Migration and development

Public policies, migration and development


Public policies play a key role in maximising the benefits and minimising the costs of migration, both in countries of origin and destination. In such contexts, we explore the value of incorporating migration into development strategies and ensuring policy coherence for development.




Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development: Case Studies and Policy Recommendations (IPPMD)

The OECD Development Centre is carrying out a three-year project, co-funded by the EU Thematic Programme on Migration and Asylum, on the interrelations between public policies, migration and development. The overall objective of the project is to enhance the capacity of partner countries to incorporate migration into the design and implementation of their development strategies, through a better understanding of the links between sectoral policies and migration. The project is based on ten country studies in Asia, Africa and Latin America.


The Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) 

The Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) has been established and envisaged as a platform for synthesising and generating knowledge and policy expertise around migration and development issues. Within the KNOMAD framework, the Thematic Working Group (TWG) on Policy and Institutional Coherence – chaired by the Swiss Agency for Co-operation and Development (SDC), the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – seeks to address the need for improved coherence for development in the realm of migration and development (M&D) in both developed and developing countries.




Global governance and the regulation of migration flows, Chapter 2, Tackling the Policy Challenges of Migration: Regulation, Integration, Development (2011)

by Jason Gagnon and David Khoudour-Castéras

At a time when national policies on immigration are becoming increasingly restrictive no comprehensive international legal framework governing migration exists. Unlike trade and capital flows, which are subject to governance and regulation, immigration is not. Though there has been growing interest in the link between immigration and development, receiving countries often seek to use development aid to reduce immigration. A major problem is that immigration is asymmetrical: workers from the North are not interested in going to countries of the poorer South. Furthermore public opinion in the North, especially among the poorest and least educated, is increasingly hostile to immigration even if government policies, perhaps driven by organised lobbies, do not fully reflect public attitudes. Non-cooperative policies may even be counter-productive. Restrictive policies are often expensive, have human costs and do not necessarily work. Economists point to the benefits of immigration, though their views are not often heard.


Rethinking the governance of international migration, Chapter 5, Tackling the Policy Challenges of Migration: Regulation, Integration, Development (2011)

by Jason Gagnon and David Khoudour-Castéras

Governments need to consider governance of migration bearing in mind the three objectives of greater flexibility of flows, improved integration and a better effect of labour mobility on development. Steps towards greater flexibility include the need for host countries to recognise needs and explain the benefits of immigration, and more circularity, whereby migrants may come and go more freely. Losers of immigration need to be compensated, though it may be hard to identify them. There are several ways of doing this. Better integration in the South includes the protection of migrants’ rights and positive measures against discrimination as well as steps to improve social cohesion. Labour markets need to be consolidated and efforts made to put human capital to use in source countries. Migrants should be helped to get the best financial terms for their remittances. The three objectives of governance of immigration are mutually interactive.


Conclusion: Towards effective partnerships, Chapter 6, Tackling the Policy Challenges of Migration: Regulation, Integration, Development (2011)

by Jason Gagnon and David Khoudour-Castéras

The stalemate over the global governance of immigration may be more apparent than real. It could be resolved by greater international co-operation: bilateral, regional and, in certain cases, global. Decentralisation is another element, as problems may be more effectively solved at the local level and if more actors are involved from all sectors of society. Immigration policies should not be seen in isolation from others, such as those affecting agriculture, labour, trade and development. There are policy trade-offs to be made in the areas, for example, of trade and protectionism. Developing countries need to recognise that emigration brings social costs as well as financial benefits. There may be little incentive for governments to introduce necessary reforms. The example of several former origin countries shows the importance of implementing structural reforms rather than relying on migration. Even though it has a role to play, the challenge is to transform emigration into sustainable development at home.


Gaining from Migration: Towards A New Mobility System (2007)

by Jeff Dayton-Johnson, Louka T. Katseli, Gregory Maniatis, Rainer Münz, Demetrios Papademetriou

With this publication, the OECD Development Centre—in co-operation with the OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (DELSA) and the European Commission—provides an in-depth assessment of the contributions that migration is making to receiving and sending countries.

The report is a summary of recommendations that offer a road map to a new system of labour mobility. The policy innovations proposed here will be of interest to decision makers in migrant-sending and migrant-receiving countries. New ideas, based on an exhaustive review of past policy experiences in Europe and elsewhere, are offered for policies related to labour markets, integration, development co-operation and the engagement of diasporas.


Policy Coherence for Development: Migration and Developing Countries (2007)

What are the costs and benefits of migration for developing countries?  How can migration flows be better organised to yield greater benefits for all parties concerned—migrant-sending countries, migrant-receiving countries, and the migrants themselves?

This book seeks to answer these questions, taking stock of what we know about the effects of migration on development, and distilling from that knowledge a set of policy recommendations for sending and receiving countries.  It draws on a large number of country and regional case studies co-ordinated by the OECD Development Centre to illustrate the mechanisms that link migration and development: labour-market effects, the brain drain, remittances, diaspora networks and return migration.

Migrant-receiving countries are encouraged to look at their migration policies through a development lens; migrant-sending countries, conversely, should look at their national development policies through a migration lens. Interlinking migration and development policies promises a more effective pursuit of the objectives of both sets of policies. This volume provides the basis for a productive debate surrounding policy innovations maximising the overall benefits of international migration.



Related Documents