Anniversary Issue on Migration and Development
The first issue of the Migration Information Source debuted 12 months ago. Since that time, we have
grown in important ways. We now have over 2,000 subscribers from around the world and receive more than 25,000
visits each month. These achievements could not have been realized without the support of the JM Kaplan Fund, our primary funder throughout the process of developing the site and during this exciting first year. We also want to gratefully acknowledge the advisory board, authors, and other people too numerous to mention for lending their talents and energies to The Source. While we are extremely pleased with the growth of The Source, we have plans to do even more.
This special anniversary issue is one example.
From the outset, our mission has been to provide understandable, reliable, comparable, and relevant data
on international migration and refugee flows. The twinned issues of migration and development provide a particular
challenge in that regard. As our authors highlight, the current discussion suffers from several weaknesses: poor
data, limited empirical evidence to test hypotheses, uncertainty about the role of transnational communities,
and a general dearth of knowledge-based guidance for sending and receiving countries alike.
While this issue does not seek to remedy those failings, we have pulled together in one place what we
believe is the best and most topical thinking on the issues along with current remittance data, with all the
appropriate cautions. We raise more questions than we answer and hope that, together, these articles and data
paint a fair picture of the state of knowledge and directions for future policy-relevant research.
Kathleen Newland of MPI and Sharon Stanton Russell of MIT provide the
conceptual bookends for the issue.
Kathleen Newland, in a Migration Fundamentals piece, provides a concise overview of the
impact of rich country
migration policies on poor country development.
At the other end, Sharon Stanton Russell defines a new international agenda with an eye toward
promoting greater coherency between migration policies and development policies and engaging developing countries
as partners in this process.
This special issue also looks at some of the other subjects of debate, including remittances, brain
drain, and temporary or circular migration.
Richard Black of the University of Sussex discusses the direct and less obvious indirect
role of remittances in poverty reduction.
Graeme Hugo of Adelaide University questions the validity of the old saw "there's nothing as permanent
as a temporary migrant." Evidence from Australia and Indonesia suggest that
temporary, circular migration may become increasingly the rule.
B. Lindsay Lowell of Georgetown University explores whether highly skilled migrants keep the
global economy moving or simply transfer scarce human capital from the poor world to the rich.
Manuel Orozco of the Inter-American Dialogue looks specifically at the policy implications of
linking remittances and other kinds of migrant capital to rural Latin American development.
Nick Van Hear of the Institute for International Studies addresses the complex interaction among
remittances, conflict, and development.
Also this issue, The Source presents three tables
ranking countries around the world by total remittances received, by remittances per capita, and by remittances per GDP, based
on the latest International Monetary Fund data.
Jonathan Crush of the Southern African Migration Project examines the conflicting forces that are shaping
South Africa in a profile that covers the country's new political and economic era.
In this issue's Policy Beat, MPI's Maia Jachimowicz outlines the latest Department of Homeland
Security plans related to borders and biometrics, the resettlement of Somali Bantus, and more.
Our Spotlight this month by MPI's Kevin O'Neil condenses what we know about remittances
flowing from the United States, and in the report
Using Remittances and Circular Migration to Drive Development, O'Neil summarizes the meeting hosted by the
Migration Information Source and Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California San Diego.
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On behalf of the Source team, thank you for your comments and
Kimberly Hamilton, Ph.D
The Migration Information Source is a project of the
2002-2013 Migration Policy Institute.
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