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EMN European Microcredit Research Awards2011

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Conference, New Partnerships for Innovation in Microfinance,June 23rd, 2005, Frankfurt, p. 14. 6 EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011 on the research question: Can we translate the features of microfinancegender targeting to migrants targeting? What can be learned from microfinancewomen targeting in addressing migrants with tailored remittance-linked products? To help address the ...



Can we translate microfinance gender targeting
features to migrants targeting
Blended Values Social Return on Lending SROL
Profitable Alternative Investment
Microfinance Investment Vehicle
Informal saving lending and insuring in The
Netherlands
EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011
EUROPEAN MICROCREDIT
RESEARCH AWARDS 2011
Within the framework of the 2011 EMN Annual Can we translate microfinance gender
Conference on June 9 10 in Amsterdam the targeting features to migrants targeting
fourth edition of The European Research Award in Europe Teodora CHIFOR consultant
has been launched as a joint initiative of EMN and ROMCOM Romania
its Spanish member Fundaci n Nantik Lum FNL
Profitable alternative investment The
microfinance investment vehicles Ana
The European Microcredit Research Award
Irimia Dieguez University of Seville Spain
was initially created in 2008 at the 5th EMN
Annual Conference in Nice and it is endowed
The Awards Ceremony is going to take place in
with a prize of 1 000 sponsored by FNL
the frame of the EMN Annual Conference 2011
leader and coordinator of the EMN Research
in Amsterdam Holland on June 9 at 17 00 pm
Working Group RWG
The Award is granted to research papers that
present ongoing or finalized practitioner oriented
RESEARCH WORKING GROUP
research on issues related to microfinance in
the European Union the 27 Member States The EMN Research Working Group was
and EFTA including Norway and Switzerland founded in January 2007 when several EMN
countries with special focus on one of the topics members met and formed a group to foster
of the EMN Working Groups Legal Environment synergy in the research field of microfinance
and Regulation Growth Information Technology in Europe The RWG is comprised of
Social Performance or Asset Building Additionally individuals academics and representatives
papers presented by young researchers are wanting to collaborate on joint research
especially valued in the selection process projects within the European microfinance
sector It aims at 1 conducting research and
Based on pre determined criteria such as fostering exchange of knowledge experiences
innovativeness link to EMN working groups and good practices in the research field
methodology structure literature used and of microfinance in Europe 2 promoting
replicability representatives of the Fundaci n pan European research projects by linking
Nantik Lum RWG Core Members and the EMN universities researchers practitioners
have chosen the four best papers to distribute
at the EMN Conference
regulators and clients and 3 improving
the visibility and public awareness of the 3
microfinance sector in Europe
The four selected papers for the European
Microcredit Research Awards 2011 are The European Microcredit Research Award
linked to a research strand at the EMN Annual
Informal Saving Lending and Insuring Conferences is one of the main activities
Arrangements ISLIA s among ethnic carried out by the RWG besides its biennial
minorities in The Netherlands Sophieke pan European survey of the microcredit
Kappers Julie Marthe Lehmann sector the web based Electronic Research
Research Associates of the Centre of Bulletin eRB joint publications and updates
Microfinance Inholland University of Applied
of publications
Sciences Holland
Blended Values Social Return on You may find updated information on the
Lending SROL Innovative Methodologies Awards and the EMN Research Working Group
and Measures Jim McLoughlin Head of on the RWG website http www european
Cubist Research Group UK microfinance org rwg home php
EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011
Can we translate microfinance
gender targeting features to
migrants targeting
Case study
Senegalese migrants in Europe Italy
By Teodora CHIFOR
Academic supervisor Marc LABIE
European Microfinance Programme
Solvay Business School
Part of the Thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master in
Microfinance Brussels September 2010
Table of contents
I Introduction 3
II Literature Review 5
III Research method 12
IV Results and analysis 14
V Conclusions 16
References 22
Apendix 25
4 Abbreviations
CePSI Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale
GDP Gross Domestic Product
IOM International Organization for Migration
MTO Money Transfer Operator
MFI Microfinance Institution
NGO Non governmental organization
ROSCA Rotating Savings and Credit Associations
USD United States dollar
UNESCO United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization
EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011
ABSTRACT and Khandket 1998 reveal that when receiving
the same size loan women allocate two times
as much for household expenditures than men
In the last decade migration and remittances Women especially mothers are among the
increased massively and became a central issue most poor and vulnerable and have proved to
on the European agenda Literature shows that have strong commitments to family well being
remittances exclude people from classical banking thus many microfinance actors have targeted
in developing countries these people are also the women in order to have positive social impacts
targeted population of microfinance Thus lately via their investments or sponsorships
remittances have become a central issue on the
microfinance stage seen as a possible solution Literature shows that remittances3 reach excluded
for the better integration of migrants in European people from the classical banking and poor
