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The survey work has been completed! With a small team in Nepal, we have managed to complete 800 questionnaires in both Kathmandu and Jhapa. The random sample group were broken into the following categories:

  1. Households receiving remittances (200 surveys in Kathmandu valley and Jhapa for a total of 400)
  2. Households not receiving remittances (200 surveys in Kathmandu valley and Jhapa for a total of 400)

We chose Kathmandu valley because it is Nepal’s largest urban settlement and one of the most at-risk cities in the world for earthquakes. But we also wanted to capture the link of remittances and earthquake risk in emerging cities, so we went to Jhapa, which has high urbanization rates along with a large influx of remittances.

In addition, we conducted surveys of migrant workers in Qatar and South Korea. This was a more challenging task given the difficulty to get in contact with migrant workers in these countries. However, we were able to utilize professional relationships and contacts that have been developed by Practical Action and other partners. With these contacts, we identified suitable partners in both countries to carry out the survey (200 migrant workers in each country). We expect to receive the surveys within mid-June.

With surveys completed, we are now focused on data entry – a critically important but very tedious task. In order to speed up the process, we have brought in 2 interns (both Master students with experience in SPSS data entry) to help out. We expect to complete data entry by the end of June. From there, the analysis will begin with results to be shared with our partners.

With support from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, a programme managed by ELRHA, the earthquake risk and remittances research project from Practical Action and the Nepal Risk Reduction Consortium (NRRC) began in February 2014. This research project will look at the possible links between migrant remittances – where migrants send the majority of their salary to their families in their home country – and earthquake risk, particularly through building construction practices, and how organizations can best communicate with migrant workers on risk reduction issues.

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