Migrations between Africa and Europe - MAFE DR Congo (2009)
Migrations entre l'Afrique et l'Europe - MAFE DR Congo (2009)
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Migrations between Africa and Europe (MAFE) (2008 – 2010)
Informations sur la série
The MAFE project is a large-scale initiative whishing to study migrations between sub-Saharan Africa and Europe.
The MAFE project has produced multi-site, comparative and longitudinal surveys in three African countries (Senegal, Congo, Ghana) and six European countries (Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK). It provides a unique source of data that allows researchers to study the trends, causes and consequences of African migrations. The data collected in African countries can also be used to study other socio-demographic phenomena (family formation, fertility, socio-economic trajectories, etc.).
Because migrations are not solely determined by the individual and family levels, the MAFE project also collected data at the national level. These data are gathered in a contextual database which consists of about 100 indicators covering the 9 MAFE countries in areas such as demography, economy, unemployment, education, political context.
Le projet de recherche MAFE est une initiative de grande ampleur dont l'objectif est d'étudier les migrations entre l'Afrique subsaharienne et l'Europe. - Attention, la documentation des enquêtes MAFE est en langue anglaise. -
The MAFE project is a major research initiative focused on migration between Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. It brings together ten European and African research centres working on international migration.
In the early XXIth Century, international migration from Sub-Saharan Africa to Europe has generated increasing public and policy attention. The flotilla of boats bringing would-be migrants to the Canary Islands, and attempts to reach Spanish territory in Ceuta and Mellila have drawn a rapid response from Europe in the form of new policy measures. Yet the scope, nature and likely development of Sub-Saharan African migration to Europe remained poorly understood, and, as a result, European polices may be ineffective. A major cause of this lack of understanding was the absence of comprehensive data on the causes of migration and circulation between Africa and Europe.
The MAFE project aimed at overcoming this lack of understanding by collecting unique data on the characteristics and behavior of migrants from Sub-Saharan countries to Europe. The key notion underpinning the project was that migration must not only be seen as a one-way flow from Africa to Europe. The argument was that return migration, circulation and transnational practices are significant and must be understood in order to design better migration policy.
The MAFE project focused on migration flows between Europe (Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK) and Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana, which together accounted for over a quarter of all African migration to the EU at the time of the survey. In each of these "migration systems", the survey was designed to document four key areas:
- Patterns of migration :
*the socio-demographic characteristics of migrants,
*the routes of migration from Africa to Europe, and
*the patterns of return migration and circulation.
- Determinants of migration: looking at departure, but also return and circulation and taking into account the whole set of possible destinations.
- Migration and Development: MAFE documents some of the socio-economic changes driven by international migration, looking as often as possible at both ends of the Afro-European migration system, at the individual level.
- Migrations and Families: the data collected by the MAFE project can be used to study all sorts of interactions between family formation and international migration. Although the survey was primarily designed to study international migration, it can also be used to study other phenomena, especially in Africa: domestic mobility, labor market participation, family formation, etc.
Comparable data was collected in both 3 sending and 6 destination countries, i.e. in sub-Saharan Africa and in Europe. The data are longitudinal - including retrospective migration, education, work and family histories for individuals - and multi-level - (with data collected at the individual and household levels, in addition of macro-contextual data).
Please consult the official MAFE website for further details : https://mafeproject.site.ined.fr/en/
Six European countries and three African countries participated in the MAFE surveys. Data collection was carried out in both sending countries in Africa and destination countries in Europe, in order to constitute transnational samples.
For MAFE DR Congo, data was collected in the Demogratic Republic of Congo (African part), and Belgium and United Kingdom (European part).
Household: Households selected randomly from the updated list of households in the selected primary sampling units. Three strata were distinguished: households with return migrants, with migrants abroad, and without migrants.
Individual: People aged 25-75, born in DR Congo. This lower age limit was set in order to obtain informative life histories. By not including respondents younger than 25, the resources were used more effectively. The place of birth criterion was used to exclude people who were born out of their country of origin in order to exclude second generation migrants in Europe and to increase the homogeneity of sample.
All the return migrants and partners of migrants, and one randomly selected other eligible person. Return migrants were eligible if their first departure was above at 18 or over.
