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Published on 17/12/2020

Communities Leading Development (CLD) project household survey reveals migration dynamics and the need to prioritize productive initiatives with participant communities

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CLD conducted 4,657 surveys in 200 communities in five departments of the Western Highlands from April to November 2018, which produced results that increase our understanding of migration dynamics in the region. This understanding increases CLD’s capacity to empower communities as leaders of their own inclusive development agendas with migration dynamics lens.

Household surveys show that:

  • Over 68% of CLD community’s population are under 30 years of age. This group is the segment of the population that migrates the most; 72% of migrants are under 30 years of age.
  • Almost 1 in 4 households has a family member who has migrated outside their community.
  • 24% of households have members who have permanently migrated from the community (mostly sons & daughters). Of these, 78% indicated that their destination is the United States; 91% of migration was linked to lack of employment.
  • Of the households that reported a relative who has migrated, 56% indicated that they receive remittances equivalent to US $1,900 per year, or US $162.00 per month. More than 60% of remittances are invested in food purchases and consumption, 9% to pay debts and 8% in housing construction.

The survey reveals that CLD is operating in an area with a young median age that is highly impacted by migration; the population under 30 years of age is most at risk of migration due to lack of employment.

Linked to these challenges, during the elaboration of community development plans, the communities identified 620 strategic actions to foster economic development, which include: productive technical assistance and credit access, agriculture production and diversification, vocational training and entrepreneurship promotion.  In response to this prioritization, the FY 2020 annual work plan is oriented to improve the local conditions that factor into citizens’ decisions to remain in their communities or to migrate in search of better ones. Specific response actions include social community cohesion, value chains projects, agriculture investment, and youth vocational training. The latter will include vocational training for 1,600 project participants ages 22 to 25 in 147 communities, allowing youth to connect to productive projects in the area. 

CLD will continue capturing migration data throughout the year, to adapt and support decision making at the community level.