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Accepted Paper:

Perceptions of migration drivers among rural residents in Lunbunga, Ghana and Kathyaka, Kenya: A comparative analysis using Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping  
Rachel Keeton (ITC - University of Twente) Diana Reckien (University of Twente) Mumuni Abu (University of Ghana) Jared Owuor (Samuel Hall)

Paper short abstract:

This study compares perceptions of migration drivers between two rural communities in Ghana and Kenya. The key shared perceptions support generalized migration narratives, while the divergent perceptions reflect contextual specificities more appropriately addressed in local policies.

Paper long abstract:

The vast majority of research on climate-driven migration takes a top-down approach using quantitative methods to arrive at results. In practice, this leaves a gap where finer-grain qualitative methods based on empirical evidence could be used to contextualize and validate these results, as well as add nuance to the narratives that are produced around climate-driven migration. In this study, we aim to contribute a bottom-up analysis of migration drivers by comparing Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (FCMs) from two rural communities: Lunbunga, Tolon District, Ghana, and Kathyaka, Makueni Conuty, Kenya. In both communities, observable environmental changes combined with a high dependence on subsistence agriculture have contributed to increasing net out-migration in recent decades. Based on analysis of 120 total FCMs (60 from each site), we identify the most prevalent shared perceptions across the two communities, as well as those where the responses diverge. Additionally, we examine the FCMs using an intersectional approach that takes into account different power axes within these communities (i.e. gender, age, and educational level).

The results of the analysis provide insight into the specificities of these communities and the complex ways in which perceptions of climate change relate to local contexts. We conclude that aggregated perceptions of climate change in these two communities on opposite sides of the African continent share a number of key concerns. Additionally, the specific areas of divergence should be appropriately considered at the local and regional level, and we make a number of recommendations for further research directions based on these results.

Panel Envi04
African futures: climate change and human mobility
  Session 2 Friday 2 June, 2023, -