countries and also for preparing migrants to return segments of population in the developing countries
back home in a direct way representing an essential portion
of the receiving households revenues Meanwhile
However as Orozco and Hamilton 2005 conclude sociological theory on migrants remitting
MFIs are in the process of achieving substantial behaviour shows that remittances are often a sign
success at offering remittance transfers but they of financial success and even of dignity for many
experience difficulty in providing tailored financial migrants who make immense efforts to save and
products for migrants The objective of this send money back home according to Kankonde
inductive and exploratory study is to analyse Bukasa 2008 Similar to women microfinance
microfinance migrants targeting in European clients over 200 million international labour
host countries from the new unexplored migrants mainly men prove strong commitments
perspective of gender targeting features while to their families in their home countries by sending
trying to introduce several reflections on the over 375 billion USD of remittances worldwide
research question Can we translate the features only in official records of the World Bank 2008
of microfinance gender targeting to migrant Therefore it is no surprise that remittances
targeting The research variables remitting have become a central issue on the microfinance
behaviour being the explained variable tested agenda with an increasing number of MFIs being
on our case study of Senegalese migrants from interested in the prospect of targeting migrants
Italy are based on the literature review We with remittance linked microfinance products
use exploratory methodology by conducting
35 interviews with Senegalese migrants in Italy However as Orozco and Hamilton 2005 conclude
MFI s and Italian associations staff involved in MFIs are in the process of achieving substantial
remittances projects success at offering remittance transfers but
they experience difficulty in providing tailored
We have found that there are several differences financial products for migrants 4 and thus
between women targeting and remitters
targeting nevertheless there are some common
probably because of the lack of structured
analysis of the migrants typology specificity 5
features between women microfinance clients
and remitters It seems that MFIs could use their Considering these factors the objective of this
know how in serving women clients to address inductive and exploratory study is to contribute
remitters as well but still it is essential to to the existing literature on migrants remitting
understand that by definition targeting means behaviour and on microfinance migrants
understanding the beneficiaries and tailoring targeting The process of targeting implies
adequate products to them significant resources and energy spent by the
MFIs in order to effectively identify the targeted
group and to tailor the adequate products to
them We propose to analyse this topic from a
I INTRODUCTION new unexplored perspective of gender targeting
features while introducing several reflections
Extensive literature reports that one of the main
reasons for targeting women with microfinance 3 In this paper we focus on transnational remittances sent
is the fact that compared to men microfinance by migrants from developed economies to developing countries
4 Orozco M Hamilton E 2005 Remittances and
products offered to women prove to have more MFI intermediation issues and lessons Sector Development
direct impact on households expenditures Pitt Conference New Partnerships for Innovation in Microfinance June
23rd 2005 Frankfurt p 14
EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011
on the research question Can we translate the features of microfinance gender targeting to migrants
targeting What can be learned from microfinance women targeting in addressing migrants with
tailored remittance linked products
To help address the research question in a concrete way we intentionally delimit the scope of the
study to the African migrants in European host countries Senegalese in Italy We decided to analyse
this community by considering the lack of literature on the sub Saharan Africa as most of the studies
are focused on Latin America Moreover an essential element for our case study choice was the
access to concrete information within the pioneering project developed by a Senegalese MFI in Italy
addressing the Senegalese migrants in Italy
We propose this empirical comparative research starting from the assumption that women
microfinance clients and Senegalese remitters in Europe have common features thus we assume
that MFIs could use their know how and experience of gender targeting in tailoring remittance linked
adequate products for remitters in the host countries
We use the exploratory method using qualitative and quantitative information taken from 35
interviews that we conducted in Italy Our sample of participants include Senegalese migrants living
in Italy staff of the Senegalese MFI running the pilot project targeting Senegalese migrants in Italy
Italian institutions involved in Senegalese migrants programs and researchers We had also access
to quantitative and qualitative information provided by CePSI an Italian institution analyzing the
profile of the African migrants living in Italy
The results of our study show that women microfinance clients have some common features with
remitters and not with migrants in general The empirical study reveals that Senegalese remitters
from Italy are regular and intensive remitters and have some common features with women
microfinance clients which could help MFIs to develop adequate remittance linked products for
remitters Nevertheless the study underlined several different features of remitters compared to
women microfinance clients Thus it seems that MFIs could use their know how of serving clients
with strong commitments to their family as women in addressing remitters too Still it is essential to
realise that by definition targeting means understanding the targeted group and tailoring adequate
products to them
