Evaluating Integration. Research contributions for a gender sensitive migration policy: Research contributions for a gender sensitive migration policy

Michel, Claudia; Heim, Eva; Zimmermann, Anne (2009). Evaluating Integration. Research contributions for a gender sensitive migration policy: Research contributions for a gender sensitive migration policy (Unpublished). In: Td-Conference 2009: Integration in Inter- and Transdisciplinary Research: Forging Collective Concepts, Methods and Practices - Changing Structures. Bern, Switzerland. 19.11.-21.11.2009.

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The integration of academic and non-academic knowledge is a key concern for researchers who aim at bridging the gap between research and policy. Researchers involved in the sustainability-oriented NCCR North-South programme have made the experience that linking different types of knowledge requires time and effort, and that methodologies are still lacking. One programme component was created at the inception of this transdisciplinary research programme to support exchange between researchers, development practitioners and policymakers. After 8 years of research, the programme is assessing whether research has indeed enabled a continuous communication across and beyond academic boundaries and has effected changes in the public policies of poor countries.

In a first review of the data, we selected two case studies explicitly addressing the lives of women. In both cases – one in Pakistan, the other in Nepal – the dialogue between researchers and development practitioners contributed to important policy changes for female migration. In both countries, outmigration has become an increasingly important livelihood strategy. National migration policies are gendered, limiting the international migration of women. In Nepal, women were not allowed to migrate to specific countries such as the Gulf States or Malaysia. This was done in the name of positive discrimination, to protect women from potential exploitation and harassment in domestic work. However, women continued to migrate in many other and often illegal and more risky ways, increasing their vulnerability. In Pakistan, female labour migration was not allowed at all and male migration increased the vulnerability of the families remaining back home. Researchers and development practitioners in Nepal and Pakistan brought women’s shared experience of and exposure to the mechanisms of male domination into the public debate, and addressed the discriminating laws. Now, for the first time in Pakistan, the new draft policy currently under discussion would enable broadly-based female labour migration.
What can we learn from the two case studies with regard to ways of relating experience- and research-based knowledge? The paper offers insights into the sequence of interactions between researchers, local people, development practitioners, and policy-makers, which eventually contributed to the formulation of a rights-based migration policy. The reflection aims at exploring the gendered dimension of ways to co-produce and share knowledge for development across boundaries. Above all, it should help researchers to better tighten the links between the spheres of research and policy in future.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > NCCR North-South Management Centre [discontinued]
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Michel, Claudia; Heim, Eva and Zimmermann, Anne


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
900 History > 910 Geography & travel




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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:21

Last Modified:

25 Jun 2015 13:11




https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/36565 (FactScience: 205299)

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