Migration and Development Policy: What Have We Learned?
Migration and development have become a pressing policy priority on the global agenda over the past decade, surfacing in high-level policy discussions in the Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. During this time, evolution of the conventional wisdom has yielded innovative — albeit in many cases yet unproven — policies and programs. In “Migration and Development Policy: What Have We Learned?”, Kathleen Newland, who directs the Migration Policy Institute’s (MPI) Migrants, Migration, and Development program, examines recent approaches to migration and development, and offers recommendations and insight within this policy arena.
Economic development is a general cure for migration
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 labour migration is significant, migration motivations flourish 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.
Developing relationships between countries of origin and destination
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.
Transatlantic cooperation in migration issues
This policy brief is the last in a comparative research series,
funded by the European Union, that MPI and the European University
Institute (EUI) embarked upon in 2010 to identify ways in which
European and US immigration systems can be substantially improved
to address major challenges that have arisen on both sides of the
Atlantic. Additional research from the MPI-EUI research
partnership can be found here. A final report summing up the
findings of the research project will be released later in 2011,
touching upon the major issues this series examined: employment,
economic growth, human rights, security, immigrant integration,
demographics, development, and cooperation with immigrant-sending
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