Mobility in the African Great Lakes
In this two-year project, we seek to move beyond the crisis framework that dominates examinations of human mobility in the Great Lakes region, and we set out to analyse the complex mix of motivations that can be identified in any individual’s movements.
- To identify migration patterns in the region and understand the extent to which they might be impacted by conflict, the extent to which they impact migration decision-making during displacement, and the extent to which pre-existing migration patterns are re-established as conflict subsides.
- To document and analyse mobility associated with broader social processes, including seasonal and rural–urban migration; migration for education, marriage, or employment; and trade related mobility.
- To develop a methodology and conceptual framework to analyse mobility patterns throughout the region – and potentially in other conflict settings.
We will undertake empirical research in Bukavu or Lubumbashi (DR Congo), Kampala (Uganda), Eldoret (Kenya). The fieldwork will be undertaken in four phases:
Phase 1: Literature review and preparation for field
Critically review the existing literature on underlying migration patterns in the context of conflict from across the world; refine the theoretical framework to operationalise the study of mobility in conflict and crisis.
Phase 2: Collection and analysis of existing data
Collect and analyse existing data on contextual factors that shape migration dynamics, including data on regional migration stocks and flows within countries in the Great Lakes region and East Africa, outbreaks and degrees of conflicts and crises, labour markets, formal and non-formal education systems, and rates of urbanisation.
Phase 3: Primary data collection – surveys,
interviews, and life histories
Conduct initial survey of migrants to establish a broad picture of migration processes at work; in-depth qualitative interviews and life histories to develop a more detailed picture of complex migration dynamics and rationales; semi-structured interviews with stakeholders that work with migrants and refugees.
Phase 4: Data analysis and dissemination
Analyse data sets to unearth personal and collective understandings and practices of mobility patterns in the wider Great Lakes region; organise a regional workshop to share and gain feedback on the preliminary analyses with stakeholders and will disseminate its findings.
Download the Mobility in the African Great Lakes Project Briefing (pdf 253 KB) for a summary of the project (also available in French).
The IMI researchers currently working on the project are:
The International Migration Institute will work closely with research institutions working in the Great Lakes region on all aspects of this project. It is in the process of establishing formal partnerships.
This project is supported by the MacArthur Foundation’s Global
Migration and Human Mobility programme.
IMI is a member of the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University. The Mobility in the African Great Lakes Project theoretically and methodologically complements other IMI research projects, including Global Migration Futures, DEMIG, THEMIS and African Perspectives on Human Mobility.