The main strength of this empirical study is the new and unexplored approach of analyzing remitter
targeting from a women targeting perspective considering simultaneously a large range of variables
analysing the typology of sub Saharan African migrants Senegalese from Europe based on a concrete
project of targeting remitters in host country The main limit of our analysis was time not being able
6 to pursue a deeper and more complex analysis that could strengthen our research study Moreover
information was not always easily accessible and we observed inconsistencies within data on the
same issues raising the issue of data reliability
We start the exploratory study by examining the existing literature focussing on gender targeting
features and migrants targeting characteristics This helped us to draw the comparative analysis of
gender and migrants targeting features which allow us to formulate the research question and to draw
the theoretical synthesis on which we build our study Next we describe the research methodology
used in order to identify the characteristics of the Senegalese migrants targeting in Italy helping us
answer our question Then we draw the results and the analysis of the research followed by the last
section which highlights the main conclusions
EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011
II LITERATURE REVIEW
In the last decade migration and remittances increased massively and have become a central
issue on the European agenda Considering both social and economic advantages of remittance
business remittances have recently attracted microfinance actors too seen as a possible solution
for migrants better integration into European countries and also for preparing their return home
To respond to microfinance actors interest in remittances numerous studies analyze the possible
links between remittances and microfinance However as Orozco and Hamilton 2005 conclude
MFIs are in the process of achieving substantial success at offering remittance transfers but they
experience difficulty in providing tailored financial products 5 Thus it is essential to understand
the typology of targeted group the migrants in order to tailor adequate and efficient products
for them While there is a lack of experience and empirical studies in analysing the way MFIs could
better target migrants with remittance linked services there is extensive literature analyzing the
way MFIs provide tailored products for women worldwide
In this section we attempt to review the literature in order to draw the theoretical synthesis that
analyzes gender targeting features compared to migrant targeting characteristics Thus we begin by
reviewing existing literature on gender targeting with microfinance products followed by literature
on microfinance and remittances highlighting the advantages and shortcomings of migrants
targeting characteristics Based on literature findings we draw two comparative syntheses
When talking about targeting microfinance most often refers to women and the poorest categories
Literature evidences reveal that targeting still remains a spread practice in microfinance despite
the fact that many MFIs advocate for programs that are not differentiated among their clients In
its attempt to reduce poverty microfinance is associated frequently with the banking for women
statement considering that women represent the majority of the poorest living with less than one
USD per day according to Microcredit Summit 2005 The literature reveals that vulnerability and
poverty are not the only reasons for intense women targeted programs in microfinance 6 Thus what
are the main reasons for the MFIs to give priority to women often in an exclusivist way
From a social perspective women have stronger commitments to their families especially mothers
which lead to positive impacts on the households life conditions through increasing investments in
households expenditures Pitt and Khandker s empirical study 1998 showed that if 100 taka are
lend to a men he would give 11 taka for household expenditures while a women would allocate 18
taka to household out of the 100 taka loan and this due to women higher commitments to their
family well being This helps to raise women s revenues and create a safety net for their families also
women targeting practices lead to self esteem increased decision power personal and professional
development less discrimination and thus women s empowerment From an economic perspective 7
women targeting practices lead to good repayment rates and less risky investments reducing the
moral hazard and thus the defaults according to Khandker et al 1995 Gibbons and Kasim in
Malaysia Hossain 1998 in Bangladesh Rahman 1999 argues that women are more reliable clients
due to their higher risk aversion and their sensitivity to verbal hostility of credit officers and seem
to be more affected by social exclusion in case of default since they have less access to alternative
sources of borrowing and are easier to be found in case of payment delays since they spend most of
their time close to their homes These practices could help MFIs reach new markets an additional
advantage in an increasing competitive environment Women targeting has been a spread practice
in many MFIs worldwide which have learned to successfully identify women s specificity and have
developed know how in designing customized programs as an important asset
However targeting also implies several shortcomings that could countervail the positive aspects
The financial products tailored to women involve often smaller size loans and more flexible financial
products implying higher costs for the MFIs and thus subsidies often have negative effects on the
5 Orozco M Hamilton E 2005 mentioned study p 14
6 Armend riz Beatriz Roome Nigel 2008 Gender empowerment in microfinance
EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011
MFIs struggling for sustainability Moreover higher subsidies could lead to increased dependency on
donors funding which could influence MFIs internal policies away from its initial mission Mission
