Armenia has a long-standing history of migration. Its independence after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 resulted in a huge downturn of the economy. The earthquake in 1988, the political and military instability in the region, as well as the internal socio-economic evolution have all contributed to the course of migration flows. More recently, the unfavourable labour market conditions have further stimulated labour emigration.

The Armenian government began taking action to leverage the benefits of migration for better development outcomes. The Strategic Program of Prospective Development for 2014-2025 highlights the creation of local jobs and economic growth as key policy priorities for overcoming the country’s migration-related challenges. Yet, there still remains much more scope for the inclusion of migration into the policy agenda and designs of various state and state-related agencies. More evidence-based empirical studies are crucial to ensure that policy responses in the field of migration and development are coherent and well informed.

This report seeks to address that gap. In 2013, the OECD Development Centre and the European Commission began a project investigating the interrelations between public policies, migration and development (IPPMD) in ten different countries, with the aim of providing such empirical evidence. This report, which presents the findings for Armenia, is the result of four years of fieldwork, empirical analysis and policy dialogue, conducted in collaboration with the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC)-Armenia, and with strong support from the State Migration Service.

It examines how various migration dimensions affect key policy sectors, namely the labour market, agriculture, education, and investment and financial services. Conversely, it analyses how sectoral policies influence different migration outcomes, such as the decision to migrate, the use of remittances and the success of return migration. The empirical analysis is provided thanks to the fieldwork which collected quantitative data from 2 000 households and 79 communities across the country and conducted 47 qualitative stakeholder interviews in Armenia.

This report is published in parallel with nine other country reports, which present the findings in the other IPPMD partner countries, and one comparative report, which analyses the findings across countries and provides a coherent policy framework, based on the fieldwork and analysis conducted in the ten partner countries. It is intended as a toolkit and the central piece for a better understanding of the role that public policies play in the migration and development nexus in Armenia. It also aims at fostering policy dialogue and providing guidance on how best to integrate migration into national development strategies. Following discussions with key stakeholders and policy makers in Armenia, the OECD Development Centre and the CRRC-Armenia look forward to continuing their co-operation to enhance the positive contribution of migration to the sustainable development of Armenia.

Mario Pezzini

Director of the Development Centre and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Development, OECD

Heghine Manasyan

Chief Executive Officer Caucasus Research Resource Center-Armenia