This proposal adds a new migrant survey component to an existing, funded NIH Program Project, the Family Migration Context and Early Life Outcomes Project (FAMELO). FAMELO examines the impact of migration by family members on children age 5-17 who remain in the sending context and assesses their early socio-emotional adjustment, socialization, schooling, and transition to adulthood. The Nepal component of the FAMELO project in Chitwan, Nepal, interviews both the child and a primary caregiver in the sending context, but currently has no direct interview with migrants who have left the household.
This proposal builds upon the Nepal FAMELO study design with a telephone survey of migrants who have left the focal children’s homes. An aim of FAMELO is to understand how children transition to adulthood and may even become migrants themselves. Interviewing household members who have left as labor migrants would be an important addition to our study. The migration experiences of these currently migrating household members affect children’s life courses. The working conditions of migrants, the strength of the migrant-child bond, and amount of remittances migrants send home: all these factors shape the aspirations for family, education, and work for children in the sending context.
The existing Nepal FAMELO design is a two-wave, 2,000 household survey scheduled to begin by Fall, 2016. Given our prior work in Nepal and with Nepali migrants in the Gulf states, we estimate that about 40% of households, or N=800, will have a current migrant in the Gulf. Our augmentation design will survey via telephone these household members in the Gulf and assess their working conditions, economic benefits, and communication with their sending household and the focal child. In addition, we plan to survey a subset of migrants currently living in non-Gulf regions: this important comparison group will allow us to understand if migration streams and experiences in the Gulf states differ from migration to areas Nepali migrants have frequently chosen, such as India, other places in Nepal, and Southeast and East Asia. The existing FAMELO design also collects retrospective migration history from all households, and thus we will be able to compare households with past migration experience to those with current and no migration experience.
The proposed project draws on a multidisciplinary team with extensive experience collecting data in Nepal and with Nepali migrants in the Gulf States. Based on the individual qualifications of team members and the history of effective collaboration, we are well-positioned to carry out the proposed research.