Harnessing Remittances for Development and Promoting Legal Migration in Tajikistan's Rural Areas

"This project initiated the establishment of Migrant Household Associations that brings together migrants' families to pool remittances for investment purposes. It has proved to be a reliable mechanism in rural communities, and is now replicated in other areas of Tajikistan both by IOM and other agencies in the country."
-- Abdusattor Esoev, IOM Chief of Mission a.i., IOM Tajikistan

One in four households in Tajikistan has members who regularly leave the country in search of work, mainly to Russia. Most of these households receive regular support from their migrant relatives in the form of remittances, or the money they send home. Figures from the National Bank of Tajikistan reveal that the total remittances received through the banking system amounted to about 1,800 million US dollars in 2007. IOM research has shown that remittances can have a positive impact on the economic development of migrant-sending households. This is seen especially when families are able to invest part of their remittances in activities that earn income such as small businesses.

Key Objectives

This project aims to:

  • Help make the best of remittances in the development of migrant-sending areas in Tajikistan through education and investments.
  • Promote legal migration by means of information campaigns and the training of community members and local groups on labour migration.


  • Migrant households
  • Returning labour migrants
  • Resource centres in 15 rural communities in Khatlon and Rasht regions

Concrete Benefits

  • Ten to twelve training modules on different topics were developed and published to increase the skills and knowledge of migrant households and Jamoat (rural communities) Resource Centres.
  • At least 1500 households received financial education to help them manage, save and invest their income to meet household needs.
  • Local community actors and Resource Centres in 15 communities gained basic knowledge on labour migration through trainings and counseling.
  • Some 65 to 70 migrant households in each community trained in the basics of small and medium business development as well as in cooperative initiative development.
  • Jamoat Resource Centres in 15 communities trained to serve as alternative labour migration resource centres, providing consultation and up-to-date information to the community.
  • At least one to two cooperative enterprises set up in each community providing work and earning profits for its members.
  • Fifteen Migrant Household Associations set up under each Resource Centre with voluntary membership of community migrant households. These Associations serve as links between labour migrants and their communities of origin to facilitate remittance flows for infrastructure development.
  • Eight to ten infrastructure development projects realized in each rural community through the support of Migrant Household Associations, with a major contribution from labour migrants matched by EU funds.
  • Internet telephone stations and Internet cafés set up in the 15 Resource Centres.
  • At least EUR 126,000 of labour migrant remittances raised for practical small and medium businesses and cooperative initiatives.
  • Follow-up research done in Rasht and Khatlon regions and published as a supplement to the previous study "Economic Dynamics of Labour Migrant Remittances".

Project Description

For this project, IOM partnered with the Jamoat Resource and Advocacy Centres (JRCs). These are local non-governmental community-based organizations set up by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Together, IOM and the JRCs build the skills and knowledge of migrant households, local communities and civil society to take advantage of and promote the use of migrant remittances to develop practical livelihoods for families affected by emigration.

The project will promote micro-credit plans and local socio-economic development of migrant communities of origin through remittance contributions. It also addresses the legal side of labour migration. The project targets 15 rural communities of Khatlon Oblast and Rasht Valley where emigration is high.

Principal IOM Activities

  • Provide financial education to migrant households to improve their capacity to effectively manage, save and invest their income to meet their household needs.
  • Strengthen the ability of local community actors and community-based bodies to promote legal migration through trainings and consulting.
  • Facilitate and enhance the investment of migrant remittances in practical individual and/or group economic livelihood activities by giving micro-credit grants.
  • Create Migrant Household Associations (MHA) in fifteen Jamoats to help facilitate shared investments of migrant remittances for development projects.
  • Set up Internet telephony and an Internet café in each target Jamoat under the Resource Centres to improve communications in rural communities.
  • Conduct follow-up research on "Economic Dynamics of Migrants' Remittances” in Rasht Valley to add to similar research done in Khatlon Oblast.