ICLD

Climate or Economic Migration? Local Democracy and Vulnerability Reduction in Africa: Political Representation under a Changing Sky.

10 September 2017

Regional Focus: Senegal and Niger
Sustainable Development Goals
Climate Action (SDG 13) and its deep implications for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16).
ICLD Local Democracy: Accountability
Time: January 2017 – June 2018

Abstract:
This project aims to understand the multiple treatable causes for climate-related migration from the Sahel towards Europe and the role of local political representation through local government in addressing those causes. This project examines the role of local governments – the function of representation – in generating or reducing the current trend in which vulnerable people are migrating out of areas where climate variability is viewed as a driver of outmigration.
The project seeks to identify means to make policy and practical responses to climate change supportive of local democracy – to make these responses emancipatory – and therefore a transformative force for equity, justice, and security

Research Questions:
-    Why do farmers (often youth) choose or feel compelled to migrate toward Europe from these two locations compared to more “traditional” destination to the south?

-    What is the role of political representation (local and national) in buffering people against this desire or need to migrate?

-    What is the role of political representation in buffering people against climate risk? 

Methods:

The proposed study will conduct field research in the Tambacounda Region of Senegal and in the Dantiandou and Say Districts of Niger where out-migration is prevalent and where the consequences of this migration are often dire – many migrants die in route to Europe and many simply disappear and do not return home, leaving their communities and families with less labor, a great loss from having invested in the migration of their children, and with the grief of loss. The research will be carried out through literature review, surveys and interviews.

Researchers:

Dr. Papa Faye, Executive Secretary, CADRE, Dakar, Senegal (Centre d’Action pour le Développement et la Recherche en Afrique – CADRE)
Professor Jesse Ribot, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign & Stanford University
Professor Matthew Turner, University of Wisconsin, Madison