Migration in Georgia: Launching the "Development on the Move" Project

ISET and CRRC today launched the Development on the Move (DOTM) Project. The aim of this project is to map how migration impacts development in multiple dimensions. DOTM is funded by the Global Development Network, and coordinated by the Institute for Public Policy Research in London. 250 proposals from throughout the world competed to participate in this project, and we were extremely happy to be selected as one of the six winning teams.

Various stakeholders from the Georgian Government including National Bank, international organizations (OSCE, ILO, IOM), embassies, NGOs and leading Georgian researchers participated. Danny Sriskandarajah represented IPPR.

After introducing the project to the audience, a very focused debate followed, highlighting various migration impacts. These include remittance impacts on labor and real estate markets, changing gender roles in families, drug abuse in the absence of social control, de-skilling through low-level exploitative employment abroad, as well as various potential positive impacts, such as attitudinal change, language learning, and exposure to specialized education. (More exhaustive minutes will be available on request.)

A second component was a review of the existing policy gaps. There continues to be a mismatch between EU and local expectations. Citizenship, taxation and custom laws may discourage return migration. Embassies do not really serve as points of contact, but often are avoided, especially by undocumented migrants. Coordination of agencies, systematic gathering of quality data, and data sharing were also highlighted as particular issues.

We encourage anyone interested in migration to get in touch with us if they want to find out more about this project. We’re planning a specialized mailing list, and migration-specific website for Georgia will be launched in the next few weeks by the Danish Refugee Council. More details about the international projects are available here.