THE ROLE OF SOCIAL CAPITAL IN THE MIGRATION AND LIVELIHOOD OF MIGRANTS IN POOR URBAN COMMUNITIES IN ACCRA

0
23

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Mobility of people from one place to another is a common phenomenon in the world. The liberalization of most economies and the reduced restriction on movement through policy has increased migration in both time and space (Abel & Sander, 2014). Critical to migration is the movement of people from one part of a country to another part of the same country and movement across countries. The former is what is commonly called internal migration and the other constituting international migration (Czaika & De Haas, 2014). The decision to migrate is a well thought out activity which is tied to several reasons and its effects can move beyond the individual‟s decision to move (Ellis, 2003; Carling & Collins, 2018). In addition, people may move for several reasons including for leisure or social activity. Invariably, economic motives are always the main drivers for most migration (Heery,Kelly, & Waddington,2003). The search for opportunities to make a better living and the need to escape from current economic hardships have always been noted as the main reasons people adopt migration as a livelihood strategy.

Development studies have not paid much attention to labour migration but it however, makes an appeal to participate in the analysis of migration within agricultural and rural developments. It highlights that the movement of people is more common than often presumed, and this recurs throughout the existence of humans (de Haan, 1999).

The significance of migration cannot be underestimated, due to the intricate role it plays in advancing socio-economic development for most countries and regions across the world

(Sampath, 2014). Due to the importance of migration in terms of the rural livelihoods of many people, there ought to be policies that support population mobility. Possibilities should equally be explored to enhance the positive effects of migration through remittances (Sikder & Higgins, 2017)

There are several case studies that portray how migration is embedded in the social and economic organization of most societies. For instance, in most countries in South Asia such as Bangladesh and Philippines, there are communities and tribal groups who migrate to different parts of Europe and the Gulf countries with the migration pattern very well socially organized (Asia-Pacific Migration report, 2015). They also use this strategy as major means of escaping poverty and helping their family members (Murphy, 2002). It has been reported that in the year 2000, about 150 million people lived outside their place of birth. Out of this estimated number, the share proportion of migrants who can be described as economic or labour migrants were about 97 million (Colby & Ortman, 2017). These figures are expected to increase due to increasing economic stress conditions in most developing countries.

While migration has become more pervasive across the world and within individual countries, there are issues relating to access to migration, decisions about when, where and how to move and knowledge regarding outcomes of migration as a livelihood strategy which most migrants must consider in the quest to move (Kothari, 2002). These factors are also dependent upon the resources and official policies available mostly at the destination countries. According to De Haan, & de Haan, (2000); Van Hear et al. (2018), resources and assets available to migrants will determine the distance, opportunities and the specific livelihood activities available to migrants. Thus, the socio-economic differentiation of migrants has significant effects on the outcomes of migration.

In addition to the above factors that shape migratory patterns, migrants are also faced with several challenges after arrival. Most economic migrants have to juggle their way through the new environment due to factors that hinder their integration process. Some migrants also move from deprived areas of a country to major urban centers with little or no capital to start life with. Again, this problem becomes more pronounced, especially when formal institutional support to help migrants make a living or engage in useful economic ventures is minimal or non-existent.

In view of these difficulties, it is noted that migrants rely on various forms of social organization to make decisions about their migration in order to find and sustain a living in the urban environment. One of such feature of social organization that migrants normally utilize is social capital. Social capital in its simplest forms describes the various forms of social relations and networks that people fall on as a means of assistance to juggle their way through difficult circumstances or make their lives productive (Pieterse, 2003). The concept has received much attention in migration studies, especially how migrants are able to use it as a means of helping them survive in their new environment. This study adds to the literature on migration by exploring how migrants can use social capital in the migration process and maintain their livelihoods in poor urban communities.

