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Featured Projects

Refugees’ Journey Home 

Syrian family sitting


How do refugees decide whether and when to return home? MDI researchers are exploring this question with a major panel survey of Syrians living in Lebanon. They are using WhatsApp to stay in touch with 3,000 participating Syrian households, tracking their movement and studying how their plans evolve.


Cash Assistance and Onward Migration 

children in Valparaiso


In partnership with USAID, MDI researchers are evaluating a program that gives money to Venezuelan migrants in Colombia. Are recipients more likely to leave overburdened areas and seek opportunity elsewhere in the country? With the guarantee of additional income each month, families may be better able to plan for the future.


Asylum Policy in the Developing World

people walking on map of Earth


Much scholarship on migration focuses only on Western countries. To facilitate a shift of focus, MDI researchers created a dataset of asylum and refugee policies in more than 90 non-Western countries since 1951. Their work reveals how civil wars, international development funding, and transnational ethnic linkages affect policymaking.


Planning for Productive Migration

man standing in busy market


MDI researchers are designing a pilot program to help underemployed rural men in West Africa boost their income through seasonal migration to urban centers. The program will include comprehensive migration counseling, skills training, and a transit subsidy.


Migration Data Analytics

busy market in Africa


MDI researchers are pursuing two projects using data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) within West Africa. One examines how economic shocks, conflict, and extreme weather events affect migration. The other considers how policy changes influence the routes migrants take when moving within Africa or to Europe.