Migration and Development

IOM’s migration and development programme looks to contribute to a better understanding of the links between migration and development in order to harness the development potential of migration for the benefit of both societies and migrants and to contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction. In Nepal, remittances that migrants send home play a vital role in national development, contributing equivalent to 27.7% of the GDP in 2014/15. IOM facilitates evidence based policy making to leverage the benefits of migration into national development of Nepal.

Joint Migration and Development Initiatives - Harnessing the Potential of Migration for Development by Reinforcing its Local Dimension in Nepal (JMDI)


The JMDI reflects the acceptance of and growing interest in the strong links between Migration and Development (M&D) and aims to support M&D actors to effectively harness the potential of migration for development. IOM Nepal implemented the second phase of Joint Migration and Development Initiative entitled “Harnessing the Potential of Migration for Development by Reinforcing its Local Dimension in Nepal” from 2013-2016. The program was led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the IOM, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UN Women and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) with the funding from the European Commission and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. JMDI supported the upscaling of two locally led migration and development projects in Nepal: (i) Safer Remittances and Improved Livelihoods (SRIL) and; (ii) Sustainable Local Development by Promoting Local Tourism through the Homestay by Migrants and their Families (HOST) with two partner organizations, Oxfam and Asian Human Rights and Culture Development Forum (Asian Forum) respectively.  Both of these projects have contributed to the local development of the territories involved through the implementation of innovative practices based on a multi-stakeholder and integral local governance approach to migration. The SRIL project managed to foster the economic empowerment of migrants and over 2,500 of their families through the promotion of safer and more productive use or remittances. While the HOST project, has enhanced rural development through the establishment of homestay tourist services with families of migrants that have been supported through the diaspora abroad.

Private Sector Participation in Labour Migration Management in Nepal


IOM, jointly with the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE), implemented a project which aimed to contribute to the GoN’s initiatives to generate employment opportunities for returnee migrants and remittance receiving households (RRHHs), through the engagement of the private sector in Nepal. The project funded by IOM Development Fund was a joint initiative of the MoLE and IOM following discussions with government, returnee migrant organizations and the private sector. The project engaged with the private sector and the Civil Society to conduct entrepreneurship and financial management trainings along with agro/livestock skill trainings. The participants would be further linked with financial institutions and cooperatives operating in the project sites to help them establish their own agro/livestock business. The project also developed a financial literacy training manual targeting RRHHs and conduct financial literacy training to RRHHs in Chitwan district.

Research and Policy Dialogue Initiative on Migration and Development in Nepal


With Remittances will continue to be important to Nepal and Nepalese households alike in the coming years. Currently, there are no institutional tools, programs or assessment of desired opportunities and services to counter this trend and encourage migrants to save and invest. Nepal’s excessive reliance on migration to fill the absence of in-country employment opportunities poses a threat as any substantial decline in capital inflow from migrants may destabilize the Nepalese economy at micro and macro levels. The project envisaged assisting the Government of Nepal (GoN) and related stakeholders in developing policies and project interventions to more effectively harness the link between migration and development. 

In pursuit of the objective mentioned above, the IOM conducted a research on the nature, use and impact of migration related social, human and financial capital flows on Nepal’s socio-economic development. To this end, the project carried out household and migrants’ surveys in 31 randomly selected districts of Nepal, including structured interviews with key stakeholders/ local authorities and consultations with the GoN, private sector and civil society organizations. The project fostered ongoing consultative and capacity building process within the context of National Planning Commission also closely engaging the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, the Ministry of Finance and a local research partner to conduct the research and jointly develop the recommendations.  The process made the Government, civil society and private sector partners fully cognizant on the development potential of migration for promoting sustainable local development in Nepal. 

Building on the recommendations of the High-Level Consultation of 2014, and in particular resolution no. 2, on enhancing linkage between migration and development, the data and evidence emerged through the research and the consultative process has provided the GoN, civil society and private sector entities, with a viable baseline against which to formulate future policies, projects and market interventions for migration mainstreaming.

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