Pardee Center Task Force Report, October 2013

Remittances TF Report coverRemittance Flows to Post-Conflict States: Perspectives on Human Security and Development

October 2013 (144 pages)
ISBN 978-1-936727-10-0
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Migrant remittances – that is, money or other goods sent to relatives in the country of origin– play an increasingly central role in post-conflict reconstruction and national development of conflict-affected states. Private remittances are of central importance for restoring stability and enhancing human security in post-conflict countries. Yet the dynamics of conflict-induced remittance flows and the possibilities of leveraging remittances for post-conflict development have been sparsely researched to date.

This Pardee Center Task Force Report is the outcome of an interdisciplinary research project organized by the Boston University Center for Finance, Law & Policy, in collaboration with The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. The Task Force was convened by Boston University development economist John R. Harris and international banking expert Donald F. Terry, and social anthropologist Daivi Rodima-Taylor, Visiting Researcher at the Boston University African Studies Center, served as lead researcher and editor for the report. The Task Force was asked to research, analyze, and propose policy recommendations regarding the role of remittances in post-conflict environments and their potential to serve as a major source of development funds. The report’s authors collectively suggest a broader approach to remittance institutions that provides flexibility to adapt to specific local practices and to make broader institutional connections in an era of growing population displacement and expanding human and capital flows. Conditions for more productive use of migrants’ remittances are analyzed while drawing upon case studies from post-conflict countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The papers in this Task Force Report establish the importance of remittances for sustaining local livelihoods as well as rehabilitating institutional infrastructures and improving financial inclusion in post-conflict environments. Highlighting the increasing complexity of global remittance systems, the report examines the growing informality of conflict-induced remittance flows and explores solutions for more efficient linkages between financial institutions of different scales and degrees of formality. It discusses challenges to regulating international remittance transfers in the context of growing concerns about transparency, and documents the increasing role of diaspora networks and migrant associations in post-conflict co-development initiatives. The Task Force Report authors outline the main challenges to leveraging remittances for post-conflict development and make recommendations for further research and policy applications.