Harnessing the Potential of Migration and Return to Promote Development: Applying Concepts to West Africa.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a state-of-the-art literature review and to stimulate discussions around some of the most salient issues concerning the relationship between migration, return, and development. It outlines the operational framework and research strategy that will be used to investigate this relationship in project R7910. The paper first presents an overview of the contemporary trends in international migration, or more precisely intercontinental migration, regarding this geographical region. It then discusses the consequences that such migrations can have on domestic labour markets, the effects of migrant remittances, and the brain drain phenomenon. The return of migrants is addressed in a separate section because this part of the migration process deserves special attention if a better understanding of the migration-development linkage is sought. The developmental impacts of potential capital transfers occurring with return, and particularly the transfer of financial, human, and social capital, are discussed in the subsequent section. Finally, the last section of this paper presents elements for a meso-level approach to study these issues in order to achieve an improved understanding of the highly complex relationship between international migration, return, and development.
Sussex Centre for Migration Research, University of Sussex, UK. Sussex Migration Working Paper no. 3, 34 pp.