Helmia Adita Fitra

The emerging Covid-19 pandemic has become a momentum for migration scholars to rethink about the return migration due to the increasing of precarious conditions in the destination places. This PhD.-study aims to provide a systematic view of return migration as a reference for policy-making with respect to sustainable development. The existing theories of return migration seems like to overlook the force majeure setting such as a health crisis, a shortcoming this thesis will address. In this study, we question how the characteristics of return migration during the pandemic, how they address their vulnerabilities in their origin place as well as how they reintegrate to the local development and the shifts of migration pattern. Last, we question the next challenges and opportunities in return migration and the role of stakeholder’s development in managing return migration with respect to sustainable development. A study of return migration in Indonesia is crucially needed and potentially contributes to enrich the discourses of migration studies and sustainable development. Using multi-sites ethnography as a research strategy, we expect to construct the understanding of return migration by collecting data from two different context sites in Lampung Province comprising developed transmigration areas, characterised by urban area, and less-developed transmigration areas, characterised by rural area. The significance of this study is to enrich the understanding of return migration by introducing an empirical based study of return migration considering the setting of pandemic and the characteristics of less-developed country with respect to sustainable development.

Helmia Adita Fitra is Junior Lecturer in Urban and Regional Planning Department, Institut Teknologi Sumatera, Indonesia and fellow at SMUS at TU Berlin.