In all the European countries, the surveys were conducted among males and females who were aged 25 and over at the time of the surveys, and who were 18 or over when they had left Africa for the first time for at least one year. Migrants from only DR Congo were interviewed.
A three-stage stratified random sample was used. At the first stage, primary sampling units (census district) were selected randomly with varying probabilities. At the second stage, households were selected randomly in each of the selected primary sampling units (PSUs). At the third stage, individuals were selected within the households.
a) Selection of primary sampling units (first stage)
For DR Congo, the target area was the city of Kinshasa. In this city, a sampling frame of primary sampling units was prepared. No recent census was available, so the sampling frame of the 2007 DHS was used to select neighbourhoods, and in each selected neighbourhoods, a sampling frame of streets was prepared.
In DR Congo, a sample of 29 neighbourhoods (out of 324) was selected randomly with a probability proportional to size, and 3 streets were selected randomly with a probability proportional to size in each neighbourhood (87 sampling units). The sample was stratified at the first stage in DR Congo (3 strata).
b) Selection of households (second stage)
A listing operation was carried out in each of the selected survey sites to prepare the sampling frame of households. The listing consisted in enumerating all the households in the selected sites, and in identifying whether these households included migrants of not. In DR Congo and Ghana, three categories of households were distinguished (households with return migrants, with migrants abroad, and without migrants). 7 households were selected in each of the 3 strata (if less than 7 households were available in one or several strata, the remaining households were selected in the other stratum). The sampling rate was higher in strata of households with migrants, in order to get a sufficient sample of such households.
c) Selection of individuals (third stage)
In each of the selected households, one or several respondents were selected among the eligible people (people aged between 25 and 75, and born in the origin country). In DR Congo and Ghana, all the return migrants and partners of migrants currently abroad were selected. In addition, one other eligible member was randomly selected. A special tool had been designed so that the interviewers could randomly select the people during the fieldwork.
Two types of questionnaires were used in the departure countries: the household questionnaire and the individual life history questionnaire.
- The first questionnaire was used among a representative sample of households in the target region.
- The second questionnaire was used among a sample of individuals in the selected households, targeting both return migrants and non-migrants. The household questionnaire was thus used as the sampling frame for the selection of individual respondents.
The objective of the survey was to obtain a sample 'as representative as possible' of the African populations (Congolese, Ghanaian, Senegalese) in the destination countries (150 individuals per origin and destination country). The way the sample was constituted may vary across countries, but some common principles were respected:
- The composition of the sample should be as close as possible to the population of (Congolese, Ghanaian, Senegalese) migrants in the country in terms of gender, geographic distribution, age, socio-economic category or occupation.
- One exception: the sample should be gender balanced. Males and females should be equally represented in order to allow gender analyses.
- Samples in origin and destination may be linked, but migrants with weak or no relationships at origin should not be excluded from the sample.
- Both documented and undocumented migrants should be represented in the sample.
As no suitable frame was available to select randomly individual respondents in five of the six European countries (Spain being the exception), it was decided to use quota sampling. In all the countries, the quotas were set by age and gender at least. In Belgium and the UK, the countries of MAFE Congo, the place of residence was used in the quotas.
In Belgium, the whole country was covered, and quotas were set by provinces (11 provinces - within each province the sample was allocated to communes or groups of communes according to the number of Congolese migrants in these communes). In the United Kingdom, the surveys were concentrated in the London area and in the places where Congolese migrants were living.
Randomness was also included in the samples in different ways. For instance, in Belgium, a random sample of places was selected according to the number of people of Congolese origin living in these places. Respondents were selected in these places. The combination of different recruitment methods also ensured that different types of persons had a non zero probability of being included in the sample. For instance, some respondents were recruited in public spaces (street, metro station, hairdresser...), others were randomly selected from list of volunteers identified in churches...
- Target areas: Whole country
- Sample size: 279
- Quotas: By age, gender and place of residence
- Recruitment methods: Public spaces, migrant associations, churches, snowballing, phonebook, centers for asylum seekers, interviewers' contacts
- Target areas: Whole country
- Sample size: 149
- Quotas: By age, gender and place of residence
- Recruitment methods: Public spaces, churches, snowballing, interviewers' contacts
Taux de réponse
For the household questionnaire, 1773 households were selected, only 1576 were successfully interviewed, including:
- Non-migrant household: 470
- Household with at least 1 returnee: 351
- Household with at least 1 current migrant: 1027
- Household with returnee(s) and current migrant(s): 272
This represents a response rate of 88.8%.
