Between September and December 2011, the Action Against Hunger International Network commissioned case studies of the impact of rural-urban linkages on household food security and child nutrition in the countries of Guinea, Zimbabwe, and Guatemala.
In areas of high internal migration, the well being of rural household members and that of their urban relatives are strongly interdependent, and should be analyzed as part of a single, unified livelihoods system.
Rural-urban linkages represent efforts by households to create their own safety net − migration is not always a negative coping strategy − and as such reflect their priorities and capacities. Policymakers and practitioners thus have an opportunity to advance participatory development by designing interventions that strengthen this self- generated safety net.
Rural-urban linkages often follow a strongly seasonal pattern; the opportunities and constraints of rural and urban household members vary over the course of the year. Designing with seasonality in mind can amplify the impact of development interventions.