Reducing root causes of forced displacement and managing migration

This project addresses the multidimensional (multivariate) causes and explanatory factors of forced migration, and investigates the sustainability of different strategies for managing forced migration and flight. It also uses examples of two African sub-regions (East Africa, West Africa) to examine the potential for regional, national and sub-national policies to support a development-oriented approach to managing regular migration.

Project Lead:
Jörn Grävingholt

Project Team:
Eva Dick
Charles Martin-Shields
Constantin Ruhe
Benjamin Schraven
Sebastian Ziaja

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Time frame:
2017 - 2019 / completed

Project description

Multi-dimensional analysis of causes of flight

The policy discourse on the so-called “refugee crisis” has brought debates about ‘root’ causes of forced displacement to the fore. Development policy is expected to play a key role in delivering sustainable solutions, but this comes along with significant uncertainties. While much research points to the relative importance of various historical, political, economic, ecological and social factors, there remain questions about which combinations of factors best explain forced migration in a systematic, integrated way.

Against this background, the first work package of this project analyses the interdependence and combined impacts of political, economic, ecological, social and demographic factors on forced migration processes. It employs a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods and builds on DIE’s existing multi-dimensional classification model of state fragility. The central goal is to identify political, social, and economic patterns of displacement that can aid in shaping adequate strategies to address root causes of forced migration.

Regional migration governance

People fleeing their home regions or countries due to violent conflicts or natural disasters, however, constitute only a small fraction of those on the move. The large majority move for (predominantly) economic reasons, hoping to earn a living for their families, and do so mainly between neighbouring countries. Regional organisations, such as ECOWAS in West Africa and IGAD in North-Eastern Africa, have developed migration regimes to respond to their populations’ mobility. It remains an open question how fit these regimes are for the purpose of contributing to “safe, regular and responsible migration, and planned and well-managed migration policies” (SDG target 10.7), and how they could be supported.

In order to answer these questions, the second work package focuses on the current and potential function of regional migration governance in West and North-Eastern Africa. Based on analysis of recent migration trends in these respective regions, the second work package examines how migration governance is addressed by the different actors and institutions in West and North-Eastern Africa, and how these regional migration governance regimes interact with national and sub-national governance levels in each country (multi-level approach).

The project’s research is geared towards providing actionable policy advice and contributes actively to the building of networks with national and international experts and research institutions.