October 6, 2016 – a team of local PEP researchers held a policy conference in Dakar, Senegal, to present and discuss their findings on the impact of migration and remittances on labor market participation and human capital development in the country.
The event was organized in collaboration with the Direction du Développement du Capital Humain (DDCH), a government organization overseen by the Economic Planning and Policy Department of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Almost 60 representatives of government ministries, agencies and organizations, representatives of national and international organizations, academics, public stakeholders and journalists attended.
In this study, selected under the PAGE initiative in 2014, the researchers analyzed data from the 2009 World Bank “Migration and Remittances Household Survey”. The data was used to assess the effects of migration and remittances on labor participation and human capital development.
The team’s analysis indicates that households receiving remittances from a migrant family member are less likely to participate in the labor market, spend less per capita generally, but relatively more on education and health, than households without migrants. The results suggest that households with migrants are less motivated to participate in the labor market because they receive remittances, with motivation decreasing as the amount of remittances received increases.
Based on these findings, the researchers believe that policies creating economic opportunities for households with migrants should be implemented to promote entrepreneurship and reallocate remittance flows towards more productive uses. The Senegalese government should also adopt a national migration policy and endorse official channels for remittance inflows to support human capital improvement through spending on education and health. Find out more about the research methods, findings and policy recommendations in the following PEP publications: Working Paper 2016-10 (full paper) and Policy Brief 132.
The objective of this conference was to discuss and raise awareness of the researcher’s findings with key stakeholders in order to facilitate policy dialogues on the issues of migration, remittances, labor market participation, and human capital development. Among those in attendance were government representatives from the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEFP), the Ministry of Women, the Family, and Children (MFFE) and PAISD, a program supporting development solidarity initiatives, as well as the United Nations Population Fund and the International Organization for Migration.
Bringing together significant stakeholders and featuring two key discussants – Pr. Pape Ndiaye Diouf of INAFOD (an African training for development institute) and Dr. Papa Sakho of IPDSR (a training and research institute specializing in the population, development, and reproductive health) – as well as Lanfia Diane, the head of social planning at DDCH, ensured a productive discussion of the research team’s recommendations and issues raised.
Representatives of DDCH expressed their appreciation of the PEP team’s research and stated that the results will feed DDCH’s current work, in collaboration with policymakers and other stakeholders, to establish a national migration policy, the first for Senegal. DDCH representatives also requested further collaboration and consultancy with the PEP research team.
During the event, the national representatives of the International Organization for Migration and the European Union expressed their interest in the findings and requested the full paper, which was provided after the conference.
Additionally, journalists from five national and regional newspapers reported from the event, on both the conference and the research findings.