There is dearth of evidence on what interventions help to reduce unsafe youth migration in sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed primarily to identify interventions that may help to reduce unsafe youth migration from the perspectives of key stakeholders in Ethiopia. A mixed methods study was conducted in eight migration hotspot areas. For the qualitative study, fifty-six in-depth interviews and thirty-two focus group discussions (FGD) were done to collect data. Quantitative data were collected from students (n = 800), teachers (n = 240), and parents (n = 160). We developed a structured questionnaire to collect data. Descriptive statistics, t test and one-way analysis of variance were used to analyze the data. We identified potential interventions to reduce unsafe youth migration and grouped them into five domains: awareness and attitudinal/behavioral changes, training and job opportunities, enhancing governmental and parental roles, improving the education system, and law enforcement and migration management. More than 80% of the survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the interventions identified are potentially relevant and effective. Respondents who are older compared to those who are younger and respondents who are more educated compared to those who are less educated were more likely to endorse the interventions. Teachers and parents were more likely than students to endorse the interventions. The study indicates that the qualitative study helped to identify contextually relevant intervention strategies that would potentially be effective to reduce unsafe youth migration in Ethiopia. We suggest that there is a need to prioritize and empirically test the effectiveness of these intervention strategies with experimental studies.
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This study is part of a larger thematic research project. Data used for this analysis will become available through the project.
The topic guide is designed for the migration sub-theme of a larger thematic research project. Responses given to questions related to interventions to reduce unsafe youth migration are analyzed for this paper.
focus group discussion
International Labor Organization
Ministry of Education
Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences
Technical and vocational education and training
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We are grateful to all the participants for giving their time and the data. We would like to thank the officials in all the study sites for the support they provided to us. We would also like to acknowledge Addis Ababa University for funding.
This study was funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer, Addis Ababa University.
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The authors declare no competing interests.
The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the funder’s official policies.
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Annexure I: Questionnaire
Annexure II: Topic guide (in-depth interview and focus group discussion)
Migration-related questionsFootnote 1
What do you understand by unsafe youth migration and what are the indicators of unsafe youth migration?
How do you evaluate the prevalence of unsafe youth migration in your locality?
In terms of magnitude and severity (riskiness)
What proportion of the youth in your community do you think is migrating or planning to migrate through illegal means?
What are the push and pull factors contributing to youth migration in this locality?
School dropout and failure
Better income abroad
Seeing some successful migrants
Who are more vulnerable to unsafe migration? Why?
Male or female
Youth or adult
Educated or uneducated
Rural or urban
Rich or poor
In what ways do you think are young men (boys) and young women (girls) differently vulnerable to unsafe migration
In your opinion, what are the positive and negative consequences of migration?
Communication and relationship among family members
Economic, social, cultural and health conditions
In your view, what shall be done to reduce unsafe youth migration?
At the national (or policy) level
At the regional level
At the school level?
At local community level
At the family level
About this article
Cite this article
Habtamu, K., Minaye, A., Admas, F. et al. Exploring Potential Intervention Strategies to Reduce Unsafe Youth Migration in Ethiopia: a Mixed Methods Study. Int. Migration & Integration (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-021-00803-7
- Unsafe youth migration
- Illegal migration
- Intervention strategies
- Migration outcomes
- Mixed methods study