1.2. Problem statement

The need to address economic challenges is a critical factor that drives mobility from one area to another. Studies conducted on migrants‟ resettlement in host communities have shown that migration has had positive impacts on the lives and living conditions of migrants. Drawing lessons from Pakistani cities, Adams (1996) and Lu (2014) argue that migration is employed to diversify income sources, and remittances from migrants by providing for the needs of families left behind. In Lesotho, a study by Gustafsson and Makonnen (1994) also highlighted how

migration to South African mining communities was used as a livelihood strategy and by extension reduced poverty. In Ghana, a study by Awumbilla et al. (2014) also shows that migrants were of the opinion that their lives have improved since they found jobs in the informal sector.

In circumstantial terms, migrants‟ journeys may be precarious as they may be met with little social support in host communities. Again, the poverty situation of migrants may be worsened as they may not find existing jobs; they may also experience difficulties accessing basic social services and infrastructure. It is within this context that migrants depend on social capital to seek the needed information and help on the prospects of the journey. Social capital refers to features of social organization such as networks, norms and social trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit (Siisiainen, 2003). Some studies have focused on how important social capital is for migration processes but little attention has been paid to how social capital contributes to livelihoods at their destination. In Ghana, studies by Awumbilla et al. (2016) expound on how different categories of migrants can fashion out their stay in major cities by relying on complex forms of social capital, especially on social network.

Given that the study conducted by Awumbilla et al. (2016) has been useful in understanding the link between social networking, migration and livelihoods, much attention was paid to domestic and construction migrant workers. The current study also seeks to move further to other categories of migrant workers especially those engaged in trade. Again, the study contributes to filling the knowledge gap by exploring social capital as a livelihood strategy among traders to address their livelihood needs in the Ghanaian context. The study further examined the use of social capital as a tool for migrants‟ migration decisions and addressed their livelihood needs in urban poor communities in Ghana.

            Research objectives

  • To examine the socio-demographic characteristic of migrants in Madina and Mamobi communities.
    • To examine the forms of social capital used by migrants in their migration process and livelihood.
    • To examine the ways by which the existing social capital can be improved to address the existing needs of migrants.

            Research question

  • What are the various forms of social capital available for migrants and how have they used them to sustain their livelihoods?
    • How did migrants use social capital in their decision to relocate into their present residence and choice of livelihood?
    • In what ways can the existing social capital be improved to help in addressing the livelihood needs of migrants?

              Relevance of the study

This study adds to the literature on how social capital becomes a resource when individuals are able to draw on them when needed, not only in their migration process but also in their livelihood.

The study brought to bear the various forms of social capital migrants draw on in their livelihood, how migrants access social capital when they are relocating and how the various forms of social capital available to them can be improved to positively impact their livelihood at their destination.

Based on findings from the study, recommendations were made for which policy makers in Ghana can adopt to reduce the rate of rural urban migration and the concentration of migrants in urban slum areas within the capital city.

              Definition of concepts

This section gives clarification to definitions of some concepts this study adopted.

Migration process: Though this is quite complex in relation to where it ends, for this study it begins from the individual‟s decision to migrate while at the origin, the preparations involved before migration and the time frame (one month and above) before the individual finally gets to the destination. It ends at the destination because that is the interest of this study.

Social capital: Relationship with another person that results in having access to information, a job, accommodation or any help.

Migrant: A person living outside a known region where he or she is familiar with.

Livelihoods: An activity one engages in to help secure certain basic necessities of life.

Private Public Partnership: It is an agreement between government and Private Agencies in funding projects.

Offtake Agreement: An agreement between government and a private producer, where the government buys an amount of the produce from the private producer within a period of time or buys from the private producer when the producer does not get a number of customers.

              Organization of the study

The study contains six relevant chapters including this chapter. Chapter two encompasses the literature review and the theoretical foundations of the study. The third chapter comprises of methodology the study adopted. Chapters four and five contain discussions of results on findings from the analysis done on data from the study. Chapter six, which is the final chapter presents summary of findings, conclusions and recommendations.

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

            Introduction

This chapter reviews relevant literature and theoretical framework. This includes various studies done by other researchers, institutions and countries with respects to theoretical perspective on migration, migration as a tool for livelihood, social capital as a tool for improving livelihood, and the effects of social capital in the migration process.

