Consolidated Reply: e-discussion on Local authorities’ Involvement in Migration and Development

Responses in full

1.                   Chanzo Greenidge, Independent Consultant, Trinidad and Tobago

Dear members,

I liked the idea of participatory mapping as part of the methodology. In reading the background document, I wondered if this technique could be applied to addressing the engagement of diasporas that are in other countries of the South.  Several of the countries targeted in the study, such as Egypt, Philippines, Senegal and Jamaica have fairly significant diasporas in other parts of the global South. 

Further to this, my own conversations with migrants and local authorities suggest that the intra-regional diasporas may be more responsive than those in the North, and co-ordination with local authorities may be facilitated in these cases by existing regional integration arrangements such as ASEAN, CSME/Caricom etc. 

Re. the need for co-ordination and coherence (p.24): Local authorities' key intervention is, in my view, in improving the integration of new and settled migrants. Investment in pre- and post-departure orientation, as well as some investment in reducing the settlement of migrants would allow for the creation of relationships among institutions and with diasporas that would in turn 'remit' development initiatives, investment and commercial opportunities and technical knowledge for the wider home community. 

Re. Migrant Rights partnerships (p.30 +): This is very important.

A related area for action for local authorities may be as a partner in addressing the migration-environment nexus.  This is an issue that would benefit from municipal/local-diaspora partnerships, especially as environmental degradation in the South is many times a phenomenon with transnational causes and implications.

All the best,

Chanzo G

---
Chanzo Greenidge, Ph.D.
SKYPE: chanzo7
+1 (868) 473-6158
+1 (868) 662-8531
TRINIDAD and TOBAGO

 


2.                   Dr. Phasi Ndudi, Benelux Africenter, Belgium

Dear members,

 Here is the contribution from the ASBL BAC « Benelux Afro Center » Belgium to the discussion on “How can joint initiatives between local authorities, civil society and migrants associations be strengthened to the benefit of migrants’ communities of origin?”

First of all we want to point out that collective and organized actions of the Congolese diaspora directed to their communities of origin are – globally speaking – small compared to the amount of individual actions, and without any large impact on the development process as we know.  However, there are some path-breaking initiatives, some of them initiated by our NGO based in Brussels. Benelux Afro Center (BAC) was the first NGO of Sub-Saharan immigrants which benefited from subsidies from the Belgian migration cooperation and development funding line.  Thus BAC was able to develop a first multi-year programme (PPA) oriented towards the strengthening of the National Council of Health NGOs (Conseil National des ONGs de Santé, CNOS) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Goals: contributing to an increased influence of civil society in the planning and coordination of health interventions, in the strengthening of the health system and in the improvement of the well-being of vulnerable groups in DRC.   In order to achieve these specific goals the following results were achieved at the end of the first PPA from 2007 to 2009: 

  • The CNOS was recognised as the representative, coordinator and regulator of Congolese civil society actors in the health sector within the tripartite dialogue on health including the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and CNOS;
  • Advocacy activities were carried out promoting health NGOs to the Ministry of Health and WHO but also to the Groupe Inter Bailleurs de Santé (GIBS) which finances health and development projects and programmes at a local level.
  • Equipment was provided to networks of grass-roots NGOs in Kinshasa and 11 provincial NGO coordination groups across the DRC. In addition, training was organized to develop the capacities of local NGOs in the creation of development projects and fund-raising activities. This, in combination with the assignment of experts from the Congolese diaspora as tutors, ensures the transfer of knowledge and know-how.

In the second PPA, which will run from 2010 to 2012, we will focus on upgrading decentralization of CNOS’ missions at the level of provincial health coordination (coordinations provinciales de santé, CPOS). This will be done to approach the grass-roots groups and the beneficiaries, i.e. the NGOs, and to facilitate the identification of these in order to establish a database of health NGOs, the final objective indicated by partners of the tripartite dialogue on health in the DRC.

It is important to highlight the specificity of the funding line on the migration and development initiative granted by Belgian development cooperation.  The latter only allocates co-financing which consists of 85% of the global budget.  The diaspora organization is constrained to pay the balance of 15% from their own resources.  This actually comes from external resources, for example from the Belgian partner.  The provision of co-financing by migrants additional to cooperation funds constitutes a significant contribution of the diaspora to the country’s development because these 15% provided by the diaspora mobilize and allow the remaining 85% of the Belgian cooperation to be disbursed. Given an average budget for each project of around 450,000 - 500,000 Euro a year, 15% is nearly 35,000 Euro a year. This is a significant amount for development projects/programmes as well as for a diaspora association. This initiative – that goes without saying – takes place alongside private or family interventions.

Thus, for the second PPA running from 2010 to 2012, our NGO has to maximize its efforts to attain the required level of co-financing.  All activities which aim to mobilize more funds have to be taken up in order to achieve a certain autonomy in the future.  Therefore we will develop two working axes for our action:  First, in the South through our local office in Kinshasa which has the task of facilitating and launching a dialogue between the national Congolese authorities and the ASBL BAC to support a better effectiveness of the diaspora in the countries of origin; and second, at the Brussels level where we will try to diversify our partner base and to ensure the sustainability of our projects/programmes and activities.  At the same time in the North, BAC will open its projects/programmes for greater participation of other NGOs of Sub-Saharan immigrants through the use of the following two approaches:

  • Strengthening networks of migrant associations whose cooperation will improve small associations’ access to Belgian cooperation funds;
  • Organization of specific training to strengthen the capacity of migrant NGOs (e.g. on how to run a non-profit group, how to write a log frame, etc.).

Finally, we would like to end our communication with the announcement of the fact that we will organize a large conference on circular migration at the beginning of the second quarter of 2011. This is because through our experience, we consider circular migration as an important channel for diasporas to contribute to the reconstruction and development of countries of origin.  The conclusions drawn from the recent M4D e-discussion on this topic (http://www.migration4development.org/content/e-discussion-circular-migration) will be adapted to the context of the DRC, our target country and country of origin, for the conference.

Beyond the high-level conference in 2011, an annual conference will be organized around one or another subject related to the issue of Migration and Development. Different subjects could be discussed, for example dialogue between the authorities in the North and South with the diaspora, diaspora banks or reintegration banks which aim to support migrants in their temporary or long-term return to their countries of origin, or the financial transfers supported or subsidized by the host country, etc.  An exchange of good practices will be carried out at every stage of the project, i.e. through an exchange of experiences with other African associations, especially from East Africa and the Maghreb, whose experience in this area is long-standing.

Dr PHASI Ndudi

Main coordinator of the Migration and Development programmes

ASBL BAC « Benelux Afro Center »

b.afrocenter@gmail.com

Brussels, BELGIUM

 


3.                   Dr. T. Banjoko, Africarecruit/Findajobinafrica.com, United Kingdom

 

Dear Members,

Please find some points below related to the current e-discussion on diasporas and Local authorities' involvement in Migration and Development.

Diaspora groups involved in community and social related projects at local authority level: This is generally centered on hometown associations, i.e. diaspora linked to their and/or their parents’ place of origin.  In some cases the projects and/or initiatives are not linked into local authority plans and happen in isolation.  It would be interesting to explore the flow of remittances to local authority catchment areas with diaspora initiatives and if there is a match between the two.

It’s worth looking at the links below:

Key areas that could potentially strengthen joint initiatives:

  • Scaling up what works;
  • Adding the professional angle to what tends to be a disjointed puzzle;
  • The role that diaspora representatives locally can play as a link pin in the chain;
  • How can local authorities incentivize the diaspora to gain their involvement – examples could be concessions, sitting on boards or projects and using the diaspora to galvanize support abroad;
  • Increase awareness and transparency by local authorities.

 Regards,

 

Dr T A Banjoko

AfricaRecruit- Findajobinafrica.com

18 Pall Mall

London SW1 5LU

UNITED KINGDOM

T: +44(0) 207 024 8270 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +44(0) 207 024 8270      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

F: +44(0) 207 024 8201

E-mail: tbanjoko@africarecruit.com or tbanjoko@findajobinafrica.com

Websites: www.africarecruit.com: events, reports, newsletters; www.findajobinafrica.com: job vacancies and opportunities in Africa; www.africadiaspora.com: Africa Diaspora Investment.

