Researching environmental change and migration: evaluation of EACH-FOR methodology and application in 23 case studies worldwide
This chapter evaluates the fieldwork methodology of the EACH-FOR Project, identifying some of the challenges and opportunities of conducting research about the linkages between the environment and migration. In recent years, policy makers and scientists have become interested in the dynamic links between migration and environmental change (Döös, 1997; Adger et al., 2001; Gunderson et al., 2002; Scoones et al., 2007; Galaz et al., 2008). Yet only recently have empirical observations begun to be gathered to underpin discussions about the increasing role environmental change is expected to play in decisions relating to migration. To contribute to the base of knowledge about the links between environmental change and migration, the European Commission co-sponsored the Environmental Change and Forced Scenarios (EACH-FOR) project to assess the impact of environmental change on migration at the local, national, regional and international level. This chapter has three purposes. First, the authors explore the methodology design in the first global survey of environmental change and migration. Section 2 describes how the nature of the research topic posed many challenges and trade-offs for research design, and how the project attempted to create a method that would produce comparable results. The second purpose of this chapter is to examine how field researchers implemented and used this methodology in the EACH-FOR Project. The chapter focuses on an analysis of the fieldwork methodology applied in investigating the 23 EACH-FOR Project case studies. The third purpose of the chapter is to explore the direction of future research, building on lessons learned from this initial fieldwork experience.