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Unlocking the door to migration: BRAC’s Safe Migration Program

Bangladesh

Credit: Cameron Breslin

Economic returns to migration are typically high, and remittances from migrants play an important role in supporting consumption levels and reducing poverty in low and middle- countries. Despite this, many people do not choose to migrate due to the high risks involved, both before and after migrating. BRAC introduced a Safe Migration Program that provides information, assistance, and training to migrants. This evaluation found that while the Safe Migration program had no statistically significant impact on overall migration success or salary received abroad, the program did reduce risks. The program reduced migration failure for areas with higher poverty rates, reduced the costs of failure among individuals who attempt to migrate through a middleman, and had a higher chance of reducing migration failure in areas where there are a higher proportion of educated volunteers. The research team also found that the program increases migration success among repeat migrants and that in spite of potential high costs of failure, there are still large expected gains from trying to migrate.

As a follow up to their 2013 evaluation, the team received a second tranche of funding in 2014. The first objective of this second round of funding is to conduct an impact evaluation of BRAC’s Safe Migration Program, assessing if providing information, support, and training to potential migrants can reduce the risk of migration and result in a more successful migration. The second objective is to identify the channels through which this intervention achieves the highest impact, identifying changes in migration behavior as a product of the intervention.

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