MIDEQ: Decolonizing the Story of Migration in the Global South

Researching migration in the Global South to better understand the relationship between migration, inequality and development, and influence policies to improve the lives of migrants and their families.

Resistance and Transformation
Print from Positive Negatives animation for MIDEQ

Project Overview

More than a third of all international migration in the world occurs between countries in the Global South but very little research has been done into these migratory routes.

MIDEQ, funded by UKRI and GCRF, and run by Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations, works with a global network of partners in twelve countries in the Global South, organised into six migration ‘corridors’, one of which is the migration from Haiti to Brazil.

After the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, thousands of refugees migrated South to settled in Brazil.


The projects aims to transform understanding of the relationships between migration, development, and inequality, as well as decolonise the production of knowledge about migration and its consequences away from the Global North towards those countries where most migration takes place.

The academic institution carrying out the research in Brazil – and our partner in the project – is the Instituto Maria e João Aleixo (IMJA), known as Uniperiferias based in Maré, the largest favela complex in Rio de Janeiro.

Around half the research team is made up of Haitian migrants who are postgraduate students in Brazil. IMJA is keen to ensure that Haitians are involved in the project every step of the way and are not merely “objects of research”.

The fieldwork was conducted at the end of 2021 with 858 surveys carried out for the quantitative research and 101 in-depth interviews and 5 focus groups conducted for the qualitative research.

The project is now at the stage of analysing the data in order to influence public policies in Brazil to improve the lives of Haitians and other black migrants in the country.

Animation: The Story of Migration and Inequality

Dialogues- Changing Narratives about Migration

Official poster of the event

In September 2023, People’s Palace Projects and Uniperiferias hosted in Rio de Janeiro 80 researchers from 12 countries in the Global South.

The final sold out event- Dialogues- Changing Narratives about Migration – open to the public, took place in the Museum of Tomorrow where we invited the civil society, representatives of Brazilian government and NGOs to talk about migration, racism and inequality.

According to Heaven Crawley, Director of the MIDEQ Hub and Head of Equitable Development and Migration and the UN University’s Centre for Policy Research in New York, the event provided a unique opportunity to engage a Brazilian audience in the findings of MIDEQ’s research.

“Around the globe, negative migration narratives undermine the huge benefits of migration, economically, socially and of course, culturally. We are delighted to work with our Brazilian partners to challenge these narratives, humanising migrants and migration, and bringing together different communities to reduce the inequalities with which migration is all too often associated”

Heaven Crawley, Director of the MIDEQ Hub

Unstoppable Beat Animation by Positive Negatives