Mobilizing inclusive remittances for rural development
It has long been recognized that the money remitted by migrants is used to supplement the receiving family’s income and is therefore largely spent on consumption. To the extent that migrant families “invest”, the main uses are for housing (renovating the existing home or purchasing a house and lot) and for their children’s education. Only a small amount of remittances is invested in productive assets, much less saved.
Since migration most often occurs because the income that can be earned at home is insufficient to support a desired lifestyle and material aspirations, it should be expected that a large portion of the money migrants send home to their family members is consumed. Nevertheless, the minuscule amount of remittances channeled into investment or savings represents an enormous missed opportunity for the family and the wider community. Since so little is invested, migrants often find that even after a decade or more abroad they and their families’ earning capacity has not increased, even if they have gained new skills. Since so little is saved, less capital is available in the community for investment by other families and businesses.
In order to develop scalable models that encourage migrants and migrant family members to save and channel those savings into rural investment, from 2014-18 ACCESS Advisory partnered with the National Confederation of Cooperatives of the Philippines and the Nepal Federation of Savings and Credit Cooperative Unions to implement the Regional Programme on Remittances and Diaspora Investment for Rural Development.