 


4.                   Imame El Rhomri, Sevilla Acoge Foundation, Spain

 

To answer the question, how can joint initiatives between local authorities, civil society and migrants associations be strengthened to the benefit of migrants’ communities of origin, I believe it is through better coordination and synergies between stakeholders, mainly decentralised cooperation and non-governmental cooperation of NGOs led by migrants in their regions of origin.

Over the last few months, I have been working as Project Manager for the Co-Development Department of the Acoge Sevilla Foundation, a migrants’ NGO based in Seville, Spain.  I observed that after almost 10 years of the organisation’s intervention in the Province of Tetouan (Zinat), Morocco – in which a comprehensive programme was put in place to meet the basic needs of the people (drinking water, bridges, literacy, school rehabilitation, ecological furnace installations, economic empowerment of women through income-generating activities, etc.), in partnership with the town council and the support of decentralized state services – that it is essential that any intervention includes a local human and structural capacity development component to ensure the continuity of the development efforts initiated by this cooperation, and to promote good local governance.

Indeed, the new municipal charter reform and the willingness to go further, accelerate and make the decentralization process in Morocco effective requires strengthening the capacities of local elected officials and civil society in the planning and management of their local development. However, I noted that the state-provided training and support has not managed to take root in the most isolated areas, such as mountain villages in the North, and that it is very difficult for local actors to access information, guidance or training of sufficient duration that is tailored to their specific requirements.

So I proposed to my department a project to strengthen the capacity of small village associations, which have emerged as new actors representing the people (compared to existing traditional forms).

The creation of these village associations has been driven by external incentives, in particular international cooperation interventions and recommendations by the State (Ministry of Agriculture, Morocco's National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), etc.) in order to implement the recent socio-economic development policies in the region. However, it appears that the emergence of these associations is not supported by a capacity development process to enable them to participate effectively in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of these policies.

Therefore, following the recommendations of several studies and in light of internal diagnostics, we plan, as a migrants’ NGO, to act according to four areas of intervention:

1.       Increase the level of skills and strengthen the internal structures of village associations;

2.       Provide equipment and appropriate space to develop their activities;

3.       Encourage active citizenship and greater gender equality (gender mainstreaming);

4.       Sensitise the entire population on the importance of the role of modern civil society organizations (associations, federations, networks, etc.) in development and local democracy.

However, we sincerely wish to work with decentralized cooperation actors to meet the needs expressed by elected officials of some of the surrounding rural municipalities to strengthen their infrastructure (rehabilitation of their buildings, upgrading of computers and IT equipment, etc.) and their skills through adequate training focused on the new responsibilities they have been given (new communal charter, Municipal Development Plan, etc.).

The problem is that within my organisation, we observed that there was a lack of information and communication between actors who, by combining their efforts, could have a greater impact.  These actors include the Directorate General of Local Communities and their provincial delegations, decentralised cooperation actors, universities, research centres and migrant’s NGOs who wish to use their potential to "bridge" cultures and contribute to the development of their villages / towns of origin by providing their know-how.

Therefore, I believe it is necessary to establish a dialogue between different cooperation actors so that they can better harmonise and articulate their initiatives, negotiate together and coordinate their actions in support of local people.

Improved articulation of the intervention of decentralized non-governmental cooperation would foster the creation and consolidation of fora for dialogue and consultation between local authorities and civil society and thus strengthen local democracy, particularly as the present political situation in Morocco is favourable to this.

Imane El Rhomri
imane@sevillaacoge.org
Co-development Department
Sevilla Acoge Foundation
Seville, SPAIN
www.sevillaacoge.org

 


5.                   Elhadj Mamadou Samb, Association Trait d’Union (ACTU), Italy

Hello,

I fully support your views as well as the different ideas proposed.  As part of our local development activities in Senegal, supported previously by the IOM and now by a consortium of Italian bank foundations, our migrants’ organization, the Association Trait d'Union (ACTU), is engaged this year and next year in cooperation with an Italian NGO and local authorities in implementing strategies similar to yours. That is:

•                     to work on a major capacity development of groups and small village organizations who act as representatives of the population;

•                     to try in this way to upgrade the level of skills and provide them with tools, equipment and appropriate spaces to develop their activities.

With this aim, we have been working for several years in the region of Fatick, Senegal, in Saloum, on a small island called Sippo, an area affected by irregular and clandestine migration by ‘pirogue’ boats to the Canary Islands, where at the beginning the state wasn’t present at all, but thanks to our intervention in the area with concrete actions of support and guidance to the population the local authorities are beginning to show some interest not to model their involvement into ongoing and future development activities.

Thus I agree with you on the relationship between “local authorities – civil society and migrants’ associations”.

 

Elhadj Mamadou SAMB

Association Trait d'Union ACTU

Turin (ITALY)


6.                  Antonio García-Nieto and Cristina Durán, Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, Spain

Dear colleges,

The Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia (Spain) in collaboration with the local authorities of the Region has been carrying out migration and development projects with Morocco and some Latin America countries since 2006.

The main challenge that we have to face in these projects has been getting the diaspora involved in the development of their origin community.  There are many references to the participation of immigrant associations in development migration projects and we believe they could play an important role as a promoter or intermediaries between immigrants and institutions in these sorts of projects, as well as support the initiative of their members.  Although the associations are useful actors, the immigrant is vital for development migration projects.  It is necessary to bear in mind that the person, and not the group, decide how to spend and what to do with their money and his time.  In the reception country, immigrants must first solve various needs, including work, housing and language, among many others. In addition, they send remittance to their families back home, but it is a very important step to interfere in the development of his community of origin in productive investments or else in social actions.

Only when the migrant is settled in the foreign country can he evaluate developing the situation in the country of origin.  He has acquired skills, saved money, and now would like to put them into practice. This is a personal decision. When persons with initiative take part in a voluntary way, the results are more effective. So that, is very important to study the group we want to work with before begin a co-development project. Looking trough two of the projects implemented by the Region of Murcia, we can realize that one of the reasons that could involve the success of the project is getting a group of immigrants with a high level of settlement and personally concerned about the developing problems in their country of origin.

One of the projects that we are referring to was focused toward Ecuadorian immigrants in Murcia, but, at the beginning of the project, Ecuadorian immigration was too recent and that was an significant problem to getting them involved in the activities that we were carrying out.  In that moment, we believe that working with associations was the best way to manage the project but the problem was that associations were created to take personal advantage of the benefits that the project could gain.

On the contrary, in another project with Moroccan people we have had more success working directly with people that had shown previous interest in investing in Morocco. We have to take into account that Moroccan immigration is settled in Murcia from 20 years ago. We got in touch with these people through the Local Authorities and the locals NGOs that work on the integration of migrants because these institutions are the closest ones to the immigrants, further more these institutions have been participating with us in the project and this circumstance has been a strength for our work.

Our experience has confirmed that Local Authorities can recognize an important function in the field of migration for development.  Also they are able to work in partnership with local NGOs that work on the integration of migrants. The local authorities know the migrants and problems they face. They know immigrants who have initiatives to launch activities and will support them with training and technical assistance.

In the area of migration for development, other local authorities may profit from human migration flow to form a consortium between the local authorities of the country of origin.  The goals of this partnership can be as follows: 1) Advancing economic and cultural exchanges between the localities of the receiving country and the country of origin. 2) Promote an economic network led by migrants. 3) Advice and improvement of human resources in the country of origin taking advantage of the skills acquired by migrants in the receiving country.

We hope that our experience could contribute to the discussion on Migration for Development.

 

Antonio García-Nieto and Cristina Durán

antonio.garcia-nieto@carm.es

cristina.duran@carm.es

Dirección General de Inmigración,

Cooperación al Desarrollo y Voluntariado

Consejería de Política Social, Mujer e Inmigración

Comunidad Autónoma Región de Murcia (SPAIN)

 


7.                  Clement Adegbaju, Abuja, Nigeria

Joint initiatives: Civil society, Local Authorities and Diasporas  

The governments of diasporas’ origin countries may appoint well-known members of the diaspora as spokespersons on diaspora issues, sponsor travel to the country of origin for opinion leaders and youth, or establish diaspora volunteer programs.

There should be coordination within government for capacity building, creation of government institutions (consular networks, ministries, councils); integrating diasporas into development planning and policy implementation and promoting partnerships.

