Funder: International Development Research Center

ISIM conducted a workshop on May 25-26, 2007 entitled “Research Methods: Remittances and Countries in Crisis”. Twenty-seven researchers from both Northern and Southern institutions attended the workshop. The meeting at Georgetown followed a complementary gathering on diaspora research held at George Washington University. The researchers came from a wide range of disciplines, including economics, anthropology, sociology, law, political economy, migration studies, refugee studies, development studies, and peace and conflict studies, among others. European and North American, as well as Southern researchers from/or working in institutions in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America were active participants in the discussion, contributing valuable insights and leading panel discussions. In addition to southern scholars from southern institutions, there were southern scholars based in the north, northern scholars based in the south, and northern scholars from northern institutions. They shared interest and expertise in research on diasporas and remittances to hard-to-access populations in conflict and crisis areas. ” In contrast to most discussions on remittances, which tend to focus on the results of data and analyses—using primarily financial data--the discussions at this workshop centered on methods of achieving valid results in contexts that are difficult to research. The methods reviewed covered surveys, focus groups and various forms of qualitative interview profiles, as well as ways to use various methods in complementary fashion. The agreed on goal is to more comprehensively document transfer patterns, the motives behind them and the impacts on different categories of recipients. The meeting reinforced interest among participants in the Research Consortium on Remittances in Conflict and Crises, the Secretariat of which is at Georgetown University. As a result of the May 2007 meeting, Participants organized two panels for the January 2008 meeting in Cairo of the International Association for the Study of International Migration.