LIRNEasia‘s recent research on ICT use and remittances among migrant workers was released in Dhaka on 28 June 2009.
The study of over 1,500 domestic and overseas migrant workers in six Asian countries (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Sri Lanka) has yielded some interesting insights in Bangladesh, with important policy implications.
Demand for communication among Bangaldeshi migrants surveyed was particularly high compared to the other countries surveyed; a significant number of overseas migrants even used the Internet to call home. Bangladeshi migrants were sending home around half of their salaries on average, mostly through banks, and hand-carried in cash. Mobiles play a key role in coordinating remittances; a small number of overseas migrants were even sending money home through their mobiles.
These findings as well as the important policy implications (e.g. on IPLC policy, as well as mobile payments policy) were elaborated on by Dr. Rohan Samarajiva, LIRNEasia Chair and CEO at the event. The presentation sides can be downloaded here.
The migrant study is a part of a large multi-country survey of telecom use at the bottom of the pyramid, Teleuse@BOP3. Teleuse@BOP is conducted by LIRNEasia every two years. The study looks at how the lowest socioeconomic groups or the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) make use of telecom and other ICTs in their lives. Teleuse@BOP3, the third of these studies was conducted between October 2008 and March 2009 and included Bangladesh for the first time. Teleuse@BOP3 also included a survey of BOP overseas and domestic migrant workers from the same six countries (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Sri Lanka). Over 1,500 migrant workers were surveyed in late 2008. In Bangladesh, 180 recently returned overseas migrants and 170 domestic migrants were surveyed. In-depth qualitative research with similar migrant workers as well as their families was conducted in the six countries in early 2009.
The Bangladeshi findings from the main Teleuse@BOP3 study can be downloaded here: Teleuse@BOP3 Bangladesh findings 26Jun09