Alumni

Dr. Sonja Fransen

Thesis:
The economic and social effects of remittances and return migration in conflict-affected areas: the case of Burundi

Year: 2015

Promotor(s):
Valentina Mazzucato, Carlos Vargas-Silva and Khalid Koser

Abstract:
In the emerging academic and policy literature on migration and development in conflict-affected states, migration is generally regarded as a positive force for development. Migrants may contribute positively to economic development and thereby reconstruction and peace building in conflict-affected states through sending remittances or by bringing back skills and assets upon their return. Conflict-affected states however differ significantly from other developing country contexts that have not been affected by conflict, which can make us question the extent to which remittances and return migration have the potential to contribute to development in these contexts. This dissertation studies the economic and social effects of remittances and return migration on households and communities in Burundi. The aims of this dissertation are to a) provide insights into the lives of households and communities that are recovering from civil conflict and the role that migration plays in their lives, b) to apply specific tenets of theoretical approaches that have often been used to study labour migration to a conflict-affected setting, and to c) to study how migration affects both economic and social aspects of a conflict-affected society. This dissertation shows that in a conflict-affected country such as Burundi, which is one of the poorest countries the world, migration does not have the anticipated development-boosting effect that comes forward from the policy and academic literature on migration and development. The economic development impact of remittances, for example, was limited because remittances did not reach the citizens who needed it the most. Similarly, return migration led to structural inequalities between return and non-return households in terms of land ownership and was found to negatively affect the living conditions of non-return households as well. The findings of this research highlight the necessity of a basic level of development before migration can positively affect development. In the absence of investment opportunities for remittances or opportunities for returnees or returning households to establish their livelihoods, the development effects of remittances and return migration will be limited or, in the case of return migration, even negative.

Selected publications by Sonja Fransen


Articles (journal, professional, popular)
Bilgili, Özge & Sonja Fransen, 2020, `Evolution of migration trajectories and transnational social networks over time: a study among sub-Saharan African migrants in Europe, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Online, More information
Bilgili, Özge & Sonja Fransen, 2019, `Return, Reintegration and the Role of State, Migration & Integration 8-Dialog zwischen Politik, Wissenschaft und Praxis, 8
Adger, W. Neil, Emily Boyd, Anita Fabos, Sonja Fransen, Dominique Jolivet, George Neville, Ricardo Safra de Campos & Marjanneke J. Vijge, 2019, `Migration transforms the conditions for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, Lancet Planetary Health, 3
Bilgili, Özge, Craig Loschmann, Sonja Fransen & Melissa Siegel, 2019, `Is the Education of Local Children Influenced by Living near a Refugee Camp? Evidence from Host Communities in Rwanda, International Migration, More information
Bundervoet, T. & Sonja Fransen, 2018, `The educational impact of shocks in utero: Evidence from the Rwandan genocide, Economics and Human Biology, 29, More information
Bilgili, Özge, Craig Loschmann, Sonja Fransen & Melissa Siegel, 2018, `Is the education of local children influenced by living nearby a refugee camp? Evidence from host communities in Rwanda, International Migration, 57, More information
Schewel, K. & Sonja Fransen, 2018, `Formal education and Migration Aspirations in Ethiopia, Population and Development Review, 44
Fransen, Sonja, Carlos Vargas-Silva & Melissa Siegel, 2018, `The Impact of Refugee Experiences on Education, IZA Journal of Development and Migration, 8:6, More information
Fransen, Sonja & Özge Bilgili, 2018, `The Constituents of Reintegration of Displaced Populations, Population, Space and Place
Fransen, Sonja, Carlos Vargas-Silva & Melissa Siegel, 2018, `The impact of refugee experiences on education: evidence from Burundi, IZA Journal of Development and Migration, 8, More information
Fransen, Sonja & Carlos Vargas-Silva, 2017, `Return migration and economic outcomes in the conflict context, World Development, 95, More information
Fransen, Sonja, 2015, `Remittances, bonds and bridges: Remittances and social capital investments in Burundi, The Journal of Development Studies, 51, More information
Fransen, Sonja, 2015, `The Socio-Economic Sustainability of Refugee Return: Insights from Burundi, Population, Space and Place, More information
Fransen, Sonja, 2015, `Remittances, Bonds and Bridges: Remittances and Social Capital in Burundi, The Journal of Development Studies, 51, More information
Fransen, Sonja & Katherine Kuschminder, 2014, `Lessons learned from refugee return settlement policies in Africa: A case study on Burundi's Rural Integrated Villages, Refugee Survey Quarterly, 33, More information
Fransen, Sonja & Valentina Mazzucato, 2014, `Remittances and household wealth after conflict: A case study on urban Burundi, World Development, 60, More information
Brown, Richard, Jørgen Carling, Sonja Fransen & Melissa Siegel, 2014, `Measuring remittances through surveys: Methodological and conceptual issues for survey researchers and data analysts, Demographic Research, 31, More information
Fransen, Sonja & Katherine Kuschminder, 2014, `Lessons learned from refugee return settlement policies: A case study on burundi's rural integrated villages, Refugee Survey Quarterly, 33, More information
Brown, Richard, Jørgen Carling, Sonja Fransen & Melissa Siegel, 2014, `Measuring remittances through surveys: Methodological and conceptual issues for survey designers and data analysts, Demographic Research, 31, More information
Fransen, Sonja & Katherine Kuschminder, 2014, `Lessons Learned from Refugee Settlement Policies in Africa: A Case Study on Burundi's Rural Integrated Villages Approach, Refugee Survey Quarterly, 33, More information
Fransen, Sonja & Valentina Mazzucato, 2014, `Remittances and Household Wealth After Conflict: A Case Study on Urban Burundi, World Development, 60, More information
Caarls, Kim, Sonja Fransen & Ruerd Ruben, 2013, `Can migratory contacts and remittances contribute to reconciliation and reconstruction in Rwanda?, International Migration, 51, More information
Siegel, Melissa & Sonja Fransen, 2013, `New Technologies in Remittances Sending: Opportunities for Mobile Remittances in Africa, African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, 5
Fransen, Sonja & Katherine Kuschminder, 2012, `Back to the land: The long-term challenges of refugee return and reintegration in Burundi, New Issues in Refugee Research, 242, More information


