The MAFE project first and foremost aims at filling a gap in data availability on African international migration. As well as addressing substantive and policy issues, the MAFE project’s ambition is also to contribute to recent advances in data collection and compilation, and to testing developments in survey methodology on international migration.
Various aspects of the respondents’ lives are covered by the questionnaires in order to provide the variables needed for the analyses. Questions on work experience, family formation, residential mobility (including, of course, international migration) are available to explore both the determinants and the socio-economic changes associated with international migration.
Because migration is not only determined at the individual level, the MAFE project collected data at the individual, family and national levels.
The MAFE project relies mostly on individual life histories collected in biographic questionnaires. They are complemented by household data.
MAFE provides transnational representative samples in selected regions. Non-migrants and return migrants were surveyed in origin countries while current migrants were surveyed in the destination countries. A major objective of the MAFE project was to build samples that allow comparable analyses between various countries in order to disentangle national specificities and general processes. In Africa, representative samples of about 1,500 individuals (non migrants and return migrants) were randomly drawn in selected regions of each country. In Europe, about 150 migrants per origin were selected in each destination country. In total, there are 300 Congolese, 300 Ghanaians and 450 Senegalese in the European MAFE sample.