge.

The paper will appear as a chapter in Researching South-South Development Cooperation: critical reflections on the politics of knowledge production, Routledge: London. Edited by Adriana Erthal Abdenur (Instituto Igarapé), Elsje Fourie (University of Maastricht), Emma Mawdsley (Cambridge University) and Wiebe Nauta (University of Maastricht)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/26939
 
Description International Conference on Southern Perspectives on Migration: Addressing knowledge production, policies and Cooperation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Linda Oucho presented a conference paper titled 'Conceptualizing migration through evidence cafes: perspectives from the Migration for Inclusive African Growth (MIAG) network', at the UNESCO and University of Witwatersrand International Conference on Southern Perspectives on Migration: Addressing knowledge production, policies and Cooperation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://migconf2018.wordpress.com
 
Description Migrant stakeholder workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This was an evidence cafe in Nairobi, Kenta, hosted by our collaborators - African Migration and Development Policy Centre. Using their networks they invited migrant businesses, policy makers and other researchers to the one-day event which aimed to better understand their knowledge needs so as to inform a larger research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Migrant stakeholder workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This was an evidence cafe in Lagos, Nigeria, hosted by our collaborators - NOMRA. Using their networks they invited migrant businesses, policy makers and other researchers to the one-day event which aimed to better understand their knowledge needs so as to inform a larger research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Migration stakeholder workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact This was an evidence cafe in Maputo, Mozambique, hosted by our collaborators - Eduardo Mondlane University;s Centre for Policy Analysis. Using their networks they invited migrant businesses, policy makers and other researchers to the one-day event which aimed to better understand their knowledge needs so as to inform a larger research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Migration stakeholder workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact This was an evidence cafe in Accra, Ghana, hosted by our collaborators - The University of Ghana's Centre for Migration Studies. Using their networks they invited migrant businesses, policy makers and other researchers to the one-day event which aimed to better understand their knowledge needs so as to inform a larger research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Paper presented at International Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Delali Badasu presented a paper entitled 'Collective Remittance Transfer to Ghana: Potentials for Inclusive Growth' at the International Conference on 'Migration, Security and Development'; organized by the Centre for Migration Studies, to mark its 10th Anniversary, held from October 26- 27, 2017 at University of Ghana.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://cms.ug.edu.gh/news/centre-migration-studies-celebrates-tenth-anniversary
 
Description Paper presented at the third African Parliamentary Conference on "Promoting safe, orderly and regular migration: Which role for the Parliament?" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Joseph Teye gave a paper entitled 'Trends of Migration in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities' at the third African Parliamentary Conference on "Promoting safe, orderly and regular migration: Which role for the Parliament", held on 4 -5 September 2018, at the General Assembly Niamey, Niger.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.apunion.org/pdf/Provisional_programme_3rd_Conf_Mig.pdf
 
Description Refugee education project - RefER 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact We prepared a report on the educational resources that refugees could draw on and launched it at a workshop in Glasgow on September 28th 2018. The workshop was attended by representatives from organisations including Forth Valley Welcome, Single Homeless Project (SHP), Community Infosource, Perth College UHI, Together for Better Life and the University of York.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.open.ac.uk/research/sites/www.open.ac.uk.research/files/files/Documents/RefER%20Project%2...
 
Description Year of Mygration 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Open University is running a daily blog on migration, called Year of Mygration - the spelling is intentional to reflect personal reflections on migration. MIAG team members wrote a number of blogs: a) A podcast on Hometown Associations: http://www.open.ac.uk/research/news/day-61-year-mygration-critical-role-hometown-associations-development b) A blog on Chinese migrants research: http://www.open.ac.uk/research/news/reality-china-Africa c) A blog on refugees in Uganda: http://www.open.ac.uk/research/news/understanding-relational-dynamics-between-refugees-and-host-communities d) A blog on MIAG itself: http://www.open.ac.uk/research/news/researching-migration-and-inclusive-growth-Africa e) Understanding Migration Through Evidence Cafés http://www.open.ac.uk/research/news/-understanding-migration-through-evidence-cafes
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.open.ac.uk/research/news/-understanding-migration-through-evidence-cafes