Book chapters
Fransen, Sonja & M. Caarls, 2018, Allowing refugees to work or not?, in: A. Weinar, S. Bonjour, and L. Zhyznomirska, The Handbook on the Politics of Migration in Europe, Routledge Press, UK
Fransen, Sonja & Melissa Siegel, 2017, The multi-dimensional reintegration of first- and second-generation returned children, in: M. Ensor and E. Gozdziak, Children and Forced Migration: Durable Solutions during Transient Years, Palgrave Macmillan, London
Fransen, Sonja & Melissa Siegel, 2016, Diaspora Engagement after conflict in the Great Lakes Region: A Comparison of Burundi and Rwanda, in: D.J. Besharov and M. Lopez, Adjusting to a world in motion: Trends in global migration and migration policy, Oxford University Press, UK
Fransen, Sonja & Melissa Siegel, 2016, Diaspora Engagement Policies after Conflict: Burundi and Rwanda, in: D. Besharov and M. Lopez (Eds.), Adjusting to a World in Motion: Trends in Global Migration and Migration Policy, Oxford University Press, Boston


UNU-MERIT Working Papers
Fransen, Sonja, Katherine Kuschminder & Melissa Siegel, 2012, Implementation of cross-country migration surveys in conflict-affected settings: Lessons from the IS Academy survey in Burundi and Ethiopia, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2012-019
Siegel, Melissa & Sonja Fransen, 2012, New Technologies in remittances sending: Opportunities for mobile remittances in Africa, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2012-018
Fransen, Sonja & Melissa Siegel, 2011, The Development of Diaspora Engagement Policies in Burundi and Rwanda, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2011-038


External working papers
Müller-Funk, Lea & Sonja Fransen, 2020, Return aspirations and coerced return: A case study on Syrian refugees in Turkey and Lebanon, IMI Working papers, More information
Fransen, Sonja & Hein de Haas, 2019, The Volume and Geography of Forced Migration, IMI Working Papers No. 156
Fransen, Sonja & Katherine Kuschminder, 2012, Back to the land: the long-term challenges of refugee return and reintegration in Burundi, More information


Theses
Fransen, Sonja, 2015, The economic and social effects of remittances and return migration in conflict-affected areas: The case of Burundi, PhD dissertation Maastricht University / United Nations University


Briefs
Fransen, Sonja, Katrin Marchand & Levi Vonk, 2013, Remittances, Entrepreneurship and Development. International Policy Debate on Remittances, Entrepreneurship and Development, Migration policy brief No 15, More information
Fransen, Sonja & Lisa Andersson, 2011, The Emerging Remittances Market in Burundi: Opportunities for Development, Migration Policy Brief No. 6, IS Academie, More information
Fransen, Sonja & Melissa Siegel, 2010, Diaspora Engagement in Burundi: The Emergence of a Migration Policy, Migration Policy Brief No. 3, IS Academie, More information


Other (editorship, media appearance, keynote, etc.)
Siegel, Melissa, Sonja Fransen & Michaella Vanore, 2010, Website Evaluation 'Geld Naar Huis': User-Friendliness, Effectiveness, and Financial Sustainability, External policy report, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, More information

UNU-MERIT