Migration in Namibia: Combining Macro and Micro Approaches to Research Design and Analysis1


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    The authors would like to thank the following people for valuable comments made on the project report (Pendleton and Frayne 1998) and a draft paper at a seminar held at Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) in August 1999: Arne Tostensen, Stephen Devereux, Lazarus Hungula, Marian Sinclair, Henning Melber, Dirk Hansohm, Arni Wiig, and Inge Tvedten. Jonathan Crush and John Gay made valuable comments about the original migration project design. Armindo Miranda participated in the fieldwork and commented on the draft report. A special thanks to Christa Schier for supervising data entry and writing some of the analysis programs. Over 30 Namibians worked on the project conducting fieldwork and doing data entry. Selma Nangulah and Clementina Katzao worked on all aspects of the project and provided many valuable comments. The Urban Research and Development Program of the Social Science Division (SSD) of the Multi-Disciplinary Research Centre (MRC) at the University of Namibia sponsored the project under a grant from NORAD and the Royal Norwegian Embassy (Windhoek).


In adopting a framework that applies both macro and micro variables to the study of migration in Namibia, the analysis of the findings of the Namibia Migration Project emphasizes the utility of combining different scales and methods of data collection in terms of explaining migration dynamics and extending trends and patterns to future scenarios. It is argued that the contextual and explanatory macro factors such as political history, poverty, population, environment, epidemics and culture are crucial to the understanding and interpretation of the micro data collected through the standardized questionnaire survey and the case study material. Equally important is the iterative relationship that the macro/micro approach fosters in the research design and in the analysis of the data between the macro and micro scales of investigation.