creep is another limit of targeting practices empirical studies revealing that often loans end in
husbands hands or to better off clients Exclusive targeting often leads to information asymmetries
between spouses which increasing tensions between them These conflicts have negative effects on
loan repayment rates even though there is need for further studies to verify this assumption
Women still represent the main targeted clientele for most MFIs around the world nevertheless
new target groups especially migrants have attracted MFIs interest in a context of increasing
migration and remittances sent worldwide
In the 2000s the number of the transnational migrants increased tremendously worldwide and
implicitly the amounts of migrant money transfers to their countries of origins have followed an
ascendant trend being estimated worldwide to be 375 billion USD in 2008 only in official records
of the World Bank 2008 7 Within this paper remittances are considered to be more than simple
money transfers but rather a form of savings able to respond to different short and long term
needs Moreover the term remitter refers to the migrants in the host countries sending money back
to remittance receivers the family members in the home country
Remittance industry has proven economic and social advantages attracting both for profit and
social motivated actors Wucker 2004 mentioned high margins within the remittance industry with
double digits billions USD of revenue estimated in the last years 8 Remittances reach poor segments
of population in the developing countries in a direct way and represent an essential portion of the
receiving households revenues while having positive social impacts Microfinance also aims to
alleviate poverty by reaching poor and excluded segments more directly through financial products
adapted to them 9 According to Orozco 2007 this is the main link between the microfinance and
remittances many of the MFIs clients in developing countries are also the beneficiaries of the
remittances Considering both social and economic advantages of remittance business it is no
surprise that recently remittances have become a central issue on the microfinance agenda with
an increasing number of MFIs interested by the prospect of entering this market
Hasting 2006 reveals that the main social drivers for MFIs entering the remittance market are the
prospect of offering quality and lower costs remittance services to poor and excluded populations
and to create safety net for them 10 Orozco reports that proximity is MFIs main advantage as
well as their infrastructure and experience in serving low income populations which could reduce
the transactional costs for the clients The essential advantage is probably MFIs capacity to offer
additional financial products and services to both remitters and receivers
8 Nevertheless literature does not offer clear information on how exactly MFIs could offer lower cost
services to poor clients in remote areas which normally implies higher transactional costs Does
that imply subsidies and what would the trade offs be Orozco also reveals that tailoring adequate
products is one of the main challenges for the MFIs entering the remittance market Literature
analysing migrants needs in terms of money transfers highlights several criteria like speed safety
accessibility and proximity financial costs and transactional costs Isern et al 2004 Sander 2003
Sukadi Mata 2009
7 Suro Roberto 2003 Remittance Senders and Receivers Tracking the Transnational Channels Multilateral Investment Fund
MIF of the Inter American Development Bank and Pew Hispanic Centre Washington D C November 24 p 3
Observation these amounts refer to the official remittances sent through official channels and do not include the informal money
transfers which experts predict to largely overpass the official remittances
8 Deshpande Isern Rani van Doorn Judith 2005 Crafting a Money Transfers Strategy Guidance For Pro Poor Financial
Service Providers Occasional Paper No 10 Washington DC Consultative Group to Assist the Poor CGAP March p 3
9 Microfinance is widely considered an efficient tool for poverty alleviation Extensive literature showed microfinance s positive
impacts on the poor clients even though there is still need for additional empirical studies to confirm this Still recently questions have
been raised regarding the microfinance s success to alleviate poverty and to really reach the poorest Even though an interesting and
passionate issue to address it is beyond the focus of the present study
10 Hastings Anne H 2006 Entry of MFIs into the Remittance Market Opportunities and Challenges prepared for the Global
Microcredit Summit Halifax Nova Scotia Canada
EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011
In the short run remittances substitute the explain why some migrants remit more regularly
absence of the formal financial opportunities while others do not remit at all
but in the long term transfers alone are not able
to financially secure poor households Recent The self interest theory follows Becker s family
literature claims that in addition to money theory idea of maximization of the stable
transfers migrants need financial services utility According to self interest theory
especially savings but also loans and more migrants remitting behaviour is based on family
complex products like insurance and pension arrangements between migrant and their family
schemes according to Shaw and Eversole remaining at home It implies several elements
2007 11 like a migrant s aspiration to inherit their parents
goods for which he remits in advance Another
Most of the remittances are used for domestic element could be migrant s willingness to invest
consumption Still portions of the transfers and to return home thus assure the safeguarding
are allocated for investments and savings of their goods back home and of social
but literature offers varying evidence on the relationships back home Lukas Stark 1985
percentages of remittances used for savings and If the element of investment is introduced in
