RT 3.2 Harnessing migration for rural transformation and development

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Mr. Neville Dubash
RT 3.2 Harnessing migration for rural transformation and development

RoundTable 3 - Addressing human mobility as part of urban and rural development strategies

RT 3.2 Harnessing migration for rural transformation and development

The objective of this roundtable is to discuss what policy choices governments have when it comes to enhancing the positive and mitigating the negative effects of migration and remittances for resilience-building and transformation in rural areas. Development strategies in many countries have tended to focus on preventing rural flight and stemming migration into overcrowded cities. Yet, as existing root causes – such as poverty, conflict, land degradation, food insecurity and discrimination – stand to be exacerbated by a changing climate, threatening to further undermine livelihoods that heavily depend on natural resources and are vulnerable to droughts, floods and other environmental impacts, governments may increasingly need to consider human mobility as part of rural resilience building strategies. This session will discuss the role of migration and remittances in the transformation of rural areas, including the impact on agriculture and related industries, as well as local employment opportunities and entrepreneurship. And, it will explore options for policy makers at national and local levels to enhance positive and mitigate negative effects.

  • What drives migration out of rural areas? Who leaves? What role do gender and age play in rural emigration? How might the transformation of rural areas in the context of climate change and associated changes in agricultural production affect migration?
  • What lessons have governments and partners learned in trying to address “rural flight”? Is migration more of a challenge or an opportunity for rural development and resilience-building? What kinds of policy interventions can enhance the positive effects and mitigate the negative effects of migration from rural areas? What is the role of cooperation between national and local governments and among local governments in rural and urban areas?
  • What role do remittances and migrant investments play in rural areas and how can they be leveraged to support rural development and resilience-building? What bottlenecks exist in this regard and who needs to come together to address those? Beyond remittances, what is the role of the relationship between those who leave and those who stay?

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