For the biographic questionnaire, 1 946 individuals were selected, only 1 638 were interviewed, including:
- Returnees: 322
- Partners left behind: 77
- Other non-migrants: 1239
This represents a response rate of 84.2%.
The overall response rate in DR Congo is 74.9%.
397 Congolese migrants were successfully interviewed: 278 in Belgium and 150 in the United Kingdom.
The computation of sampling weights relies on computing sampling probabilities at each stage. The product of sampling probabilities at each stage gives the overall sampling probability. Taking the inverse of the sampling probability gives the inflation factor. These factors are adjusted (taking into account non-response and by trimming the weights). They are then normalized, so that the sum of weights is equal to the sample size.
In the European countries, similar sample sizes were selected for males and females, resulting in an overrepresentation or underrepresentation in the MAFE samples. Similarly, older people were usually oversampled. For these reasons, post-stratification weights are computed to give each observation its proper weight and to match the samples as closely as possible to selected population characteristics.
In the MAFE data, all survey weights have been rescaled (normalized) so that the sum of weights corresponds to the sample sizes of households and individuals respectively while the mean of the weight variables equals one.
For further details about weights, please read the MAFE methodological note 6 entitled "Sampling and Computation Weights in the MAFE Surveys" (see related materials).
Collecte des données
Dates de collecte
DR Congo pilot survey
United Kingdom survey
DR Congo (Kinshasa) survey
Fréquence de la collecte
In DR Congo, the survey preparation started in March 2009. A pilot survey was organized in May-June 2009. The selection of the survey sites was done in June 2009, and the listing of the households in the selected sites started in June and ended in July 2009. Data collection started in early August, soon after the training of interviewers and the sampling of households. It lasted for about 4 months, until mid November. Like in Ghana, both the household and biographic surveys were conducted at the same time. Editing and coding was also done during the fieldwork and ended a few weeks after the fieldwork. Because of administrative problems with money transfer, data entry started a little bit later.
In Belgium and United Kingdom, data collection was conducted in 2009-2010. Data collection lasted about five months in the UK and seven months in Belgium. Editing was done along data collection. Data entry was done between October and December 2009 in the UK, and between December 2009 and March 2010 in Belgium.
Période couverte par les données
Mode de collecte
Face-to-face interview: Paper-and-pencil (PAPI)
Informations supplémentaires sur la collecte
The MAFE surveys collect information on potentially vulnerable populations (undocumented migrants) and on sensitive subjects (remittances, legal status…). In order to facilitate the fieldwork and increase the quality of the data, it was important to carefully inform the people who were to be interviewed.
The legal pre-requisites changed according to the country. In France (only), a legal authorization had to be obtained before starting the fieldwork. The CNIL (Commission nationale informatique et libertés) was concerned by the way the contacts were going to be obtained in Senegal and, most of all, by the sensitivity of certain variables contained in the questionnaires (ethnic group, religion). We obtained the authorization to ask these questions, but in order to keep them in our files, we had to ask to the interviewees to sign a written informed consent.
According to legal prescriptions, in all European countries, a letter was designed to explain their rights to the interviewees.
In most countries, a leaflet was designed and used to sensitize respondents and authorities about the MAFE project.
In advance of the survey, several communication actions have been undertaken:
- In Africa, inform neighbourhood heads / municipalities of survey by an official letter or by a visit
- Use local radio / migrants radio and chat show to present the survey
- Inform an organisation of migrants who can support the survey
- Visit the key places of the community (churches…)
Because of the complexity of the questionnaires, only interviewers with a good experience in complex surveys were recruited.
In African countries, it was highly recommended to hire the same interviewers to conduct both household surveys and individual surveys. This approach proved to be very efficient in all the surveys.
In Europe, interviewers had to be able both to recruit the migrants and to fill correctly the questionnaire. As a general rule, it was preferable to have a relatively small number of well-trained interviewers than a large number of interviewers.
Overall, around 20 to 25 interviewers and supervisors were involved in data collection in each country.