investments from 10 percent according to Orozco the sense of the parents investment in raising
and Fedewa 2006 12 to 45 percent according to and educating the migrant before leaving then
Shaw and Eversole 2007 Channelled through remittances could be seen as a repayment for
MFIs remittances could constitute the necessary a family s initial investment a kind of moral
base to facilitate the access to additional duty towards their parents Lukas Stark s
financial services for remitters but also for main conclusion is that remittances are a mutual
the receivers Effective identification of the benefit based on altruism as a family specific
targeted group is essential for the success of the assert but also on self interest as a driver for
microfinance programs Thus it is fundamental the family arrangements Decisions about where
to understand what type of migrants could to seek income and how to spend funds are often
actually be targeted by MFIs considering that the results of consultation Even an individual s
migrants remit in different ways according to decision to migrate frequently emerges from a
several characteristics family consensus about the need to develop a
source of remittance income 13
Despite the impressive amounts of remittances
sent at global level not all migrants remit Less explored is the sociological theories analysis
and those who do remit do not follow the same of migrants remitting behaviour considering
patterns and rhythm Literature draws two cultural and sociological perspectives In his
main theories analysing remitters features and empirical study Kankonde Bukasa 2008 focuses
motivations for sending money home the altruist on the Congolese remitters side and reveals
theory and the self interest theory Lukas the cultural context that explains migrants
Stark 1985 Furthermore literature highlights
a mutual beneficiary arrangement perceived
remitting behaviour He highlights the main
elements of remitting drivers the need of 9
obligation and prestige as important remittances familial belonging while being abroad and thus
drivers de Bruyn and Kuddus 2005 fear of being marginalised social pressure of
being perceived as financially successful in
The altruistic theory refers to increasing the their home communities and also among other
income consumption or standard of living of migrants as portraying false images of migrants
someone else even to the detriment of one s own life in host countries and hiding their sacrifices
standard of living Vanwey 2004 The theory is often a symbol of dignity in line with the idea
considers that the main driver for migrant s of prestige mentioned above 14 He also sustains
remitting behaviour is their strong bonds to their that these can explain why African migrants often
family back home leading to selfless care for deprive themselves and continue to send money
those left behind Still this theory does not even when money is misused by their families
Migration is prepared for for months or
11 Shaw J Eversole R 2007 Leveraging Remittances
with Microfinance Synthesis Report and Country Studies Monash 13 Suro Roberto mentioned study p 4
Asia Institute for Regional Development University of Tasmania 14 Kankonde Bukasa Peter 2008 Transnational Family
12 Orozco M Fedewa R 2006 Leveraging Efforts on Ties Remittance Motives and Social Death among Congolese
Remittances and Financial Intermediation INTAL ITD Working Paper Migrants A Socio Anthropological Analysis Journal of Comparative
24 p 3 Family Studies
EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011
even years by a family and remittances symbolise the success of these efforts African households
sent the first born or the most courageous and skilled member into migration preparing his initiation
to becoming a responsible adult thus the failure of migration is perceived as a household s failure
Strong African family solidarity and family values are important elements for understanding African
family ties Mungazin 1996 nevertheless social pressure for migrants and their families social
inclusion or exclusions in the home communities seems to be an essential driver for African remitting
Derived from these theories DeSipio 2002 drew a set of criteria characterising the migrants and
their remitting motivations especially Latin Americans living in the USA He refers to demographics
age gender education occupation income etc status and length of migration acculturation
in the hosting country family circumstances and ownership of land or real estate in the home
country 15 His main conclusion is that family circumstances are the main indicator of the remitting
behaviour as those with a family at home having strong commitments toward their family remit
on a regular base In terms of demographic patterns the younger and less educated are more likely
to remit those spending fewer years in the host country and those who are less rooted in the
culture of the host country and those having stronger social ties to other hometowns migrants are
more likely to remit
Cortina and dela Garza 2004 reveal the same elements of characterising migrants motivations
putting special emphasis on the chosen host country and the duration of the migration and plans
to return home They analyse the Latin American typology of remitters revealing that they are
relatively young with an average age of 38 years old have migrated for less than 22 years with
a secondary school degree or less They often have unskilled and low income jobs not having
obtained legal residency they have other forms of documents or are in the process of obtaining
the legal residency in the host country Their families spouses and children are usually in the home
country and they envision returning even in an unpredictable future
15 DeSipio L 2000 Sending money home for now remittances and Immigrants Adaptation in The United States Inter
American Dialogue and the Tom s Rivera Policy Institute TRPI Working Paper p 5
http www thedialogue org PublicationFiles Desipio pdf
EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011
Starting from the literature review we have structured the comparative analysis of women and
remitters characteristics below in Table 1
Women microfinance clients characteristics Remitters characteristics
remitting on regular base
1 Demographics 1 Demographics
in general young women having dependant quite young average age 38
smaller children
lower levels of education lower levels of education medium school
majority men
2 family circumstances 2 family circumstances
married with children married having primary family spouse and children in
the home country
high commitments to family well being high commitments to family well being
3 socio economic circumstances 3 socio economic circumstances
small businesses less skilled or unskilled less skilled or unskilled jobs in host countries
jobs low income jobs
lack of information on migrants alternative sources of
lower incomes financing and banking penetration in host county
less alternative sources of financing lack on information on migrants risk aversion behaviour and on
reimburse rate lack of sufficient loan products for migrants
more conservative investors good reimburse rely on social networks of migrants from the
rate hometowns
rely on social ties more affected by social lack of literature on the level of business management
exclusion and financial alphabetization
low business management and level of
financial alphabetization
need more flexible financial products need more flexible financial products
4 migration situation
the average sending reach USD 221 monthly with no
information on the amounts of savings 11
no legal residency
length of migration less than 22 years
low levels of cultural embeddness in the host country keep
connections with hometowns migrants low levels of host country
language knowledge
envisage returning home
5 situation in the home country
own land and or real estate in the home country
6 Socio cultural circumstances
high social pressure and strong tradition of remitting as a
sign of financial success and dignity
Table 1 Synthesis Women microfinance clients and remitters characteristics
EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011
Previous studies highlighted the significant resources and energy spent by MFIs to efficiently target
women and develop products tailored to them Thus it is essential for MFIs to analyze the typology
of the migrants in the host countries in order to effectively identify the remitters group that
could actually be targeted with remittance linked microfinance products The literature focuses
mainly on the typology of the Latin American remitters with significant gaps on the sub Saharan
remitters Thus in considering this gap our aim is to analyse the sub Saharan African remitters from
gender targeting perspective starting from the assumption that women microfinance clients and
African remitters have common features Thus we assume that MFIs could use their know how
and experience in gender targeting to tailor effective remittance linked products for remitters in
the host countries In the next section we describe the methodology used in order to analyse the
typology of the Senegalese migrants from Italy our case study for the research analysis
III RESEARCH METHODS
In this section we explain the methodology used in order to analyse Senegalese migrant typology
and to which extent gender targeting characteristics are transferable to migrant targeting There
are not other studies containing such a large range of variables in analysing migrants targeting
simultaneously secondly as far as we know there are no other studies analysing the typology of sub
Saharan African migrants from Europe Senegalese in Italy from the perspective of women targeting
features Thirdly the data is collected from diverse perspectives of different participants both
migrants and microfinance actors
Remitting phenomenon Italy Senegal
In the last two decades Italy became the second most popular European destination for Senegalese
migrants Migration in Senegal National Profile 2009 IOM The formal statistics estimate the total
number of Senegalese in Italy to 77 000 adults unconfirmed by official data even though the informal
number of Senegalese living in Italy has risen to about 200 000 Important amounts of remittances
are sent yearly to Senegal over 1200 million USD sent in 2008 representing ten percent of the GDP
World Bank 2008 with high average levels of remittances per person registered in Senegal 75 USD
remittances per person compared with 26 USD average for Sub Saharan Africa FIM 2008
The importance of the remittances sent by Senegalese in Italy over 250 millions sent in 2008 only
from Italy to Senegal and their close bonds to Senegal confirms the necessity of developing financial
tools and conditions in order to give value to their savings IOM Migration in Senegal National
Profile 2009 The remittance market is dominated by the major MTOs Western Union and Money
Gram still MFIs have increased their market share in a short period of time managing to channel
12 approximately ten percent of the money transfers The level of banking penetration in Senegal
is low in 2007 it was just above 5 percent for commercial banking and 19 percent including the
microfinance sector There is only one project aiming to target Senegalese remitters in Italy with
remittance linked microfinance products despite the strong need for these products We had access
to this project through the four month internship I completed with this Senegalese MFI which has
a subsidy in Italy
The explained variable of the research is the remitting behaviour of the Senegalese migrants
answering the question in the survey do you send money back to Senegal if so what is the
frequency of your remittances
We designed six explanatory variables The the first explanatory variable is the demographic
circumstances referring to age gender education we expected that Senegalese migrants in Italy are
relatively young a majority being men as literature suggests having lower levels of education The
second explanatory variable refers to the socio economic circumstances considering remitters