            Migration and reasons for migrating

Despite the channels migrants rely on, other motivational factors at the destination serve as pull factors for migrants to move (Rozek, Svoboda, Harackiewicz, Hulleman, & Hyde, 2017).

The intention to migrate is based on individual choices which are related to their level of deprivation or the desire to better themselves. They have the perception that through migration the potential to achieving such aspiration becomes valid (Näre, Walsh, & Baldassar, 2017).

Migration has been defined in various ways by different scholars; however, there are some basic tenets that run through all these scholarly definitions. That is, the movement across spatial location, thus from origin to a destination. This implies living outside one‟s origin, as well as the length of time spent at the destination by the migrants (Greenwood, 1985).

The duration of stay could however be permanent or temporary because decisions for migrating can be influenced based on factors at both origin and destination. The Human Rights Commission defines migrants as persons living outside their state who are not subjected to the

legal protection in the resident state or do not enjoy the general legal rights intrinsic to the host country (Sewell, 2015).

A migrant is a person who has moved or is moving across international borders or within a state away from his or her habitual place of residence regardless of the individual‟s legal status, whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary as well as taking into consideration the length of stay (Andrijasevic & Walters, 2010). Migration can be voluntary or involuntary as acknowledged by various international organizations‟ who manage aspects of it.

Voluntary migration is based on an individual‟s decision to migrate which can be influenced by push or pull factors. These factors can be linked to economic and socio-culture reasons which attracts migrants to their expected place of destination by being dissatisfied with the place of origin (Skeldon, 2005).

Voluntary migration involves a person‟s choice to move freely from origin to a destination of choice based on economic and non-economic motives (Vega, Traut, & Neil, 2008). The involuntary migration is however more of forced movement due to political or environmental crises. The under taking of developmental projects which may result in the movement of mass population who are internally displaced can also be classified as involuntary migration (McMichael, Barnett, & McMichael, 2012). With involuntary migration, there are factors like violence and the abuse of power which displaces people who are victimized on reason of their race, religion, ethnic group or political opinion.

This threatens such individuals‟ rights and compels them to migrate, resulting in protection by foreign countries in relation to international contracts (Federal Department of Justice and Policy, 2014). There is the environmental aspect such as drought, famine and also flood which leads to the displacement of people involuntarily (Emmers, 2007).

The relevance of the discussion on migration and reason for migrating to this work has to do with the willingness and unwillingness which results in people migrating from their known origin to their destination with the hope of meeting the purpose for which they migrated.

Theoretical perspective of migration

There have been several debates on migration and development which keeps emphasizing on the positive and negative aspects of migration and its impacts on development.

This  begun  from  the  developmentalist  optimism  era  during  the  1950‟s  and  1960‟s  which  saw migration  as  brain  gain  in  developing  countries.    By  the  1970‟s  and  1980‟s,  neo‐ Marxist equated migration to brain drain.

However, Skeldon (2005) has made it clear that the issue of brain drain should not be viewed only from the viewpoint of international migration but rather internal migration, and this has been backed by De Haas (2005). Findings show that though this is a myth we live in an age of unprecedented migration; international migration is still 3% while internal migration is 97% globally (De Haas, 2005). This implies that migration is more of internal than international.

Moreover, this perception changed during the 1990‟s on the bases of return and remittances as well as transnational migration and how it influenced the origin of migrants. Especially, when these high skilled migrants return and influence their origin through the skills acquired, by training people through the establishment of companies and also bringing expertise which leads to increase in human capital levels at their origin (Skeldon, 2009).

Currently, from 1990s and 2000s, more optimistic views have been brought up in relation to migration such as remittance, brain gain and brain circulation (De Haas, 2009). This has

transformed the situations of migrants and their left behind families, the origin communities as well as their chosen destination.

De Haan (2010) conducted study on how such conversational changes in the migration and development debate should be principally viewed as part of a more general model in social and development theory. Notwithstanding this, the classical disagreement between pessimistic and optimistic views have been challenged by a clearer evidence showing the various impacts of migration.

