Integrating Rural Migrants in Cities – A Field Experiment in Mozambique

Project Info

Principal Investigators

Alex Armand (Nova SBE)
Wayne Sandholtz (Nova SBE)
Pedro C. Vicente (Nova SBE)

Project Coordinator

Frederica Mendonça


Funded by the FCT


Municipality of Quelimane

Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s fastest-urbanizing region – a trend that will only continue in the coming decades. This urbanization is likely to be a force towards economic development, breaking known poverty cycles around subsistence agriculture. However, urbanization can also be destabilizing, and the scale and speed of this migration presents two main challenges. First, how can city leaders integrate these rural migrants into the local labor market with minimal harm to existing residents? Second, how does this migration change political incentives and behaviour of local leaders, existing residents, and migrants themselves?
Working with the municipality, we propose to evaluate an intervention with several components aiming at integrating rural migrants arriving in the coastal city of Mozambique, Quelimane. We will follow this sample of recent migrants as well as a sample of long-term residents. This experiment can set the stage for the design of urbanization in developing countries from the perspective of cities, such that urban migration may be controlled, well managed, and acceptable to existing residents.

Contributing to SDGs: