Coventry University leads major research project on South-South migration, inequality and development

The Hub, which is led by Coventry University, will explore international migration in the Global South


Tuesday 11 December 2018

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A group of leading international migration experts – led by Coventry University – has won backing from the UK government's science and research funding agency to explore how South-South migration is affecting inequality and development in less developed regions.

The UKRI GCRF South-South Migration, Inequality and Development Hub won funding for the five-year project from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)'s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), whose recipients were revealed yesterday.

The Hub will use the UKRI collective fund to investigate how South-South migration – or the movement of people between less developed countries in the Global South (for example between African countries) – contributes to the delivery of UN Sustainable Development Goals such as ending poverty and reducing inequality.

Academics from Coventry University will work alongside community leaders, international organisations and policymakers from 12 countries across South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Middle East to better understand international migration patterns and consequences, and to support and influence global migration policy development.

South-South migration is estimated to account for nearly half of all international migration (up to 70% in some places), but its potential benefits have been undermined by limited and unequal access to rights and the economic and social opportunities that migration can bring.

Using a wide range of research methods and creative approaches, the Hub will map, record and draw attention to the experiences of those who move, generating a better understanding of – and encouraging a greater range of policy responses to address – the challenges associated with international migration. It is hoped that the work will rebalance academic and political debates, currently driven largely by the perspectives and priorities of countries in the Global North.

The GCRF South-South Migration Inequality and Development Hub will be led by Heaven Crawley, Professor of International Migration at Coventry University's Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR). She will be joined by Dr Katharine Jones also from CTPSR who will lead the Hub's work on migration intermediaries. The Hub will be delivered in partnership with:

  • 20 leading universities, as well as the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and PositiveNegatives;
  • Six international organisations – the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Research Institute For Social Development (UNRISD); and
  • Numerous local organisations in the 12 countries in which the hub will work: Burkina Faso, Brazil, China, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Jordan, Malaysia, Nepal and South Africa.

Professor Crawley, director of the Hub, said:

Migration is perhaps one of the greatest challenges of our time because of the complex – and under researched - relationships between migration, inequality and development and because political and public anxieties about migration can undermine evidence-based policy making. I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead the Hub, which will provide new insights and fresh approaches to ensure that migration reduces local, national and global inequalities and contributes to development for the countries of the Global South.

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