Exploring Remittance Strategies among Zimbabweans in West Yorkshire

Primary Investigator: Adrian Bailey (University of Leeds)

Zimbabwe’s continuing humanitarian crisis has triggered international migration to the UK and compelled overseas Zimbabweans to remit crucial foreign exchange and other forms of support to family members remaining in Zimbabwe.

Many of these remitters find themselves in increasingly tenuous circumstances, due to a cocktail of uncertain and changing asylum provisions, increased competition for unskilled and semi-skilled job opportunities, and exploitation in some unregulated sectors of the economy.

The research – the first to be based in West Yorkshire – explores the nature and significance of remitting by Zimbabweans. Using a combination of mixed methods, including a community survey and in depth interviews, the study focuses on three main areas:

First, the range of remitting strategies, including who remits, what and how they remit, and what might be expected in return;

Second, the sources of vulnerability and opportunity that constrain and enable remitting. These may be related to various laws and patterns of community organisation, including the roles that individuals are expected to fulfil;

Third, the implications for Zimbabweans in the UK, for post-crisis Zimbabwe, and for the development of policies that use remittances as a means to accomplish development targets.