banking penetration and business management and the level of financial alphabetisation We
expected that Senegalese migrants from Italy would have less skilled low income jobs have less
access to alternative financial products which is also due to their low levels of financial alphabetisation
EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011
and business managing knowledge similar to women microfinance clients The third explanatory
variable is the family circumstances we expected that most of the Senegalese migrants would
have their primary family in Senegal and thus have strong commitments to their family s well being
in Senegal like women Migration circumstances is the fourth explanatory variable referring
to reasons for choosing the host country status length of migration acculturation in the host
country and plans to return home We expected that Senegalese migrants had chosen Italy for
labour reasons a majority of them not having obtained legal status having immigrated for less than
20 years and being less embedded in Italian culture The fifth explanatory variable is the situation
in the home country expecting that most of Senegalese from Italy have a house or land in Senegal
and invest mainly in Senegal The sixth explanatory variable is the socio cultural and historical
circumstances We expected that Senegalese context implies significant tacit socio cultural codes
of conduct exerting control regardless of geographical distance with strong social pressure and
remittances being a tool of social and financial success of the migrant and of his family
We have collected both quantitative and qualitative information through semi structured interviews
among the members and non members of the Senegalese MFI and unstructured interviews and
discussions with staff members of the Senegalese MFI and partners Between May 17th and July 9th
2010 we conducted 25 semi structured interviews 10 with members of the Senegalese MFI and
15 with non members of the MFI We interviewed various persons including women and men 74
percentages of interviewers were men migrants living in South and in the North of Italy young and
medium age The participants were spread in different Italian cities Bergamo Milano Lecco Arona
Genova Ciserano Brescia Verona Ravenna Roma Ladispoli Napoli The in person interviews of
the non members were conducted within Senegalese associations meetings across the country We
had direct communication with the participants since all of them spoke French or Italian
We also conducted 10 unstructured interviews with staff members of the MFI Between May 12th and
July 2nd 2010 we spoke with microfinance actors and between June 2nd and June 10th 2010 we had
in person discussions with directors of the MFI who were on a mission in Italy We conducted three
Skype interviews to Senegal with staff members of the MFI We also had in person discussions with the
director of MTO the MFI s partner for remittances services We also spoke with two representatives
of international microfinance actors involved in the project We contacted an Italian researcher
from CePSI working on the Senegalese remitters living in Italy
For confidentiality reasons the identity of all participants both persons and institutions remained
The semi structured interviews consisted of 21 questions for quantitative comparison purpose
focusing on demographics socio economic circumstances family circumstances having the
primary family in Senegal and migration situation situation in the home country The open 13
questions referred to the migration circumstances professional and personal satisfaction derived
from their migration in Italy and historical circumstances in appendix 1 we describe the questions
of the first type interview The second type of survey a modified version of the first survey was
tailored to the specific background and experience of the interviewed participants in appendix 2
we describe the questioner
These exploratory surveys helped us to draw the general profile of the Senegalese migrants living
in Italy and to analyse to which extent women targeting characteristics are applicable to our case
study aspects described and analysed in the next section
EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011
IV RESULTS AND ANALYSIS
Profile of the Senegalese migrants living in Italy
My destiny is linked to that of my parents Senegalese
This section presents the quantitative and qualitative results of our empirical research and the
main analysis derived from the evaluation of the research variables We use quotations for the
actual responses of the participants in order to distinguish our analysis or synthesis of multiple
As expected our main result is that most of Senegalese migrants in Italy are actually regular
and intensive remitters as 92 percent of interviewed migrants remit on regular bases The case
study revealed that women microfinance clients have common features with remitters but not with
migrants in general There are also some advantages and shortcomings of gender targeting that
are transferable to remitter targeting The main common feature of women clients and Senegalese
remitters living in Italy is a strong commitments to family based on moral duty women due to
their maternal sentiment and remitters due to their strong connections back in Senegal and socio
cultural influences
In terms of remitting behaviour our research reveals that on average Senegalese workers in Italy
send about 100 250 every month for domestic consumption mainly through large MTOs As for the
third or fourth year of stay in Italy most Senegalese and especially those with families in Senegal
save 50 to 400 per month We could not obtain more information regarding the modalities and
forms of savings IOM reveals that every year more then 250 millions are sent to Senegal only in
official statistics at least other 70 percentages being send by informal channels with an estimated
saving capacity of 4000 per person Only one third of these savings remain in Italy while two
thirds are sent to Senegal then partly invested in real estate and small businesses mainly in the
