From Migration to Development Lessons drawn from the experience of Local Authorities

Introducing the report

The partners of the Networking and Participation of Local Authorities team of the Joint ECUN Initiative on Migration and Development (hereafter the “EC-UN JMDI”) have made a considerable effort to gather evidence from the experience of local authorities, both inside and outside the European Union, with specific attention paid to the 16 developing countries that are the main beneficiaries of the EC-UN JMDI.

This report is the result of an inventory of experiences, drawn up with the direct involvement of local authorities, which were asked to identify initiatives that they regard as being positive and effective, and which may inspire local authorities in other contexts. The report is elaborated with a thematic focus on the four priorities selected for the EC-UN JMDI, which correspond to key areas of international intervention on migration and development.

These four priorities can be summarised as: the importance of remittances in developing countries, in terms of alleviating poverty, contributing to financial stability, and as potential investment resources; the important role played by migrant communities, on the one hand, in advocating and acting for the development of their communities at home, and by their representatives, on the other, in establishing mutually beneficial cooperation with administrations in receiving societies; the relevance of investing in the capacities of migrants to streamline their contribution to development in both communities of origin and destination; and finally the importance of ensuring that migrants‟ rights are guaranteed at all stages of the migration process.

Chapter I of the report introduces the migration and development theme and briefly illustrates the institutional context in which the EC-UN JMDI was launched.

Chapter II provides a theoretical justification for the importance of the local dimension in addressing the migration and development nexus, highlighting also the relationship between integration processes and development outcomes. In Chapter III, the report focuses on the role of local authorities, highlighting the recent character of this field of operation.

Chapter IV outlines the four thematic priorities of the EC-UN JMDI, and their significance for local contexts, giving samples of local authorities‟ work in these policy realms. A number of interesting experiences – whether individual projects or complex policy processes – were identified among those and some of them became the subject of the more detailed case studies that can be found in Chapter V.

Chapter VI gives voice to the experience of a small sample of migrant associations in Europe in working with local authorities.

Finally, Chapter VII presents the lessons that can be learned from this first attempt to systematise knowledge of existing practices by local authorities, introducing the policy considerations outlined in Chapter VIII to help local actors connect migration and development trends more effectively. 

To read the full report in English, please click here