The goal of the country of origin is to reduce poverty and support national economy stability. Diaspora can channel to the origin country their skills acquired or by connecting home-country institutions of leaving and enterprise to advanced institutions in countries of destination. Migrants’ associations can bring about foreign investors which give the opportunity of employment for civil society.

Local authorities want to involve diasporas in developmental goals.

DEVELOPMENTAL GOALS: Diasporas have often been linked with the pursuit of higher education abroad, and the return of such skills and experience to the so-called business of "building the nation." Members of the Nigerian diaspora were able to travel abroad, often to the UK, in search of further education and training that were not readily available at home.

In recent decades, political stability and relatively advanced infrastructure have attracted many international organizations and businesses to base their operations in Nigeria. The country's geographical location astride the equator, its temperate tropical climate, beautiful landscapes, and abundant wildlife also attract many seasonal tourists, with some choosing to settle down.

STRATEGIES: Financial remittances provide a lifeline for many of Africa’s poor countries whose governments lack the means to make such provision. The remittance is a form of pro-poor finance and yet it still remains an under-appreciated flow of funds.

African diaspora profit from possibilities and windows of opportunity offered by global networks. The is that allow diaspora to gain a strategic position which enables them to build up social, economic and political bridges with valuable benefits.

It serves as middleman/link with intention of setting up joint ventures. They help facilitate the transfer of finance and technical know-how to local enterprises at home. They import goods from foreign countries.  They promote private business that is voluntary self-help projects.

INITIATIVES: Diaspora formulate entry points and strategic sites at which concrete and collaborative working activities and actions can be initiated.

TO WHAT EXTENT: The invaluable contribution of the African diaspora is completely ignored by the development statistics and hence does not receive sufficient attention from policy makers. But the Nigerian government should form a policy to control the number of people leaving the country; few people can be sent out for training with intention of training others when they return.

“To this day we continue to lose the best among ourselves because the lights in the developed world shine brighter”- Nelson Mandela

Diaspora organizations and associations may suffer from severe capacity constraints to make their activities more visible to the wider public. They lack the channels to gain access to useful information and networks due to security set in place to safeguard secret/protection.

Clement Adegbaju

babacley2k@yahoo.com

Abuja, NIGERIA

 


8.                   Patricia Clementina Salvador Nuques and Rina Eulalia Arias Morales, Fundación Eugenio Espejo, Ecuador

Dear members,

We consider the following themes useful in supporting this migration discussion:

  1. Effectively training migrants' families to try to minimize migration.
  2. Raising awareness of the social/economic costs and risks that may be incurred during migration, as well as the living conditions of those left behind in communities of origin.
  3. Obtaining mental and psychological counseling.
  4. Planning training projects exclusively for the community of origin in areas such as craftwork, agriculture, and small business.
  5. Increasing opportunities to channel investments to communities with high emigration rates by providing tax cuts and sources of finances.
  6. Implementing programmes for the creation and strengthening of small businesses which would not only allow for self-employment, but would also create jobs and help to discourage emigration.
  7. Stimulating agricultural and crafts production cooperatives to provide employment incentives in communities with high emigration rates.
  8. Fostering "Stock Centers" through commercialization networks to ensure that products are welcomed into the market with fair prices.

Best regards,

 

Patricia Clementina Salvador Nuques and Rina Eulalia Arias Morales

Fundación Eugenio Espejo, ECUADOR

 

JMDI project [EC-024] : Redes de apoyo a las capacidades de las personas migrantes para el desarrollo


9.                   Adekunle Lukman, Childolescent and Family Survival Organization, Nigeria

Dear All,

I would look at the best practices which can be adopted to involve the community on the issue of migration as follows:

Involvement of border community in controlling or harbouring irregular migrants (irregular or undocumented migrants).

Local government should be empowered on issues related to migration for development and establish different ‘skills acquisition centers’ so as to discourage brain drain from the communities.

Local government should be practically involved in policy-making related to migration.

Policy oriented towards those living in poverty should be encouraged by our local councils in order to be relevant to policy formulation at the global level.

Best regards,

Lukman AADEFOLAHAN     

Programe Officer 1
Childolescent and Family Survival Organisation (CAFSO)
Plot 5 Akingbade Street, Opposite New Gbagi Market,
Off Old Ife Road, Box 15060, Agodi P. O,
Ibadan 200003, NIGERIA.
+234 80 27942603 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +234 80 27942603      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
http://www.internationalpeaceandconflict.org/profile/adekunle lukman 

JMDI project [N-055]: 'Migration Aware' - Irregular Migration: Filling the Information Gap



10.               Khatuna Didbaridze, International Organization for Migration,Georgia

Dear Community of Practice Members,

It is no coincidence that the involvement of local authorities in Migration and Development has been brought to the fore of the Community of Practice e-discussion. Indeed, regional and local authorities can play a key role in striking effective collaborations and contributing to the process of policy formation. 

One of the projects funded through the JMDI in Georgia aims at enhancing the capacities of migrants and their home communities for the socio-economic development in the country of origin through the engagement of local authorities. This project is being implemented by the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG), an organization associating municipalities and local self-government throughout the country. The project focuses on a particular region characterized with relatively high outbound migration. This underscores that migratory flows can have region-specific nature and that local authorities have comparative advantage vis-à-vis central authorities to address these specificities through their proximity to and direct communication with local communities. Capitalizing on the organization’s existing network and close ties with the local authorities, the project helped to conceive and materialize the migration and development component within the structure of local authorities. So called “migration” offices have been set up and became operational in each target municipality of the Imereti region, west Georgia.

The idea of creating a strong nucleus focused on migration affairs in each of the four target municipalities has been the core element of the project. The established “migration” offices have been provided with the technical assistance and the training and experience sharing by the Latvian partner, the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments. Such twinning ensured enhancement of the capacities of the “migration” offices as well as contributed towards the development of migration dimension within the local structures. The “migration” offices maintain databases built on the basis of the migration related data collected directly from the target communities. The hot lines operated by the “migration” offices are available to migrants abroad as well as the home communities to receive information and guidance on the topics of their interest. The website developed as part of the project serves as a platform for all the stakeholders to actively communicate and fosters interaction between the various groups. In addition, the “migration” offices will host training sessions for the families of migrants from the local communities to improve their business skills thus giving additional impetus to the social-economic development of the target communities. These tools will help migrants abroad to stay tuned to the developments in their home communities, deliver practical assistance to home communities and encourage both to make migration work for development.          

In the broader perspective, these institutionalized units can contribute to long term sustainability and ensure that the development facet of migration is reflected in the development plans and policies for local communities. The project also helped to collect and verify largely lacking “first-hand” information on migrants from the region and the impact on their families in home communities. The involvement of the local authority representatives in the process of data collection allowed minimizing the risk of mistrust and reluctance to cooperate. The migration units of local authorities have become useful points of reference and conduit of information between migrants abroad and their communities of origin.       

Deducing from the experiences of this project, local authorities can be a catalyst for finding effective ways to use migrants’ potential for the development of a particular region and community. For the countries in the process of transformation and development especially, the benefit of the involvement of local authorities in migration and development could be multifaceted – addressing the root cause of high outward migration and its negative impact, assisting migrants and home communities in channelling resources to address the local needs, stimulating interaction between communities and authorities at the local level, adopting bottom-up approach to feed into regional and national development plans, assisting in building bonds between communities and diaspora organizations and migrants abroad.

 

IOM Georgia

JMDI Focal Point in GEORGIA

Web: www.iom.ge 

 

JMDI project [Ge-198]: Promoting Cooperation among Migrants communities and Local Governments for Local Development 

 


 

11.                David Melua, National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia, Georgia

Dear Community of Practice Members

It is widely known that local authorities stand the most close to citizens, therefore every local official in a tiny village knows who migrated from the neighbourhood and where he or she resides now. 

Indeed, communication between local officials and migrants’ families is much easier than with central authorities.  Therefore, local authorities possess the unique possibility to play an important role in mobilization of migrants and their families for achieving local development.

The National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) started implementation of the JMDI funded project “Promoting Cooperation among Migrants’ communities and Local Authorities for Local Development” in 2009. The aim of this project is to promote partnership among the Georgian migrants with their native cities and municipalities. We selected four local authorities with high rate of migration as target units and started the implementation of the project in October 2009. NALAG and its partner organization – The Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments (LALRG) – conducted series of trainings for local authorities and migrants’ families, as well as facilitated the establishment of migration-offices in all four target municipalities. These migration-offices are well equipped with PCs, communication means and hotline services. Each office has two staff at the disposal of migrants and their families.

