The use of survey data to study migration–environment relationships in developing countries: alternative approaches to data collection

Richard E. Bilsborrow and Sabine J. F. Henry
Springer Netherlands
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Burkina Faso
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Growing interest in the environmental aspects of migration is not matched by research on their interrelationships, due partly to the lack of adequate data sets on the two together. Focusing on the microlevel, we describe the data required to effectively investigate these interrelationships. Data sources are discussed, including information that should be collected, focusing on household surveys and remote sensing. The main section of the paper describes three alternative approaches to data collection: (a) using existing population and environmental data from different sources, illustrated by Burkina Faso; (b) adding questions to a survey developed for another purpose, illustrated for Guatemala using a DHS survey; and (c) designing a new survey specifically to collect both migration and environmental data to investigate interrelationships, illustrated by Ecuador. Methods used and summary findings are described, followed by a discussion of their advantages and limitations. We conclude with recommendations as to effective use of each approach as research on migration–environment linkages moves forward.

Population and Environment
September 2012, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp. 113-141
DOI: 10.1007/s11111-012-0177-1