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Capitalizing on Learnings to Reduce Risks of Migration: Lessons Learned from BRAC’s Safe Migration Program

Global Networks
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Bangladeshi migrant workers line up outside a clinic in Dhaka for pre-departure medical exams, Sept. 3, 2016 (Source: Benar News)

In 2014, BRAC received additional funding from a joint initiative with CEGA to conduct an impact evaluation of their Safe Migration Program. The study aimed to determine whether providing information, support, and training to potential migrants reduces the risk of migration and results in more successful migration. The study also sought to identify the channels through which this intervention could achieve the highest impact, distinguishing changes in migration behavior as a product of the intervention. Despite reducing risks to unsafe migration, the study yielded no statistically significant impact on overall migration success or salary received abroad. While there was no impact on migration success or failure, there was some evidence, in terms of heterogeneity, that for those who are trying to migrate through middlemen, there is some reduction in migration failure cost.

BRAC is now discussing modifications in the design of migrant-support programs, including the recruitment and enumeration of educated volunteers. Moreover, BRAC is scaling up a migration loan program as well as a program for unsuccessful returning migrants, in which BRAC is providing not only community support, but also training, grants, and job placement support. The BRAC-CEGA Learning Collaborative has been instrumental in demonstrating the value of heterogeneity analyses in such programs.

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