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Series CHAMPSEA - Transnational Migration in Southeast Asia and the Health of Vulnerable Groups Left Behind

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TH 2007 Southeast Asia-CHAMPSEA


Transnational Migration in Southeast Asia and the Health of Vulnerable Groups Left Behind


  • 2007-1-1 - 2009-12-31 (Creation)

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CHAMPSEA stands for Child Health And Migrant Parents in South East Asia. It is a collaborative study on transnational migration and the health of children left behind. The study is conducted in four countries in South-East Asia with high or increasing levels of transnational outmigration: Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

CHAMPSEA involves a collaboration of researchers from South-East Asia and the UK, and is funded by The Wellcome Trust. This project is being run by the National University of Singapore (Singapore) together with the University of St. Andrews (Scotland, UK). Coordination in the study countries is being undertaken by Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia), Scalabrini Migration Center (Philippines), Mahidol University (Thailand), and Asia-Pacific Center of Hanoi - VAPEC (Vietnam).

CHAMPSEA is designed to produce good quality data about the impact of the absence of one or both parents on the health and well-being of children left behind when the parent goes abroad to work. The project investigates whether the impacts of parental absence differ according to whether it is the mother and/or father who is absent, and whether it is a daughter or a son who is left behind. The quantitative part of the project tests five hypotheses in relation to children under 12 years of age:

1. Transnational migration of fathers is positively associated with health and well-being;

2. Transnational migration of mothers is positively associated with physical health and well-being, but only where a close female relative provides substitute care;

3. Transnational migration of mothers is negatively associated with mental health and with well-being;

4. The positive and negative associations between the transnational migration of fathers/mothers and child health/well-being vary according to the gender and age of the child;

5. The characteristics of the sending country and local community mediate the health/well-being impacts of parental migration.

There is also a qualitative part to the project where follow-up conversations with a sub-sample of households will explore topics identified in the quantitative findings in greater depth.

Currently there is a lack of scientific knowledge related to the social costs of transnational migration movements, and the CHAMPSEA project is the first systematic cross-country investigation in the region. Ultimately, we hope that the findings will both inform and respond to the needs of policy makers.

CHAMPSEA is designed primarily as a cross-sectional study, with the main field data collected during 2008. However, the collection of contact details at the end of the household interviews leaves open the possibility of following-up the respondents over time. CHAMPSEA collects both quantitative and qualitative data in a research design that allows comparison over the four study countries. Primary data will be collected in two main stages: in-home surveys and in-depth interviews.

The study sites for Thailand are two provinces with high levels of transnational outmigration in relation to the national average have been purposively selected: Lampang and Udonthani.


Principle Investigator: Aree Jampaklay

Co-investigator: Patama Vapanawong

Researcher: Abdun-Aziz Prasithima

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