This paper provides an overview of conceptual understandings of, and methodological research issues on, the relationship between chronic, or long-term, poverty and processes of migration. The paper presents a framework to enable an analysis of social relations and processes of exclusion, and the ways in which these are structured around poverty-related capitals. While livelihood strategies are diverse and multiple, for many poor people, migration represents a central component of these. This paper explores how research can be carried out to examine the characteristics of those who move and those who stay, the processes by which they are compelled or excluded from adopting migration as a livelihood strategy and the circumstances under which migration sustains chronic poverty or presents an opportunity to move out of poverty. Subsequently the paper addresses some of the implications of current migration-related policies for chronic poverty. Taking chronic poverty to mean the intergenerational transfer of poverty and recognising that those amongst the chronically poor are the least likely to benefit from current national and international development efforts (Hulme et al 2001), this paper identifies possible future research priorities for the Chronic Poverty Research Centre into the relationship between moving, staying put and chronic poverty.
Migration and Chronic Poverty, CPRC Working Paper No. 16, Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), Manchester, UK, ISBN 1-904049-15-X, 32 pp.