6. Migration and Development


Coordinator: Melissa Siegel

For a complete overview of all our research activities, publications and events, please visit the migration website at:  http://migration.merit.unu.edu.

The interdisciplinary Migration Research theme focuses on the causes and consequences of migration (including both forced and voluntary migration) in countries of origin (emigration) and countries of destination (immigration). Additionally, this research group focuses on analysing and feeding into the evidence base for providing a bridge between policy and practice. With global expertise across numerous migrant origin and destination countries, the group’s work is clustered around a number of cross0cutting themes, topics and research fields including but not limited to migration and development, labour migration and the highly skilled, migration and health, return and reintegration, irregular migration and transit, forced migration, integration, migration and corruption, migration governance, migration policy, migration and gender, migration dynamics and statistics, migration and social protection, diaspora policy and engagement, migrant decision making, trafficking and smuggling, migration and poverty and more. Additionally, this group engages with international organisations, national, region, and local governments and well as other societal actors while having strong relationships with other universities, research institutions and think tanks. This group not only engages in applied and fundamental researcher but is highly engaged in education and capacity building. Our team has a strong track record in multi-method and mixed method research. Our team members are a regular fixture at global dialogues on migration issues and hold leading roles internationally. The Migration Research Group currently chairs the UNU Migration Network and is part of the Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development.


  • ONGOING PROJECTS

    Examples of ongoing research projects and topics:

    • MIGNEX- Aligning Migration Management and the Migration-Development-Nexus- is a five-year researcher project (2018-2023) funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programmeme and is one of the largest-ever European-funded research projects on migration. MIGNEX informs the development of European policy, but the project is carried out independently and produces findings and recommendations with the core ambition of creating knowledge on migration, development and policy. It involves researchers at nine research institutions in Europe, Africa and Asia. For more information see: https://www.mignex.org/
    • Our work explores multiple areas of return migration. For the ADMIGOV project (European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programmeme), we participate in the exit package (among others) leading the research on reintegration. In this project we compare the reintegration experiences of voluntary and forced returnees in Albania, Iraq and Senegal. In the Connecting Diaspora for Development Project for IOM the Netherlands we examine how diaspora return visits contribute to knowledge transfer and capacity building. In our previous research on return migration, we have examined decision making factors for return, reintegration strategies, sustainable return, monitoring and evaluation, and return migration and development.
    • Within irregular migration our research examines refugees and other migrants’ journeys and experiences along the route, decision making factors, and the intersections of policy and refugees and other migrants’ agency and decision making. Our research includes an exploration of if and how the EU Turkey Statement has influenced decision making of refugees and other migrants to take the Western Balkans route to Europe. Previous research has investigated the journeys of Eritrean and Nigerian recent arrivals in Italy and decision making factors for refugees and other migrants in moving onwards from Greece and Turkey in 2015.
    • Our team has also conducted a range of studies on the various diasporas in Europe with a particular focus on different diaspora groups in Germany. In these studies, the specific diaspora and their characteristics are mapped and better understood. Additionally, diaspora organisations and the type of engagement of the diaspora is investigated, whether it is in regard to development projects back in the countries of origin or integration and cultural activities in the country of destination. Some examples of diaspora studies are the Afghan diaspora in Europe, the Syrian diaspora in Europe, the Ukrainian, Tunisian, Indian, Pakistani, Syrian, Ecuadorian, Nepalese, Kenyan, Nigerian and Peruvian diasporas in Germany.

1. Economics of Knowledge and Innovation
2. Structural Change and Economic Development
3. Economic Complexity and Innovation
4. Governance and institutions
5. Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainability Transitions
6. Migration and Development
7. Social Protection
8. Population, Development and Labour Economics


UNU-MERIT