The biggest challenge we faced in municipalities was lack of reliable information on migration and nonexistence of contact information.  We discovered that central government agencies have only aggregated statistical data without any personal information necessary for liaising with the migrants. Additionally, we learned that the vast majority of Georgian Diaspora organizations do not have large membership and they unite only up to 5% of Georgian migrants. So, it became evident that local authorities should start collecting personal data on migrants and migrants’ families who possess full contact information on their relatives. This is the only source of information since migrants’ families are very reluctant to share information on their family members to unknown people.

Thus we decided to use local officials for collecting information from migrants’ families. Migrants’ families shared information openly with the local officials who they know and who they trust. As a result, we collected personal data (including full contact information) from 17,356 migrants from four territorial units. This data is stored in a computer database operated by the migration-offices.

Local Authorities started communication with migrants using this database since May 2010 and today this communication has a permanent nature. We introduced a new website (www.partnership4development.ge) in July 2010. It serves as a marketplace for Georgian migrants, where they can find useful information on developments in their native towns and municipalities, submit their opinion to local authorities and participate in the decision making process. This website has seven discussion forums with 1,600 users per month; the most popular themes are employment and business partnership.

The project goes on and in the near future we plan a training of migrant families in starting new business and in effective use of remittances. We will do our best to mobilize migrants’ families and establish strong interest groups capable of cooperating with local governments for building better life in their communities.

Basic lessons learnt from this project:

a)      Migrants’ families are more open to local officials and they share information more easily with people they trust;

b)      Local authorities have more credibility among local citizens than central agencies and organizations from outside. Thus, local officials can play a critical role in mobilizing migrants for local development;

c)       Communication with migrant communities should have a permanent and organized nature; that requires institutional arrangements and the existence of supportive structures inside the municipalities;

d)      Local officials who are responsible for communication with migrants should have adequate skills and knowledge to build confidence and understanding with the target groups.

For more information please visit: www.partnership4developemnt.ge or www.nala.ge

 

David Melua

Executive Director

NALAG (National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia)

Tbilisi, GEORGIA


12.               Michael Boampong, Young People We Care, Ghana

Dear CoP Members,

For joint initiatives between local authorities, civil society and migrants associations to be strengthened for the benefit of migrants’ communities of origin there must be:

Transparency and Accountability:

There is a need for structures or forms that promote transparency and accountability on where diaspora resources are located, how they are used by the communities and initiatives aimed at building on the diaspora resources to make them more sustainable and beneficial to the communities of origin. Only when migrant communities in the diaspora or migrant associations feel that their resources are used judiciously, will they continue to engage with their communities of origin.

Recognition and celebration of diasporas’ contributions:

There is a need for local authorities in communities of origin to work with civil society organizations to promote events that celebrate the contributions of the diaspora and honor some of them for their contributions to their communities of origin. International Migrants Day events could be co-organized by both communities of origin, civil society organizations and migrant communities to provide the platform for such an occasion. Such recognition would motivate to continue contributing, would increase understanding of the importance of every single member and would be beneficial to both sides.

Communication and dialogue with diaspora communities:

Regular communication and dialogue with diaspora communities can strengthen the relationship for the benefit of the communities of origin.  ICT tools such as the internet and website platforms including the use of social network sites could serve to promote this interest by ensuring that diaspora communities are informed of community needs to help identify areas of interest and collaboration, progress and accomplishments of communities of origin as a result of cooperation with diaspora communities, etc. It is also most important for communities of origin to communicate with the diapora communities to know their needs and how the community’s local authorities and countries of origin can support them in their challenges rather than the communities of origin only being at the receiving end.

 
Michael Boampong
Young People We Care (YPWC) | Founder
www.ypwc.org

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13.               Mai Dizon-Anonuevo, Atikha – Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, Philippines

Dear Community of Practice Members,

I would like to share the experience of Atikha-Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative in involving local authorities in our EC-UN JMDI project "Maximizing the Gains and Minimizing the Social Cost of Migration in the Philippines”.

Atikha is working in Region 4A in the Philippines where about 4 of the 5 provinces are among the top 10 labor sending provinces of the Philippines. Region 4 is also the top sending region to Europe.  Among the activities we have initiated in our EC-UN JMDI project are the setting up of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Migration Resource Centers which provide social and economic services to migrants and families left behind, and the migration and development fora including local authorities and other stakeholders.

The initiatives gained overwhelming positive response not only from the municipal government but also provincial and regional bodies.  Right now we are targeting only three OFW Migration resource centers but there are about 20 municipalities, cities and provinces requesting assistance from Atikha in setting up OFW centers/desks.  We planned three multi-stakeholder migration and development fora and we have already conducted nine fora not only at the municipal level but also at provincial and regional level. We were also able to mobilize/lobby towards the various departments of government which - we believe - should be involved in migration and development initiatives such as the departments of social service, planning, trade and industry, and labor. The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Region 4 has been actively involved in our series of fora with the local governments and recognized the importance of integration of migration in development planning; the NEDA Region 4 proposed the setting up of the ad hoc committee on Migration and Development to be able to integrate migration in development planning which was approved by the Regional Development Council. 

Regarding the question of replication, the following are lessons that we have learned:

  • It is important that national and local governments, migrants and other stakeholders can see a working model where they can be trained. The presence of an OFW Center providing economic and social services in San Pablo City managed by Atikha in partnership with the City government serves as the training area for the various stakeholders. Atikha is currently using the OFW center in conducting study tours on setting up OFW Migration Centers. These include discussions of various migration and development issues that should be addressed, legal, financial, physical and human resource requisites in setting up migration centers, capacity building requirements and also exposure to migration and development initiatives in the area.
  • The growing awareness brought about by the information work and advocacy work on minimizing the cost and maximizing the gains of migration enlightened a lot of the local government units - i.e. magnitude of migrants in the area (16% of the population in region 4), social cost of migration for migrants and families left behind especially children, etc.
  • Multi-stakeholder partnership was possible because of social capital that was already developed between the local/regional government and other stakeholders.
  • Tapping international organizations as partners in the initiative such as IOM, the European Union and UNDP also encouraged the participation of local governments.

Hope this input is helpful.

Warm regards,

 

Mai Dizon-Anonuevo

Executive Director, Atikha (Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative)

PHILIPPINES


Many thanks to all who contributed to this query!

If you have more information that you would like to share with the network on this topic, please send it to: m4d@groups.dev-nets.org

Access the M4D discussion forum here

Learn more about the EC-UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) at:

www.migration4development.org

 

This Consolidated Reply is based on exchange and communication by members of the Communities of Practice and reflects personal views of Members.

The views expressed here cannot be taken to reflect the views of the EU, IOM or the United Nations, including UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR and ILO, or their member states.

Responses received

  1. Chanzo Greenidge, Independent Consultant, Trinidad and Tobago
  2. Dr. Phasi Ndudi, Benelux Afrocnter, Belgium
  3. Dr. T. Banjoko, Africarecruit/Findajobinafrica.com, United Kingdom
  4. Imane El Rhomri, Sevilla Acoge Foundation, Spain
  5. Elhadj Mamadou Samb, Association Trait d’Union (ACTU), Italy
  6. Antonio García-Nieto and Cristina Durán, Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, Spain
  7. Clement Adegbaju, Abuja, Nigeria
  8. Patricica Clementina Salvador Nuques and Rina Eulalia Arias Morales , Fundación Eugenio Espejo, Ecuador
  9. Adekunle Lukman , Childolescent and Family Survival Organization, Nigeria
  10. Khatuna Didbaridze, International Organization for Migration,Georgia
  11. David Melua, National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia, Georgia
  12. Michael Boampong, Young People We Care, Ghana
  13. Mai Dizon-Anonuevo , Atikha – Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, Philippines

Related resources

Links shared:

  • One nation, one people, one destiny? is an action research study of resource mobilization by Ghanaians in the diaspora to three regions of Ghana, prepared by the SEND Foundation of West Africa in May 2004.
  • Development through the diaspora: hometown associations in Africa and Britain is a project which aims to understand the contribution that African migrants' associations in the diaspora make to development in Africa. The project is focused on four case studies (Bali and Manyu in Cameroon; Rungwe and Newala in Tanzania).
  •  African Diaspora Organizations and Homeland Development is a paper presented at the Danish Institute for International Studies’ seminar: Agents of Change? African diaspora organizations and homeland development in April 2009.
  • The contribution of UK-based diasporas is a report which explores the actual and potential role of UK-based diasporas in development and poverty reduction in their homelands, published by the ESRC Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford in April 2009.