urban areas less in the rural areas
2001 is a reference year for migrants living in Italy Before 2001 the supply on the Italian labour
market exceeded the demand leading to a more flexible Italian labour migration policy and the
Senegalese could easily obtain working papers After 2001 there was an immigration boom in Italy
leading to labour market saturation and thus a move to more rigidity in its migration policy Thus
many of the Senegalese migrants arriving after 2001 had difficulties in finding a job and obtaining
14 working documents
Regarding the first explanatory variable the demographic circumstances we found that most
Senegalese remitters are men with an average age of 38 years old In line with literature findings
those arriving before 2001 were on average 30 years old and less educated similar to women
microfinance clients After 2001 and especially in the last five years the average age of those
arriving was 22 years old most of them having an increasing number of school years in Senegal
Baccalaur at and even university degrees
Regarding the second variable the socio economic circumstances Senegalese migrants from Italy
work mainly in manufacturing food industry housekeeping vendors or little businesses in general
less skilled and low income jobs similar to women microfinance clients Our exploratory study
shows that most interviewed migrants declared that they do not have personal satisfaction mainly
due to the fact that they feel like foreigners in Italy and they make sacrifices by being apart
from their families We are foreigners even after 20 years we are not home said a subject in an
interview in Verona on May 30 2010 In terms of socio professional satisfaction the majority shows
low levels of satisfaction here we have a hard life we have only the jobs they refuse It is hard
to have your degrees recognized here in Italy said a young Senegalese who holds a post secondary
degree in economics in Senegal respondent from Arona June 10 2010 Since these findings are
EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011
diffused and we cannot formulate a conclusion regarding such a complex issue as empowerment
further studies should be done in this sense
Regarding the family circumstances our findings confirm the assumption that most Senegalese
migrants to Italy are married 90 percent of those interviewed and a large majority 72 percent
have families back in Senegal They maintain close bonds with Senegal and most of them try to
return back to Senegal one time per year Thus Senegalese remitters prove strong commitments to
their families as women clients do
In line with these strong commitments to their families back in Senegal the analysis reveals that
in terms of migration circumstances a veritable majority of the Senegalese migrants envision
returning back to Senegal 95 percent of interviewed persons Migration for us is only temporary
said an MFI member in an interview Bergamo June 24 2010 and the return to Senegal must be
prepared well in advance interview May 29th 2010 Ciserano Italy Migrants left home mainly
for francophone destinations especially France but they finally arrived in Italy because of the
more flexible migration policy Thus Italy was initially perceived as a transitory country able
to respond to their first need finding a job quickly and earning money In comparison France is
perceived as an intellectual destination mainly for pursuing university studies helping them to
build a future in France in 2006 80 percentages of total Senegalese studying abroad were in France
UNESCO 2008
Regarding the socio economic and historical circumstances our findings suggest that the
Senegalese context is characterised by strong tacit socio cultural codes of conduct transmitted
through generations in line with sociological theories described above in the literature review
The open questions on the socio cultural and historical circumstances reveal a Senegalese moral
duty towards their parents most of them declaring a remittance to their parents too my destiny
is linked to that of my parents is a saying in Senegal This social pressure has proven to be a
strong driver for Senegalese remitting behaviour and is exercised regardless of the distance A few
migrants remembered that their parents had sent money to their grand parents within rural urban
migration but these are only few opinions and without further studies these are not sufficient to
formulate a conclusion
Resulting from their desire to returning back home most Senegalese investments are concentrated
in Senegal both in real estates and in business activities and our findings confirmed the expectations
based on the literature review Having a house in Senegal is the sign of success a sign that you
realised something in your life which is the main motivation for most of us interview of a migrant
Bergamo June 25th 2010
Many Senegalese remitters from Italy have legal status and regular jobs especially those who
arrived before 2001 while those who have arrived in the last three years have no legal status with 15
no regular jobs The average length of migration is 11 years and most Senegalese speak Italian
relatively shortly after their arrival in Italy over 80 percent of interviewed migrants
Thus if we consider the literature review evidence our empirical findings reveal that Senegalese
migrants in Italy are regular remitters that practically all Senegalese from Italy send money back
home to Senegal proving strong commitments to their families as they are the bread winner of
the transnational family Most Senegalese living in Italy plan to return to Senegal and thus prepare
for their future in Senegal by investing there
This analysis is synthesised below in table 2 where we present comparatively the features of women
microfinance clients and those of the remitters revealed by literature drawn from our research we
introduce the portrait of the Senegalese remitters from Europe followed by conclusions drawn in
the next section
EMN European Microcredit Research Awards 2011


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