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Rural-urban and cross-border MIGRAtion in West-Africa - an integrated assessment framework of drivers, processes and sustainable REsponses (MIGRAWARE)
Goal: The goal of MIGRAWARE is to deliver a scientific-technological framework for assessing the processes, drivers and factors of rural-urban and cross-border migration in West Africa. MIGRAWARE will suggest governance instruments suitable to alleviate migration needs, improve local livelihoods and sustain human-environmental interactions. The project intends to reveal the typical pathways and (hi)stories of migration that include the movement from poor hinterlands to urban conglomerations and other places so that governance instruments can be tailored for the local, national and intergovernmental (cross-boundary) level.

Research priorities: The project proposal is primarily addressing priority 3 "Rural-urban and Cross Border Migration in West Africa” but includes strong interfaces to the other research priorities through addressing manifold drivers of migration such as land use / land cover changes, climate change and climate variability (priority 1) as key factors for mobilizing local actors to leave, risks and vulnerability to climate extremes as tipping points for intensifying migration (priority 2), and sustainable agriculture/climate smart landscapes as opportunities to reduce migration pressures (priority 4).

Translation of results: The science-technology-based outputs of the project will be a library- based open source software (MIGRAWARE) for analyzing migration trends and drivers and two apps to support the collection of data on migration pathways and for citizen science-based approaches to record migration reasons. Scientific outputs will be mapping of migration trends responsive to multiple drivers with a focus on climate change and variability and suggestions of scale-sensitive governance instruments (including regulating, financial and community-based instruments) for reducing or alleviating migration. Syntheses will be provided on national level and will also address needs for intergovernmental approaches. Key addressee for the technical and scientific results will be WASCAL to improve the basis for science-services delivery, the MIGRAWARE software will be provided in a manner that enables a research community-based further development and use of the software to monitor, model and explore future migration trends as basis for governance recommendations. A hub considering the training of future decision makers and knowledge holders for climate-migration interactions will be FUT in Nigeria. A modular teaching and training program for knowledge and skills in how to assess and manage the impacts of climate and global change on rural-urban and cross-boundary migration will be jointly developed and implemented. Elements of this can subsequently be transferred to other WASCAL graduation sites or be provided through remote teaching.

Progress beyond the state-of-the-art will be achieved through combining innovative IT- solutions with citizen science-based approaches that allow for a deeper understanding of how migration histories are grounded in climate-driven processes, social networks and support and information fluxes. These technologies and the related scientific assessments have potential to be widened to global migration trends since they allow to look not only on starting and arrival points, but also on the pathways in between, and on factors that force migrants to either remain or move again. MIGRAWARE will make use of data already gathered in WASCAL and bundled in WADI and intends to establish close networks to other WRAP2.0 projects so that the focus is laid on the scientific and technological advances to ensure the feasibility of providing the suggested outputs. Both, coordinator and partners were and are partners of WASCAL and developed al- ready scientific and technological inputs to assist the science-services provision of WASCAL. Our team is experienced in orienting research towards the societal impacts of its research towards more sustainable social-ecological systems that enable life in dignity and ensure the provision of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The team is sharing tasks and responsibilities clearly, and when necessary from a transboundary point of view (see work plan) is co-working on how to gather data and process them in integrative manner.

To implement the research outputs and outcomes, FUT will be the hub to co-develop and design a curriculum (see also section 5.3, WP5) considering how migration-climate interactions can be considered with modular elements to be imported to other GRP sites and to the teaching at the German universities considering innovative tools and skills (combining social media / citizen science approaches with remote sensing, big data analyses and modelling). The expected number of PhD students at FUT will be 10 / batch, the prospective number of other GRP students is estimated after the first three years to around 15 per batch, the prospected number of joint PhD students is estimated according to the financial planning to 6 - 8. In parallel, and to standardize the program, a joint DAAD-EPOS proposal is planned with an expected number of 10 PhD students per semester to be trained. Capacity building is a critical component of the proposed project and will occur throughout the research process. A series of stakeholder workshops, focus group meetings and complementarily open space meetings (see section 5 Work Plan) will be implemented, supported by a number of smaller in-formation-gathering sub-meetings, which will act to build a framework of engagement. The work-shops will have representation from government, the professional and commercial sectors, community representation, local experts and civil society as well as academics and experts. It is not possible to provide numbers, but from previous experiences in WASCAL and SESASA, 30 - 50 stakeholders and local actors and 15 - 20 experts can be addressed per meeting.
Besides regional visibility, the partners will present results at international conferences and implement them in the context of the Global Land Program (Future Earth), International Association of Landscape Ecology, Ecosystem Service Partnership and others.
To achieve sustainability, a community of users of MIGRAWARE starting with WASCAL and the project partners will be developed from the beginning, so that a joint development of what kind of data needs to be collected, how to process them and how to inform governance instruments is started. This will be connected with international and national processes around the IPCC and IPBES assessments so that synergies can be achieved that enhance the coherence of climate, environmental and economy-oriented policies.
In sum, MIGRAWARE will deliver solutions and products, that strengthen the capacities of WASCAL to process existing data, analyze governance instruments and their impacts and recommend improved regulating, financial or community-based instruments (including their feasibility and relevance) from a local, national and intergovernmental point of view. Through a library- based open source software solution and complementary apps for data collection, also the net- working of WASCAL with other research and developing centers will be strengthened and can contribute to make it a driver for regional (ECOWAS) research coordination on how to manage drivers and trends for climate-induced migration.


For more information on WASCAL, see: https://wascal.org/

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