Multiple mobilities in a mobile population: risks and benefits for Malian Tuareg children

Sara Randall, University College London

Combining evidence from a cross-sectional survey, anthropological research and a multi-round survey we document the extent of child mobility in a population whose nomadic pastoralist lifestyle has been undermined by droughts, rebellion, forced migration and repatriation since 1984. We examine 6 types of child mobility from both methodological and substantive perspectives. Which methods are best able to capture the nuances of child mobility and what sorts of measures of wellbeing can they generate as outcome variables? What are the limitations of the methods? We consider whether the emic perspective of favourable outcomes matches those of development discourse and the ways in which particular forms of child mobility can be seen as beneficial or harmful. In a population for whom survival and economic success were predicated upon mobility and flexibility we must examine the extent to which the internalised values of mobility continue to contribute to contemporary well-being or generate stress.

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Presented in Session 65: Children in motion: challenges for demographic explanation