Tuesday, October 18, 2011
In Migration and Development Policy: What Have We Learned?, Kathleen Newland, who directs the Migration Policy Institute’s Migrants, Migration, and Development program, examines recent approaches to migration and development, and offers recommendations and insight within this policy arena. The policy brief sums up a number of critical lessons of recent years, including that policymakers have largely discarded the once-prevailing notion that economic development is a general cure for migration; and that while labor migration is salient, migration motivations abound and migrants who move for reasons other than work also make meaningful contributions to development in their countries of origin. The brief also examines the findings that remittances reduce poverty but do not necessarily bring more sustainable growth or development; collaboration among origin, transit, and destination countries must be used to reduce or redirect migration flows; and national policy is not the only relevant locus of migration and development action. Furthermore, there is growing recognition that migration from south to north, south to south, and north to north is evenly divided into roughly the same volume as south-to-north migration (and to a lesser extent north-to-south).
The brief offers recommendations based on the notion that developing relationships between countries of origin and destination is a time-intensive process and policymakers must be flexible in their actions and expectations. Affected governments and stakeholders must recognize policy impacts on the economies and societies of both countries and should continuously examine and refine the migration and development policymaking process as it unfolds.