Introductory text

October 2010


Prepared by Oliver Hudson and Saskia Koppenberg, EC-UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative, Brussels

For printable version please click here.

Original query

MIDA Italy - Migration for Development in Africa, IOM, Rome and EC-UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative, UNDP, Brussels

Dear Members of the Community of Practice,

In advance of the launch of the EC-UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI)’s new report, “From Migration to Development: Lessons drawn from the experience of Local Authorities” we are pleased to launch this e-discussion on the role of Local Authorities in Migration and Development, jointly moderated by IOM Rome.

In the last decade local authorities have become increasingly active as players in international cooperation initiatives. Decentralised cooperation has grown as a new and important dimension of development cooperation, is more and more comprehensive and professionalised and has seen a large increase in financial resources over recent years.  Decentralized cooperation relies on both governmental and civil society networks with outreach into developing countries. It uses a diversity of tools in many regions of the world, such as co-funding agreements, city-to-city links and direct cooperation agreements.

In addition to initiating and supporting concrete actions in developing countries, local authorities are key actors for mobilising different stakeholders to work together. They are at the forefront of promoting collaborative approaches and policy coherence.  Local authorities have the advantage of being close to their constituents, and of having a territorial presence.  Local authorities' knowledge of local needs and the fact that they often provide the social services which are key to integration, such as education, health care and social assistance, as well as their innovative efforts to increase civic participation on the part of migrants' communities, mean that they are often at the forefront of efforts to involve diasporas in development – be it through targeted support to migrants' groups, fostering public-private schemes or twinning partnerships with institutions in developing countries.

The focus of this e-discussion is on the involvement of local authorities in Migration and Development. During the course of the discussion, which will last for four weeks, we will look at a series of questions, focusing on a different question each week:

- Week 1 – Diasporas: What are the development goals, strategies and initiatives local authorities want to involve diasporas in and vice versa? To what extent do they match the priorities of diasporas?

- Week 2 – Partnerships: How can joint initiatives between local authorities, civil society and migrants associations be strengthened to the benefit of migrants’ communities of origin?

- Week 3: – Replication: What examples are there of successful migration and development initiatives involving Local Authorities which have been replicated or could be replicated?  For example: public-private partnerships, projects involving diasporas or flexible circular migration initiatives?  How has replication been achieved?  What measures and practices might enhance local authorities’ capacity in both developed and developing countries to replicate successful initiatives?

- Week 4: – Local/national coherence: How might complementarity between decentralised cooperation activities and national programmes involving migrants be ensured in developed countries?  And how can national and local development strategies in developing countries involve diaspora communities abroad in a coordinated manner?

We look forward to your comments and experiences concerning methods of coordination between different levels of government, especially between local and national authorities, and between local authorities and civil society, both in origin and destination countries of migration. Expert moderation is provided by IOM Rome and aims to draw out CoP members’ views on and examples of aspects such as:

Local authorities’ expertise in decentralized cooperation and co-development.

Programmes engaging migrants as key players for the development of both their communities of origin and destination, including initiatives to support the transfer of migrants’ remittances.

Examples of successful instruments such as cooperation networks or platforms along corridors of migration, city-to-city links, direct cooperation agreements, twinning between public and private sector employers and institutions to support circular migration, etc.

The added value that local authorities can bring to the management of migration processes.

The discussion will be launched on Monday, 6th September and will run for four weeks.  We warmly encourage CoP members to forward this message to your network, and invite those working for local authorities in the area of migration and development to participate in the e-discussion by joining the CoP online here.  Contributions to the dicussion may be sent to: m4d@groups.dev-nets.org or posted online here.

We look forward to a rich and active discussion!

Français:

Requête originale: MIDA Italie - Migration pour le Développement en Afrique, OIM, Rome et l’Initiative Conjointe de la CE-NU pour la Migration et le Développement (ICMD), PNUD, Bruxelles 

A la veille du lancement du nouveau rapport de l’Initiative Conjointe de la Commission européenne et des Nations Unies pour la migration et le développement (ICMD), “De la migration au développement : enseignements tirés de l’expérience des autorités locales”, nous avons le plaisir de lancer cette discussion en ligne sur le rôle des autorités locales en matière de migration et de développement, discussion qui sera modérée par l’OIM Rome. 

Au cours de la décennie passée, les autorités locales ont joué un rôle de plus en plus actif au niveau des initiatives de coopération internationale. La coopération décentralisée s’est développée pour devenir une dimension nouvelle et importante de la coopération pour le développement. Elle est de plus en plus globale et professionnalisée, et a bénéficié d’une importante augmentation de ses ressources financières au cours de ces dernières années. La coopération décentralisée dépend repose sur les réseaux gouvernementaux et ceux de la société civile intervenant dans les pays en développement. Elle utilise une variété d’outils dans de nombreuses régions du monde, tels que les accords de cofinancement, les liens ville-à-ville et les accords de coopération directe.

Outre le fait qu’elles lancent et appuient des actions concrètes dans les pays en développement, les autorités locales jouent un rôle-clé pour ce qui est de mobiliser les différentes parties prenantes et de les amener à travailler ensemble. Elles se trouvent au premier plan pour ce qui est de promouvoir des approches collaboratives et la cohérence politique. Les autorités locales présentent l’avantage d’être proches de leurs constituants et d’avoir une présence sur le territoire. Le fait que les autorités locales connaissent les besoins locaux, qu’elles assurent souvent les services sociaux qui sont essentiels à l’intégration - tels que l’éducation, les soins de santé et l’assistance sociale – et qu’elles lancent des initiatives novatrices pour augmenter la participation civique de la part des communautés de migrants, les conduit à être souvent au premier plan des efforts visant à impliquer les diasporas dans le développement – que ce soit par l’intermédiaire d’un appui ciblé aux groupes de migrants, de la promotion des mécanismes public-privé ou de partenariats en commun avec des institutions des pays en développement. 

Cette discussion en ligne met l’accent sur l’implication des autorités locales dans la migration et le développement. Au cours de la discussion, qui durera quatre semaines, nous examinerons une série de questions, en nous focalisant sur une question différente chaque semaine : 

-       Semaine 1 – Diasporas: Dans quels objectifs, stratégies et initiatives de développement les autorités locales veulent-elles impliquer les diasporas, et vice-versa ? Dans quelle mesure ceux-ci correspondent-ils aux priorités des diasporas ?

-       Semaine 2 – Partenariats : Comment les initiatives conjointes entre les autorités locales, la société civile et les associations de migrants peuvent-elles être renforcées au bénéfice des communautés d’origine des migrants ?

-       Semaine 3: – Reproduction: Quels sont les exemples d’initiatives réussies en matière de migration et de développement impliquant des autorités locales et qui ont ou pourraient être reproduites ? Par exemple : partenariats public-privé, projets impliquant les diasporas ou initiatives flexibles de migration circulaire ? Comment les a-t-on reproduites ? Quelles mesures et pratiques sont-elles susceptibles de renforcer les capacités des autorités locales des pays développés et en développement à reproduire ces initiatives réussies ? 

-       Semaine 4: – Cohérence locale/nationale: Comment la complémentarité entre les activités de coopération décentralisées et les programmes nationaux impliquant des migrants pourrait-elle être assurée dans les pays développés ? Et de quelle manière les stratégies nationales et locales de développement des pays en développement peuvent-elles impliquer les communautés de la diaspora à l’étranger d’une manière coordonnée ?

Nous attendons avec impatience vos commentaires et expériences au sujet des méthodes de coordination entre les différents niveaux gouvernementaux, notamment entre les autorités locales et nationales, et entre les autorités locales et la société civile, tant dans les pays d’origine que de destination de la migration. Une modération par des experts est assurée par l’OIM Rome, et vise à recueillir les opinions des membres de la Communauté de pratique et leurs exemples dans des domaines tels que :

L’expertise des autorités locales en matière de coopération et de co-développement décentralisés.

