Date(s) - 07/05/2019 - 08/05/2019
With financial support from an EU H2020 Grant, IWMI, a member of the Steering Group of the AGRUMIG consortium, in collaboration with SOAS-University of London and University of Birmingham, organized a policy dialogue – Migration: deeper understanding, better responses – on May 7 and 8 2019 in Brussels. The main purpose of the policy dialogue was to make steps towards bridging the gaps between policy and research in dealing with the complexities of rural outmigration. The meeting included participants from the AGRUMIG project partner organizations, and other relevant institutions including University of Ghana, University of Sussex, European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Development and Cooperation (DG DEVCO), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Brussels Office, University of Amsterdam, Migration Policy Institute (MPI), International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), and Baha’i International Community.
The policy dialogue was organized around presentations, plenary discussions and group discussion. Presentations were made by representatives from: AGRUMIG coordinators, AGRUMIG partners from each project country, DG DEVCO, International Labour Organization (ILO) and University of Amsterdam. The policy dialogue also had two panel discussions. The first panel discussion was focused on addressing three topics: i) how intrinsic is migration to development and change in the context participants work; ii) illustrating the relationship between migration and change in the thinking of government, society and knowledge, and iii) discussing the opportunity windows to improve development and migration. The second panel discussion focused on: why migration should be considered as development, the practical examples that show development challenges in relation to migration, what is the role of the private sector in supporting migration, how AGRUMIG as a project is trying to achieve policy traction in a different way.
Participants were also divided into groups to discuss whether: i) AGRUMIG is asking the right questions, and ii) what and where are the key policy ‘intersections’ (including on gender, youth, agricultural development, communications, income groups).
Two key points came out strongly from the meeting presentations, panel discussions and group discussions: i) the diversity of outcomes of rural out-migration on agriculture and rural change in sending/home areas was confirmed to be an important policy challenge by the policy actors present in the meeting; and ii) in global and European Union development policy processes there is considerable scope and opportunity for linking migration policy with agricultural/rural development policy.