Scholars have tried using various theories to explain why people migrate and these have been viewed from economic, social, political and personal perspective of the migrant(s) in question. Some of such scholars are Revenstein‟s theory, Lee theory, New Economics of Labour Migration theory, Todaro model just to mention a few. These theories seek to give explanation to individual and household perspectives for migration.

The first to contribute to the knowledge on migration in 1881 was Ravenstein, through his seven laws related to migration. These laws focused on what will facilitate the movement of people, how far they are willing to move as well as focused on the gendered aspects of migration. It considered where migrants are likely to move to and in what form this migration process will take, be it circular or step-wise.

The Push-Pull theory by Lee came as a critic to modify Revenstein‟s theory on migration. It suggested that the decision to migrate is not only based on Push and pull factors but also on intervening factors. These intervening factors constitute physical barriers, political, psychological, immigration and legal constraints as is more prevalent in contemporary times (Piche, 2013). This does not only look at the deprivation at the origin or the attraction at the

expected destination, however, it focuses on what might impede the movement from origin to destination and what can prevent a successful stay at the destination be it racial attacks, discrimination as well as constraints to guarantee legal status of the migrants.

The theory for explaining Labour migration in West Africa began with Todaro‟s model during 1969 which was modified from the human capital theory of migration. This model looks at migration from the cost-benefit analysis just as the Neo-classical theory. Thus, implying that the individual decision to migrate presumes that expected return to be gained will be greater (Kennan & Walker, 2011). All this decision is based on the perceived outcome rather than the actual outcome that will be gained from migration.

In explaining migration in Africa, the system theory that was propounded by Mabogunje in the 1970‟s is adopted. Internal migration in Africa specifically, rural-urban migration has to do with system interrelationships, where the rural area is viewed as the mass resource for pool of potential migrants, not individuals but a group of people, whiles the urban area is seen as the hub for receiving these pool of resources (King, & Skeldon, 2010).

The linkage between these two systems can either result in positive or negative outcomes depending on the situation at the urban area which includes government policies, social conditions such as the availability and expansion of communication and infrastructural facilities and upgrading economic conditions like job availability, technological and wage rates.

From the standpoint of new economics of labor migration, livelihood perspectives in development studies and transnational in migration studies which share several though yet overlooked theoretical ties (Castle, De Haas, Miller, 2013)

The New Economics Labour migration theory which was propounded by Stark 1990 observed migration in the African context not being an individual decision as the Neo-classical presumes, but  rather  households‟  decision.  In  terms  of  risk  and  resource  base  diversification,  migrants‟ remittances act as source of insurance for households in case of economic downstream at the origin.

New Economics of Labour Migration (NELM) which evolved in the 1990s viewed labour migration as a strategy that reduces household risk, increases income and at the same time overcomes constraints created by market failure (de Haan, 1999).

Transnational migrants are migrants considered to have links with their origin even though they leave at their destination. Scholars like Kelly (2003) and Hiebert and Ley (2003) considered transnationalism as a component of globalization, while Kenndey and Roundomemetof (2000) view transnationalism as grassroots reaction to globalization. Since, these migrants have interactions with their origin by engaging in transnational practices such as return visits, remittances, and establishment of transnational businesses, skills transfers and communication.

              Effect of social capital in the migration process

Globally, migration has been used as a tool for livelihood since it helps in the adaptation and survival strategy of the migrants as well as their households in responding to poverty and global environmental change which tends to reduce the vulnerability by increasing security of the households involved (Kanji, MacGregor, & Tacoli, 2005; Scheffram, Marmer, & Sow 2012).

Studies done on Mexican-U.S. migration flows showed how migrants access social capital through household or community ties and increases the potential for individuals to migrate (Garip, 2008, Curran, Garip, Chung, and Tangchonlatip 2005; Davis, Stecklov, and Winters 2002)

More specific, it is used by skilled migrants from developing countries to developed countries as a means to attain better wage, better standard of living and working conditions which they feel they are being deprived of at their origin. Studies on livelihood have shown the role of migration in reducing susceptibility and poverty in low-income countries (De Haas, 2012).