Les programmes engageant les migrants à jouer un rôle-clé dans le développement de leurs communautés d’origine et de destination, y compris les initiatives visant à appuyer les transferts de fonds des migrants.

Les exemples d’instruments ayant fait leurs preuves, tels que les réseaux ou les plateformes de coopération alignés avec les couloirs de migration, les liens ville-à-ville, les accords de coopération directe, les partenariats entre les employeurs et institutions des secteurs public et privé pour appuyer la migration circulaire, etc.

La valeur ajoutée que peuvent apporter les autorités locales à la gestion des processus migratoires.

La discussion sera lancée le lundi 6 septembre, et durera quatre semaines. Nous encourageons chaleureusement les membres de la Communauté de pratique à transmettre le présent message sur leur réseau, et invitons ceux qui travaillent pour les autorités locales dans le domaine de la migration et du développement à participer à la discussion en ligne en rejoignant la Communauté de pratique en ligne ici.  Contributions à la discussion peuvent être envoyées à: m4d@groups.dev-nets.org ou mises en ligne ici.

A bientôt pour une discussion riche et active !

Summary of responses

The EC-UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI)’s new report, “From Migration to Development: Lessons drawn from the experience of Local Authorities”, was commissioned in view of the fact that – although in the last decade local authorities have become increasingly active in connecting migration and development – the global dialogue and analytical work largely involves only international organizations and national governments without devoting the same attention to the contribution of local authorities.

Local authorities are key actors for initiating and supporting migration and development initiatives and mobilising different stakeholders to work together at different levels. Among other factors, local authorities have the advantage of being close to their constituents, and of having a territorial presence. Their knowledge of local needs and the fact that they often provide social services mean that they tend to be directly involved with diaspora groups and migrants, an engagement that can be capitalized on for joint development initiatives. Contributors to the e-discussion raised these and other points, which are summarized below, providing examples of local authorities’ involvement in migration and development initiatives. The discussion was structured around the following set of guiding questions:

  1. Diasporas: What are the development goals, strategies and initiatives local authorities want to involve diasporas in and vice versa? To what extent do they match the priorities of diasporas?
  2. Partnerships: How can joint initiatives between local authorities, civil society and migrants’ associations be strengthened to the benefit of migrants’ communities of origin?
  3. Replication: What examples are there of successful migration and development initiatives involving Local Authorities which have been replicated or could be replicated? 

Areas and characteristics of diaspora engagement in local development

In recent years local authorities in countries of origin have been developing links with their diasporas abroad in order to involve them in their development initiatives. Contributors to the e-discussion identified three main areas in which local authorities seek to involve diasporas. First, capacity building in the country of origin through the transfer of knowledge, skills and education acquired abroad; second, economic development and poverty reduction through financial remittances; and third, building up business in the country of origin through diasporas’ productive investments, entrepreneurship and the setting up of joint ventures, resulting in the transfer of financial resources as well as technical and business know-how to local enterprises.

The discussion offered examples of  how diasporas have become involved in local authorities’ development initiatives. The Association Trait d'Union ACTU from Italy has been working for several years in Senegal in cooperation with local authorities, focusing primarily on building the capacity of civil society groups and small village organizations, skills transfer and the provision of tools, equipment and infrastructure. The Sevilla Acoge Foundation, an organization based in Seville, Spain, which characterizes itself as a migrants’ NGO shared their experience of being involved in a programme in the Province of Tetouan (Zinat), Morocco, which focuses on meeting the basic needs of the people and is carried out by the town council with the support of decentralized state services. The tasks carried out by the Spanish migrants’ NGO fall under the following areas: skills and knowledge transfer, provision of equipment and infrastructure, advocacy for active citizenship and awareness raising on the role of civil society organizations in development and local democracy.

Chanzo Greenidge, Independent Consultant from Trinidad and Tobago, suggested that, in general, diasporas located in the global South, so called intra-regional diasporas, may be more responsive to local development initiatives than those located in the North. Their engagement in migration and development initiatives, and co-ordination with local authorities on those initiatives, might be facilitated by existing regional integration arrangements such as ASEAN, CSME/Caricom etc. Besides potential differences between the engagement of diasporas located in the global North and global South, the aspect of diasporas’ collective vs. migrants’ individual contributions to local authorities’ development initiatives was a subject of discussion. For example Dr. Phasi Ndudi, main coordinator of the Migration and Development programmes of the Benelux Afro Center based in Belgium, highlighted that – according to the center’s experiences - collective and organized actions of the Congolese diaspora directed to their communities of origin are – globally speaking – few compared to the number of individual actions. Dr. T. Banjoko from AfricaRecruit in London, United Kingdom, proposed that it would be interesting to explore the flow of remittances to local authorities’ catchment areas with diaspora initiatives in order to point out whether there is a match between the two.

Strategies for fostering joint initiatives and partnerships

As outlined in the JMDI report on local authorities, for the sustainability of development processes it is very important that they are built by mobilizing different stakeholders to work together, thus generating collaborative approaches for attaining common development goals. Local authorities can beneficially promote vertical partnerships within other levels of government as well as horizontal partnerships with other actors operating at the local level. Contributors to the e-discussion provided valuable suggestions on how to strengthen such joint initiatives between local authorities, civil society and migrants’ associations.

Imane El Rhomri, Project Manager of the Sevilla Acoge Foundation, Spain,  stressed the need for better coordination and synergies between stakeholders, judging  it necessary to establish a dialogue between different actors to ensure that they can better harmonise and articulate their initiatives, and negotiate and coordinate their actions. Furthermore, the empowerment of local authorities’ partners in development programmes was deemed critical. Small village associations, for example, represent important partners as local authorieties often face difficulties in reaching the most isolated areas. They should be empowered by a human and structural capacity development approach, enabling them to participate effectively in projects (from planning to evaluation), and ensuring sustainability of development initiatives. Dr. T. Banjoko from AfricaRecruit in London, United Kingdom, called for awareness raising as an effective means to strengthen joint initiatives. Another important aspect in strengthening joint initiatives is transparency and accountability. Michael Boampong from the organization Young People We Care, Ghana, stressed that only when diasporas or migrant associations know that their resources are used properly, will they continue to engage in development activities. As for every partnership, including for joint migration and development initiatives, regular communication and dialogue between the partners, in this case between diasporas and local authorities, was deemed essential for strengthening the relationship. Contributors especially highlighted the manifold utility of modern IT tools such as the internet, websites and online social networks.

Offering incentives for diaspora contributions

An important question that arose in the context of the discussion  on strengthening joint initiatives was how local authorities can incentivize diaspora groups and individuals to become involved in development initiatives.

The findings of a Migration Policy Institute study on “Diaspora Philanthropy: Private Giving and Public Policy” suggest that diasporas’ philanthropy or development efforts towards their communities and regions of origin is affected by public policy in both countries of origin and destination. This would mean that diasporas’ involvement in development initiatives can be encouraged and supported by certain policies. The study proposes, for example, tax regulations, matching grant programmes, the promotion of internet-based platforms, capacity building among diasporas and active invitations to participate in development initiatives. According to Clement Adegbaju from Nigeria the latter can be carried out by appointing well-known members of the diaspora as spokespersons on diaspora issues or sponsoring travel for members of the diaspora to their countries of origin for advocacy events. Also, the certification and recognition of active participation was regarded as an effective strategy, as was using concessions and offering participation in boards or projects to activate support from abroad.  Michael Boampong from the organization Young People We Care, Ghana, stressed that there is a need for local authorities to promote events that celebrate the contributions of the diaspora.

Identifying intermediaries and champions for diaspora engagement in local development

The Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, Spain reported on the challenge of involving the diaspora  in the development of their communities of origin in the context of migration and development projects with Morocco and Latin American countries. The Community resorted to engaging immigrant associations to act as intermediaries between migrants and the local authorities’ development initiatives. Similarly, Dr. Banjoko from AfricaRecruit highlighted that diaspora groups’ involvement in local development is often facilitated by hometown associations, which function as intermediaries enabling diaspora communities to maintain ties with their or their parents’ place of origin and to link their initiatives with local authority development plans.  

