Maruf Lutfur

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PhD Student

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Ruhr-University Bochum
Universitätsstr. 105, Room 2.23 / 2.24 / 2.27 / 2.32
44789 Bochum

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Phone: +49-(0)234 / 32-29463

Fax: +49-(0)234 / 32-14-294

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Research Interests

  • International Migration and Development
  • Rural Development and Rural Livelihoods
  • Politics of Labour Migration
  • Labour Rights
  • Social Communication
  • Social Science Methodology

Current Project

Socio-Cultural Remittances and their Impact: A Study of Migrant Sending Communities in Rural Bangladesh.

Until recently, migrants’ financial remittances (earnings of migrants sent back home) have emerged as one of the significant sources of funding for development in the labor sending countries in the global South. Researchers, and policy makers have paid more attention to the glittering coin of remittances, and its effects on the macro level. Thereby, most debates about the development potential of remittances privilege the economic remittances at the cost of the socio-cultural. However, studies suggest that migrants maintain strong, regular ties with their families left behind, and transform the non-migrants’ lives through remitting ideas or norms, knowledge, practices, social capital and narratives, defined as “social remittances”, back home. Though non-migrants are physically separated from migrants, they share the identical social space, and their lives are intensely attached with migrants through different social, and cultural activities beyond economic. Thus far, this phenomenon has received very limited attention in academic and policy debates. Furthermore, how social remittances can influence at migrant sending communities is primarily shown by few case studies on global South-to-North transmigrants.

This study scrutinizes the South-South socio-cultural remittances consequences in the migrants’ home communities, through conducting a field research. Migrant workers from Bangladesh and their left behind family members, who have been contributing to gear up the country’s economy, are in the centre of this study. While Bangladesh participates in the supply side of the global labor market, which put the country on a firm footing in economic remittances earning, socio-cultural remittances and its consequences on the home community have been largely under-researched.

In order to understand the socio-cultural remittances consequences, this research bases the concept of social remittances, posed by Levitt (1998), as the diffusion of social norms, behaviours, identities and social capital that flow from migrant receiving to sending countries. This study investigates how social remittances are circulated, and what determines their effect. This research intends to amplify the current discourse on the socio-cultural development potential of migration and remittances in the migrant sending communities.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Eva Gerharz


11/2013 - present:   Institute of Development Research and Development Policy, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
PhD Researcher
Thesis Project: Socio-Cultural Remittances and their Impact: A Study of Migrant Sending Communities in Rural Bangladesh
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Eva Gerharz
06/2012 - 08/2012:   Department of Human Geography, Lund University, Sweden
Research Assistant
09/2011 - 12/2011:   International Organization for Migration (IOM), Bangladesh (
Intern (Worked as a part of research team to conduct research on Labor Migration Issues)
08/2010 - 06/2012:   Lund University, Sweden
MSc in International Development and Management (
Subject of the Master’s Thesis: International Migration, Remittances and Household Development: Contribution of International Labor Migration and Remittances to Migrant Sending Households in Rural Bangladesh
Supervisor: Dr. Olle Frodin
10/2006 - 08/2010:   Asiatic Marketing Communications Limited, Dhaka, Bangladesh (
Associate Manager-Social Communication
07/2005 - 03/2007:   University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Major in Strategic and International Management
Dissertation: The Role of Advertising Agency in the Entire Communication Process
07/2000 - 06/2005:   University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
Major in Management Studies


Awarded a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship under the Graduate School Scholarship Program (GSSP) for PhD studies


  • Ahmed, S. M. (2012): Migration, Remittances and Household Development: Contribution of International Migration and Remittances to Migrant Sending Households in Rural Bangladesh, prepared for LUMID, Lund, available at
  • Ahmed, S. M. (2012): Behind the Mask of Labor Migration and Remittances. The News Today, 30 September. pp. Op-ed.

Conference, Training and Workshop

  • Participated in the ‘4th PhD Conference on International Development’ organized by the Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE), RUB, together with the School of International Development (DEV), University of East Anglia, UK, and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, NL, Bochum Germany, 24-25 September 2015
  • Attended the conference ‘The Middle East and the Islamic World in the Mirror of Humanities and Social Sciences’ jointly organized by the German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation (DAVO) and the Islamic Studies Section of the German Oriental Society (DMG) at Ruhr-University Bochum on 24 – 26 September 2015
  • Attended a discussion on ‘Rohingya Refugees: What does it mean for Bangladesh?’, organized by Bold Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 27 June 2015
  • Presentation of the Poster illustrating the doctoral research project on the ‘Global Day’, organized by the RUB International Office, Bochum, Germany, 12 June 2015
  • Attended the conference ‘”South Asia in Transformation: World of Slums, Global Power Houses or Utopias? Migration, labour, and family changes in a dynamic region”, organized by The South Asian Student Association (SASNET), Lund, Sweden 20-22 May 2015
  • Presentation and participation in the ‘Ninth European PhD Workshop in South Asia studies’ organized by SASNET on behalf of European Association of South Asian Studies (EASAS), Höllviken, Malmo, Sweden, 18-19 May 2015
  • Participated in the conference ‘Reflecting the past – forging the future: Democracy and Human Rights in Bangladesh’s Changing Social Landscape’, Bangladesh Forum Germany, Berlin, 6-7 November 2014
  • Participated as a Volunteer in the Africa Day 2012, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Attended in a BalkanBorrel on Identity in Kosovo, organized by IKV Pax Christi in November 2012 at Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Attended numerous lectures/conferences on international issues and foreign policy organized by the Association of Foreign Affairs, Lund, Sweden
  • Participated in Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Programme (MNCH) workshop 2009, organized by UNICEF Bangladesh
  • Participated in ELCDP (Early Learning Centre for Development Program) Communication Strategy Validation workshop 2009, organized by UNICEF Bangladesh
  • Attended in a workshop on Recruitment, Remittances and Payment Partnership Project 2007, Organized by IOM Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Participated in a message development workshop on Micro Nutrient Product for Children, 2007, organized by Social Marketing Company (SMC) in Bangladesh

Major Working Experiences

  • Joint UN Programme to Address Violence against Women in Bangladesh
  • IOM’s Emergency Project on "Bangladeshi Returnees from Libya"
  • Information Campaign to Enhance Public Awareness on Safe Migration
  • Remittance & Payment Partnerships Campaign, Safe Migration Campaign conducted by IOM
  • UNDP Project of Local Partnership for Urban Poverty Alleviation Project (LPUPAP)
  • UNICEF Bangladesh: Early Learning Centre for Development (ELCDP) Campaign
  • WaterAid: “Media Campaign on Water Safety”
  • BRAC: Awareness building on tuberculosis curability and breaking the misconception.