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A web of contradiction : an assessment of the migration-development nexus and its relevance to MIDA Hodiwala, Naozad Oorvax


Although organizations and researchers have long pointed to the impact of migration on the development of countries of origin, one can hardly deny the bright spotlight and the rapid resurgence within policy debates, that the migration-development nexus enjoys over recent years. European politicians, inter-governmental organizations and academics alike un-equivocally point out that migration if managed appropriately, could bring the proverbial ‘win-win-win’ result for migrants themselves, sending, and receiving countries. So much so that, circular migration is being advocated as the solution to the migration challenges facing the European Union (EU) today. However, at a closer look, the evidence found is contradictory at best and largely depends on how development is defined and the breadth with which remittances are measured. Thus, this paper seeks for greater knowledge of this contemporary movement of persons, without which the EU will continue to develop policies and recommendations that may sat-isfy their member states, but not their intended audience. Starting with the Gastarbeiter programmes of the 1960-70s and concluding with the recent EU Blue Card initiative, this paper will conclude that the overall contribution of migrants to development is dependent on a scheme’s ability to a) encourage ‘return of innovation’ and b) broaden its outlook on non-financial remittances. Using the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Migration for Development in Africa (MIDA) Italy-Ghana/Senegal programme, and based on Ionescu’s four point criteria for successful circular migration policy, this paper will evaluate the MIDA Italy framework and suggest means by which its successes could be magnified.

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