The Migration-Development Nexus

Evidence and Policy Options

image of The Migration-Development Nexus

This paper presents an overview of current thinking and available evidence on the migration development nexus and includes an assessment of the intended and unintended consequences of development interventions and the role of humanitarian aid in migrant producing areas. Four critical issues are analyzed: poverty and migration; conflicts, refugees, and migration; migrants as a development resource; aid and migration.



The significance of migration

Throughout history, migration has been intimately related to economic and social development: it is often seen as the result of imbalances in development, but also as influencing development. Assessments of the influence of migration on development have varied over time: sometimes migration has been seen as beneficial and at others detrimental to development, depending on the historical moment and circumstances. With the variation in perspectives has come variation in migration and development policies. In the latter quarter of the twentieth century, the view in Europe shifted from seeing migration as a factor contributing to economic growth in the receiving states and to development in the sending states, to the prevailing view that immigration pressures have reached intolerable levels. More restrictive legislation has been accompanied by tendencies to confuse the status of refugees and illegal migrants and to lump together concerns about security with the problem of asylum seekers. Development and conflict prevention are seen as needed in the migrant-sending countries to curtail unwanted migration. However, while there has been much talk of improving economic and security conditions in source countries – assumed to alleviate migration pressures – so far the emphasis has been on policies aimed at curbing immigration at the destination end – a trend likely to gain momentum in the wake of the events of 11 September 2001.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error