Internal Migration Among the Youth in East Nusa Tenggara: It’s Not Just About the Money

9 December 2018

This report examines trends in migration to identify stages in a migrant’s life in which capacity building programs could help cultivate skills that lead to productive livelihoods and create jobs in communities of origin.

This report focuses on East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), a province in southeast Indonesia that is characterised by persistent regional inequality. Development in Indonesia is heavily centred in western regions, particularly Java, which is home to a majority of the population and economic output. Although historically neglected by the central government, NTT has been experiencing economic growth due to state-led infrastructure development. However, it still remains one of the country’s poorest provinces.

The most common response to NTT’s underdevelopment is internal and international migration. This is especially common amongst the youth, who view migration as a crucial life stage that allows them to seek new experiences and economic opportunities. Many eventually do consider returning to their hometowns, to get married or to have a family life. Understanding the dynamics of migration, the motivations of the youth, and their skills and experiences is crucial for designing effective policies that promote sustainable and equitable economic growth in NTT.

The report suggests that this migration pattern presents an opportunity for policymakers and organisations to empower youth with skills that can benefit both rural and urban areas. It advocates for customised skill development programs to cater to different preferences, such as higher-value agricultural activities in rural areas, and sectors like construction and tourism in urban centres. This approach could efficiently utilise limited resources, be more gender-sensitive, and align with the aspirations of the youth.

This report was featured as a chapter in “People on the Move: Advancing the Discourse on Migration & Jobs“- a joint report co-authored by the global partners of JustJobs Network.