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Governance for local development in small urban centres: addressing the challenges and opportunities of increasing migration and mobility in India

The study, with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) will focus on small towns and document how social and economic changes have affected mobility and local development, with special attention to transformations in livelihoods, the dynamics of poverty, inter and intra-household relations (with a focus on migrant status, wealth status, gender and generation) and access to assets, including natural resources. The study will enable us to identify the challenges facing local governance systems. It will also document innovative NGO, government and donor supported project initiatives and offer recommendations for policy.

The study will address the following questions:

  • What are the broad kinds of labour migration; internal and international, seasonal/circular and more permanent, in the study towns by class, caste, gender and age?
  • What proportion of household income is provided by each type of migration and how does this vary by the categories above?
  • Which groups of people have been able to accumulate assets and skills through migration and why? Conversely which groups have been excluded from these positive outcomes and why?
  • How has policy affected mobility patterns?
  • How has policy affected patterns of urbanisation, remittances and the investment of remittances?
  • Has decentralisation improved accountability and good governance?
  • What are the economic and non-economic drivers of different kinds of migration?
  • What are the economic and non-economic impacts of migration?
  • How do migrants protect their own interests in their home towns?
  • What is the impact of migration on non-migrants in terms of governance, economic and non-economic impacts?
  • How can policy support more positive kinds of migration? In particular how can migrants who want to invest money in economic activity in their source areas be supported in terms of access to technical support, institutions, infrastructure and resources?
  • How can policy reduce the costs and vulnerabilities faced by the poor in different kinds of migration? In particular what kinds of social protection will be needed for the most vulnerable migrants and their families?