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Marie-Laurence Flahaux

Research Officer, ODID

Marie-Laurence is a demographer using mixed methods to investigate the patterns and drivers of migration within Africa and between Africa and Europe. She is interested in understanding the relationship between family and migration in the context of urbanisation in West Africa. Her research also focuses on how migration is affected by migration policies in destination countries and the political, social and economic characteristics of migrants’ origin countries.


Marie-Laurence completed her doctoral research in Demography at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve (UCL, Belgium). Her PhD thesis focused on an analysis of Senegalese and Congolese migrants' return and reintegration patterns in their origin country. Her research was based on the quantitative biographic dataset of the Migration between Africa and Europe project (MAFE) that includes individuals surveyed both in origin countries and destination countries in Europe. She interpreted the findings in the light of qualitative analysis data that she collected from return migrants in the regions of Dakar and Kinshasa.

She originally joined IMI in 2013 to work on the Determinants of International Migration (DEMIG) project, investigating the trends, patterns and drivers of African and Caribbean migration, in particular the role of immigration policies. Since 2015, her research focuses on the family strategies of migrants in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital city, in collaboration with quantitative and qualitative researchers at the University of Ouagadougou. Since December 2015, Marie-Laurence is a Researcher at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD, France), attached to the Laboration Population, Environnement, Développement of the Aix Marseille University, and sent to the University of Oxford for a long-term mission to work on this project.

Prior to joining IMI, Marie-Laurence was hosted at the Research Centre in Population and Societies of the University of Louvain-la-Neuve (UCL, Belgium) and at the National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED, France). She holds a Masters in Political Sciences (2007), a Masters in Demography (2009) and an academic Certificate in Economic and Social Ethics from the University of Louvain-la-Neuve (UCL, Belgium). She also studied child fostering and child trafficking in Benin and contributed to research on the life story and migration of a female prostitute from an Eastern country to Belgium.

Her work has been published in the International Migration Review, World Development, Population, Comparative Migration Studies, Population and Societies, Revue européenne des migrations internationales, the International Migration Institute Working Papers series, the MAFE working papers, a migration profile for the Migration Policy Institute, and book chapters.

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