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 ‘normal’ 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
such migration patterns are re-established as
- To document and analyse ‘normal’ movements
of people, which may include seasonal and rural–
urban migration; migration for education, marriage,
or employment; and trade-related mobility.
To conduct research in up to three urban areas.
- To develop a methodology and conceptual
framework for the analysis of ‘normal
migration’ which can be applied throughout
the region – and potentially in other conflict
We will undertake empirical research in Goma (DR Congo), Kampala (Uganda) and Eldoret (Kenya). The fieldwork will be undertaken in four phases:
Phase 1: Literature review and preparation for field
Critically review the existing literature on ‘normal’ migration patterns and displacement in the context of conflict from across the world; refine the theoretical framework to operationalise the study of ‘normality’ in migration.
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 who work with migrants and refugees.
Phase 4: Data analysis and dissemination
Analyse data sets to unearth personal and collective understandings and practices of ‘normal’ migration patterns in the wider Great Lakes region; organise a regional workshop to share and gain feedback on the preliminary analyses with stakeholders and disseminate findings.
Download the Mobility in the African Great Lakes Project Briefing (pdf 253 KB) for a summary.
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.