Furthermore, experiences with migration and development projects illustrated that one of the conditions for successful joint initiatives between local authorities, civil society and migrants associations is reaching out to involved migrants who are well integrated in their countries of destination and personally concerned about development in their country of origin. In this sense Antonio García-Nieto and Cristina Durán from the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia argued that only when migrants are settled in the receiving country, are able to meet their own basic needs such as housing, work and food, have improved their language skills and saved money, are they able to contribute to the development of their families and communities at home. As evidence for this observation, they pointed to the Community’s projects involving the Moroccan diaspora in Spain which has a history of 20 years of immigration and shows a high level of integration. The JMDI report on local authorities supports this conclusion, observing that, although successful integration of migrants is often considered to be primarily of benefit to the individuals concerned and the societies of host countries, a stable and supportive host environment is likely to benefit the ability of migrants to contribute to development processes both in their communities of residence and of origin.

Building the institutional capacities and leveraging the strengths of local authorities 

The e-discussion pointed to several examples of successful migration and development initiatives involving local authorities and identified some contributing factors. IOM Georgia reported on the JMDI project “Promoting Cooperation among Migrants communities and Local Governments for Local Development” which aims at enhancing the capacities of migrants and their home communities for the socio-economic development in the country of origin through the engagement of local authorities. The main activity of the project was to set up migration-offices in the target municipalities, providing information and guidance for the diaspora/migrants abroad and local communities at home, as well as training and practical assistance for families and communities at home. The migration-offices have been provided with technical assistance, training and experiences shared by the Latvian project partner. The aim of the project is to develop a migration dimension within the local structures; i.e. to ensure that the development facet of migration is reflected at a local level in the local authorities’ development plans and policies targeted on local communities. The project activities were facilitated through close ties and networks between IOM Georgia, the Civil Society project partners in Georgia and Latvia and local authorities in Georgia. David Melua, Executive Director of the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia, the local Georgian partner of the project, highlighted that local authorities played a most important role in collecting reliable data on migration and migrants’ contact details. This information was shared openly by the local population with the local officials who they know and who they trust. As a result, the project was able to collect personal data from 17,356 migrants. This data was stored in a database operated by the migration-offices and used by local authorities to get connected with migrants and diasporas in order to involve them in local development programmes.

Overall, participants to the e-discussion agreed that local authorities are in the best position to mobilize migrants and diasporas to participate in local development initiatives. For example, IOM Georgia observed that local authorities have comparative advantage vis-à-vis national authorities to address migration and development issues through their proximity to, and direct communication with, local communities. This lesson learned was shared by several contributors to the e-discussion such as Antonio García-Nieto and Cristina Durán, Spain, who affirmed that local authorities know the migrants, their home communities and the challenges they face. David Melua from the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia stressed that local authorities have the closest relationship with their citizens compared to national authorities, have more credibility among local citizens and therefore possess the unique possibility to play an important role in the mobilization of migrants and their families for local development.

A second example of a successful migration and development initiative involving local authorities was presented by the Atikha-Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, the Philippine partner of the JMDI project "Maximizing the Gains and Minimizing the Social Cost of Overseas Migration in the Philippines”. Among the activities they initiated is the setting up of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Migration Resource Centers which provide social and economic services to migrants and families left behind. So far they are targeting three OFW migration resource centers and another 20 municipalities, cities and provinces are requesting assistance from Atikha in setting up OFW centers/desks. They also set up migration and development fora including local authorities and other stakeholders which were held at municipal, provincial and regional level. They highlighted that multi-stakeholder partnership was possible because of already existing social capital and the involvement of international organizations, which encouraged the participation of local governments.

 

Français :

Résumé des réponses:

Le nouveau rapport de l’Initiative Conjointe de la Commission européenne et des Nations Unies pour la Migration et le Développement (ICMD), « De la migration au développement : enseignements tirés de l’expérience des autorités locales », a été commandé à la lumière du fait que – bien que durant la décennie passée, les autorités locales soient devenues de plus en plus actives pour ce qui est de lier la migration et le développement - le dialogue et le travail analytique réalisé au niveau mondial n’impliquent en grande partie que les organisations internationales et les gouvernements nationaux, sans accorder la même attention à la contribution des autorités locales.

Les autorités locales jouent un rôle essentiel pour ce qui est de lancer et d’appuyer les initiatives liées à la migration et au développement ainsi que d’inciter les diverses parties prenantes à travailler ensemble à différents niveaux. Les autorités locales présentent entre autres l’avantage d’être proches des personnes sous leur juridiction, et d’avoir une présence territoriale. Leur connaissance des besoins locaux, et le fait qu’elles assurent souvent la fourniture des services sociaux, font qu’elles tendent à être directement impliquées auprès des groupes de la diaspora et des migrants, un engagement sur lequel on peut capitaliser en faveur des initiatives de développement conjointes. Les contributeurs à la discussion en ligne ont soulevé ces points parmi d’autres, qui sont résumés ci-dessous, fournissant des exemples de l’implication des autorités locales dans les initiatives de migration et de développement. La discussion a été structurée autour de la série de questions directrices suivante :

  1. Diasporas: Quels sont les objectifs, stratégies et initiatives en matière de développement dans lesquels les autorités locales veulent impliquer les diasporas, et vice versa ? Dans quelle mesure correspondent-ils aux priorités des diasporas ?
  2. Partenariats: comment les initiatives conjointes entre les autorités locales, la société civile et les associations de migrants peuvent-elles être renforcées au bénéfice des communautés d’origine des migrants ?
  3. Reproduction: quels sont les exemples d’initiatives réussies en matière de migration et de développement impliquant les autorités locales, qui ont été reproduites ou pourraient être reproduites ?  

Domaines et caractéristiques de l’engagement de la diaspora dans le développement local

Au cours de ces dernières années, les autorités locales des pays d’origine ont développé des liens avec leurs diasporas à l’étranger en vue de les impliquer dans les initiatives de développement. Les contributeurs à la discussion en ligne ont identifié trois domaines principaux dans lesquels les autorités locales cherchent à impliquer les diasporas. En premier lieu, le renforcement des capacités du pays d’origine, grâce au transfert des connaissances, des compétences et de l’enseignement acquis à l’étranger ; en deuxième lieu, le développement économique et la réduction de la pauvreté grâce aux transferts de fonds financiers; et troisièmement, l’établissement d’entreprises dans le pays d’origine grâce aux investissements productifs des diasporas, à l’entrepreneuriat et à l’établissement d’entreprises communes, qui permet le transfert des ressources financières et du savoir-faire technique et commercial aux entreprises locales.

Des exemples de la manière dont les diasporas se sont impliquées dans les initiatives de développement lancées par les autorités locales ont été cités au cours de la discussion. L’association italienne Trait d’Union ACTU travaille depuis plusieurs années au Sénégal en coopération avec les autorités locales, se focalisant principalement sur la consolidation des capacités des groupes de la société civile et des organisations des petits villages, le transfert de compétences et la fourniture d’outils, équipements et infrastructures. La Fondation Sevilla Acoge, une organisation basée dans la ville espagnole de Séville et qui se présente comme une ONG de migrants, a partagé son expérience pour ce qui est de participer à un programme mené à bien dans la Province de Tétouan (Zinat), au Maroc. Ce programme s’attache à répondre aux besoins de base de la population et est réalisé par le conseil municipal avec l’appui de services décentralisés. L’ONG espagnole de migrants effectue des tâches dans les domaines suivants : transfert des compétences et des connaissances, fourniture d’équipements et d’infrastructures, mobilisation pour une citoyenneté et une sensibilisation actives sur le rôle des organisations de la société civile dans le domaine du développement et de la démocratie locale.

