Migrating out of Poverty in Zimbabwe

Type Working Paper
Title Migrating out of Poverty in Zimbabwe
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL http://migratingoutofpoverty.dfid.gov.uk/files/file.php?name=wp29-dzingirai-et-al-2015-migrating-out​-of-poverty-in-zimbabwe.pdf&site=354
Migration has long been used as a way for households to seek work, improve their livelihoods
and raise their incomes, as well as to escape more extreme situations of persecution, conflict
and hunger. While the global migration crises in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean
currently attract the attention of the international press and national governments, much less
is written about the movements of people within their own borders or within their regions to
neighbouring countries. The Migrating out of Poverty (MOOP) research consortium aims to
redress this imbalance by documenting and analysing internal, regional and international
migration patterns, determinants and effects with the objective of investigating the role that
migration plays in the strategies of households to escape from, or avoid falling into, poverty.
The study in Zimbabwe is one of a number of comparable studies carried out by MOOP
partners in Ghana, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Indonesia, and this working paper provides
preliminary evidence from fieldwork conducted in April and May 2015. Specifically we
provide a profile of Zimbabwean migrants and their households and we report on perceptions
held by households in Zimbabwe on whether and how migration is a viable strategy to escape
poverty. What we present here is a discussion of preliminary descriptive statistics on a small
number of aspects of migration in and from Zimbabwe, with the intention of sharing
preliminary observations and the aspiration of raising awareness of the availability of this data
set for the wider research community.
To our knowledge, this is the first study which collects both qualitative and quantitative data
in a survey of this size in Zimbabwe, with a sample of both households with migrants and
without, and specifically addressing issues around migration, remittances and poverty. Our
preliminary research adds to earlier work on the role of remittances and migration as a
poverty reduction strategy by Bracking and Sachikonye (2006), Raftopolous (2011) and Crush
and Tavera (2010) and we hope our data will enable further insights to be made on a this
complex phenomenon.

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