The number of the interviewers per survey varied between 8 (survey among Ghanaians in the UK) and 17 (Netherlands). In all the countries, both male and females interviewers were hired; most of them had higher education and some experience with data collection. In some countries (e.g. France), some of them were professional interviewers. The selected interviewers were not necessarily from the same country as the respondents, but most of them also had foreign origins.
For instance, 7 of the 12 interviewers in Belgium were of foreign origin, 5 of them from DR Congo. In the Netherlands, most interviewers were from Ghanaian origin. The fact that many of the interviewers were themselves of foreign origin seemed to have positively influenced the willingness of interviewees to participate in the survey.
Directly after being filled, questionnaires were checked by the interviewers and supervisors. They were then sent to a small team of editors for an in-depth reading. The editors consisted of 9 people in Senegal, 6 in Ghana and 5 in DR Congo. The team had followed the same training as the interviewers, and also received a specific training for editing the questionnaires.
Data entry was performed using MS Access programs prepared by Ined.
Responsable(s) de la collecte
Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques
Department of Population and Development of the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve
Department of Population and Development Sciences of the University of Kinshasa
Sussex Centre for Migration Research of the University of Sussex
Instrument de collecte
Evaluation des données
Evaluation de la qualité des données
A methodological note entitled "Sampling international migrants with origin-based snowballing method: New evidence on biases and limitations", written by Cris Beauchemin and Amparo González-Ferrer, can be found in the study's related materials, as well as another methodological note in french "Biais de non-réponse dans l'enquête Migrations entre l'Afrique et l'Europe (MAFE-Sénégal)" written by Nicolas Razafindratsima, Stéphane Legleye and Cris Beauchemin.
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Texte à citer
Every user of the MAFE data must cite this paragraph in its publications:
English version : "The MAFE project is coordinated by Ined (C. Beauchemin) and is formed, additionally by the Université catholique de Louvain (B. Schoumaker), Maastricht University (V. Mazzucato), the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (P. Sakho), the Université de Kinshasa (J. Mangalu), the University of Ghana (P. Quartey), the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (P. Baizan), the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (A. González-Ferrer), the Forum Internazionale ed Europeo di Ricerche sull'Immigrazione (E. Castagnone), and the University of Sussex (R. Black). The MAFE project received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement 217206. The MAFE-Senegal survey was conducted with the financial support of Ined, the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France), the Région Ile de France and the FSP programme 'International Migrations, territorial reorganizations and development of the countries of the South'. For more details, see: http://www.mafeproject.com/"
French version : "Le projet MAFE est coordonné par l'Ined (C. Beauchemin), en partenariat avec l'Université catholique de Louvain (B. Schoumaker), la Maastricht University (V. Mazzucato), l'Université Cheikh Anta Diop (P. Sakho), l'Université de Kinshasa (J. Mangalu), l'University of Ghana (P. Quartey), l'Universitat Pompeu Fabra (P. Baizan), le Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (A. González -Ferrer), le Forum Internazionale ed Europeo di Ricerche sull'Immigrazione (E. Castagnone), et l'University of Sussex (R. Black). Le projet MAFE a reçu un financement du Septième Programme-Cadre de la Communauté européenne (subvention 217206). L'enquête MAFE-Sénégal a été réalisée grâce au soutien financier de l'Ined, de l'Agence Nationale de la Recherche, de la région Ile de France, et du programme FSP 'Migrations internationales, recompositions territoriales et développement dans les pays du Sud'. Pour plus d'information, voir : http://www.mafeproject.com/"
In addition, to refer to the survey design, the following documents can also be refered to:
Beauchemin, C. (2012). Migrations between Africa and Europe: Rationale for a Survey Design. MAFE Methodological Note 5. Paris, Ined: 45.
Schoumaker, B., C. Mezger, N. Razafindratsima and A. Bringé (2013). Sampling and Computation Weights in the MAFE Surveys. MAFE Methodological Note 6: 73.
These MAFE methodological notes are available at: http://mafeproject.site.ined.fr/en/methodo/methodological_notes/
Localisation des données
Quetelet Progedo Diffusion
DataLab - Service des Enquêtes et Sondages - Ined
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Production des métadonnées
Service des enquêtes et des sondages, Ined
Version 1.2 (2015-04-13)
Version 2.0 (2021-08-25) : Mise en conformité avec le CESSDA, enrichissement des métadonnées