Aid and migration: how aid affects Choices

Aid has increasingly been viewed as a tool to reduce migration. Few studies have actually investigated these assumptions. Seefar conducted research to explore how development programs influence the migration intentions of Afghan potential migrants.

This pilot research, entitled “Alternatives to irregular migration: how aid affects choices among Afghan potential migrants”, comes at a time when large amounts of development aid – running into the billions of euros – is being spent by Western governments in response to the migration crisis.

Mixed methods primary research was conducted in six Afghan provinces with beneficiaries of two development programs with no migration objective: – the National Horticultural Livelihoods Program (NHLP) and the Comprehensive Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD-F).

Key findings from the research include:

  • Projects with a positive impact on participants resulted in Afghans wanting to stay in Afghanistan. 65% did not feel a desire to migrate after involvement in a project.
  • Respondents linked positive gains from the project to their resolve to remain in Afghanistan.
  • To be effective, programs must target the correct populations, both in terms of geography and demographics. Projects currently do not do this.
  • Differentiating between low, medium, and high risk beneficiary groups would allow development practitioners to better distinguish between conventional and migration-linked aid and spend donor funds more effectively.
  • Measuring development programs for migration outcomes is feasible and cost-effective.

We have provided the report for download.

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