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Migration, Remittances, and Forest Dependence in Ethiopia: Implications for Food Security, Gender, and Forest Conservation

This project will provide evidence that offers important insight into the connection between migration, gender, and forest dependence in rural Ethiopia. Need for labour migration, forest resources While most rural households rely on agriculture for their livelihood, many poor households in developing countries use labour migration and forest resources to improve their welfare. Existing research offers simplistic assumptions that migration invariably leads to deforestation in the tropics, and that forest recovery is always a consequence of people leaving rural areas. These assumptions are being questioned, particularly as researchers analyze and document the complex factors that influence migration outcomes. As a result, it is not clear whether labour migration complements, or serves as a substitute, for forest product extraction by migrant-sending households. Furthermore, whether and how labour migration influences intra-household gender relations, food security, and forest dependence at the places of origin is unclear. Insights into the effects on households The Ethiopian Economic Association/Ethiopian Economic Policy Research Institute (EEA-EEPRI) will collaborate with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) on this project. They will explore the effects of migration and remittances on household forest dependence, food security, and intra-household gender division of work. Researchers will investigate the degree to which those effects vary across different migration types (for example, domestic versus international migration, and rural versus urban) and across socio-economic groups and locations. A better understanding of these issues is of crucial importance in Ethiopia for a number of reasons. The government has formulated and implemented specific policies on gender, forestry, and food security. However, the ways in which rural out-migration is influencing the achievement of gender equity, forest conservation, and rural food security goals are not well understood. This research will aim to propose options for policymakers and development partners. Project leadership This project is made possible through the Think Tank Initiative (TTI). TTI is a multi-funder program dedicated to strengthening independent policy research institutions, or think tanks, in developing countries. The program aims to enhance their ability to provide sound research that informs and influences policy.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
John Okidi
Total Funding
CA$ 189,808.00
Think Tank Initiative
Think Tank Initiative
Institution Country
Project Leader
Assefa Admassie
Ethiopian Economics Association