Chanzo Greenidge, Consultant indépendant de Trinité-et-Tobago, a estimé qu’en général, les diasporas situées dans le monde du Sud - appelées diasporas intra-régionales - peuvent s’avérer plus réactives vis-à-vis des initiatives de développement local que celles situées dans le Nord. Leur engagement par rapport aux initiatives de migration et de développement, et la coordination avec les autorités locales par rapport à ces initiatives, peuvent être facilités par les accords d’intégration régionaux existants tels que l’ASEAN, le CSME/Caricom, etc. Au-delà des différences potentielles qui existent entre l’engagement des diasporas situées dans le monde du Nord et le monde du Sud, la discussion a porté sur la question des contributions collectives des migrants par rapport aux contributions individuelles de ces derniers en faveur des initiatives de développement des autorités locales. A titre d’exemple, le Dr. Phasi Ndudi, Coordinateur principal des programmes de migration et de développement du Benelux Afro Center basé en Belgique, a souligné que – selon l’expérience du Centre – les actions collectives et organisées de la diaspora congolaise à l’intention de ses communautés d’origine sont – globalement parlant – rares par rapport au nombre d’actions individuelles. Le Dr. T. Banjoko d’AfricaRecruit de Londres (Royaume-Uni) a proposé d’évaluer le flux des transferts d’argent aux zones de captage des autorités locales en corrélation avec les initiatives de la diaspora, en vue de déterminer s’il existe une correspondance entre les deux.  

Stratégies pour promouvoir des initiatives conjointes et des partenariats

Comme souligné dans le rapport de l’ICMD sur les autorités locales, il est très important, pour assurer la durabilité des processus de développement, que ceux-ci soient construits en encourageant les différentes parties prenantes à travailler ensemble, générant ainsi des approches collaboratives pour atteindre les objectifs communs de développement. Les autorités locales peuvent promouvoir d’une manière qui leur sera bénéfique les partenariats verticaux avec d’autres opérateurs opérant au niveau local. Les contributeurs à la discussion en ligne ont fait des suggestions précieuses sur la manière de renforcer de telles initiatives conjointes entre les autorités locales, la société civile et les associations de migrants.

Imane El Rhomri, Administrateur de projet de la Sevilla Acoge Foundation (Espagne) a souligné le besoin de promouvoir une meilleure coordination et synergie entre les parties prenantes, jugeant nécessaire d’établir un dialogue entre les différents acteurs en vue d’assurer une meilleure harmonisation et articulation de leurs initiatives, et de négocier et coordonner leurs actions. En outre, l’habilitation des partenaires des autorités locales au niveau des programmes de développement a été jugée cruciale. Les associations des petits villages, par exemple, sont des partenaires importants, les autorités locales étant souvent confrontées à des difficultés pour ce qui est d’atteindre les zones les plus isolées. Elles devraient être habilitées par le biais du renforcement de leurs capacités humaines et structurelles, leur permettant ainsi de participer effectivement aux projets (de la planification à l’évaluation), et assurant la durabilité des initiatives de développement. Le Dr. T. Banjoko d’AfricaRecruit de Londres (Royaume-Uni) a estimé que la sensibilisation est un moyen efficace de renforcer les initiatives communes. Un autre aspect important du renforcement des initiatives communes est la transparence et la responsabilité. Michael Boampong de l’organisation Young People We Care du Ghana, a souligné que c’est seulement à partir du moment où les diasporas ou les associations de migrants savent que leurs ressources sont utilisées de manière appropriée qu’elles continuent à s’engager dans des activités de développement. Comme pour tous les partenariats, y compris pour les initiatives conjointes en matière de migration et de développement, une communication et un dialogue réguliers entre les partenaires - dans le cas présent entre les diasporas et les autorités locales - ont été jugés essentiels pour renforcer la relation. Les contributeurs ont souligné en particulier l’utilité des outils TI modernes, tels que l’Internet, les sites Internet et les réseaux sociaux en ligne.

Offrir des incitations pour renforcer la contribution des diasporas

Une question importante qui s’est posée dans le contexte de la discussion sur le renforcement des initiatives conjointes a été la manière dont les autorités locales peuvent inciter les groupes et individus de la diaspora à s’impliquer dans les initiatives de développement.

Les résultats d’une étude réalisée par le Migration Policy Institute sur la « philanthropie de la diaspora : dons privés et politiques publiques » suggère que la philanthropie ou les initiatives de développement des diasporas en faveur de leurs communautés et régions d’origine sont impactées par les politiques publiques tant dans les pays d’origine que de destination. Cela pourrait signifier que l’implication des diasporas dans les initiatives de développement peut être encouragée et appuyée par certaines politiques. L’étude propose, par exemple, une réglementation fiscale, des programmes de subventions correspondants, la promotion de plateformes sur Internet, le renforcement des capacités au sein des diasporas et des invitations actives à participer aux initiatives de développement. Selon Clement Adegbaju du Nigeria, cela peut être réalisé en nommant des membres connus de la diaspora comme porte-paroles sur les questions de la diaspora ou bien en sponsorisant les voyages des membres de la diaspora vers leurs pays d’origine pour leur permettre de participer à des manifestations de mobilisation. En outre, la certification et la reconnaissance de la participation active ont été considérées comme une stratégie efficace, tout comme le fait d’utiliser des concessions et de proposer une participation dans les conseils ou les projets pour activer l’appui venant de l’étranger. Michael Boampong de l’organisation Young People We Care (Ghana), a souligné que les autorités locales devaient promouvoir des manifestations qui célèbrent les contributions de la diaspora.

Identifier des intermédiaires et des champions pour l’engagement de la diaspora dans le développement local

La Communauté autonome de la région de Murcie, en Espagne, a décrit les problèmes causés par le fait d’impliquer les diasporas dans le développement de leurs communautés d’origine, dans le contexte des projets relatifs à la migration et au développement lancés avec le Maroc et les pays d’Amérique latine. La Communauté a entrepris d’engager les associations d’immigrants à agir comme intermédiaires entre les migrants et les initiatives de développement des autorités locales. De même, le Dr. Banjoko d’AfricaRecruit a souligné que l’implication des groupes de la diaspora dans le développement local est souvent facilité par les associations des villes natales, qui fonctionnent comme intermédiaires permettant aux communautés de la diaspora de maintenir des liens avec eux ou le lieu d’origine de leurs parents et de lier leurs initiatives aux plans de développement des autorités locales.  

Les expériences citées au niveau des projets de migration et de développement ont par ailleurs montré que l’une des conditions nécessaires pour assurer le succès des initiatives menées conjointement par les autorités locales, la société civile et les associations de migrants est de sensibiliser les migrants impliqués qui sont bien intégrés dans leurs pays de destination et personnellement préoccupés par le développement de leur pays d’origine. En ce sens, Antonio García-Nieto et Cristina Durán de la Communauté autonome de la région de Murcie ont estimé que c’est seulement lorsqu’ils sont installés dans le pays-hôte que les migrants sont en mesure de répondre à leurs propres besoins de base tels que le logement, le travail et la nourriture, qu’ils améliorent leur connaissance de la langue, qu’ils réussissent à épargner de l’argent et qu’ils sont en mesure de contribuer au développement de leurs familles et communautés chez eux. En appui de cette observation, ils ont mentionné les projets communautaires impliquant la diaspora marocaine en Espagne, qui a 20 ans d’immigration derrière elle et est hautement intégrée. Le rapport de l’ICMD indique que les autorités locales appuient cette conclusion, observant que, bien qu’on considère souvent que l’intégration réussie des migrants bénéficie principalement aux individus concernés et aux sociétés des pays-hôtes, un environnement d’accueil stable et favorable est probablement de nature à renforcer la capacité des migrants à contribuer aux processus de développement tant dans leurs communautés de résidence que dans celles d’origine.

Renforcer les capacités institutionnelles et accroître les forces des autorités locales 

La discussion en ligne a porté sur plusieurs exemples imliquant les autorités locales d’initiatives couronnées de succès en matière de migration et de développement, et a permis d’identifier certains facteurs contributifs. L’OIM de la Géorgie a commenté le projet de l’ICMD “Promouvoir la coopération chez les communautés de migrants et les gouvernements locaux en faveur du développement local”, qui vise à renforcer les capacités des migrants et de leurs communautés d’accueil en faveur du développement socio-économique du pays d’origine grâce à l’engagement des autorités locales. La principale activité réalisée dans le cadre du projet a été d’établir des bureaux de migration dans les municipalités ciblées, fournissant des informations et des orientations à la diaspora et aux migrants à l’étranger et dans les communautés locales de leurs pays d’origine, ainsi qu’une formation et une aide pratique pour les familles et les communautés dans les pays d’origine. Les bureaux de migration ont reçu du partenaire de projet letton une aide technique, une formation et des enseignements tirés. L’objectif du projet est de développer une dimension migratoire au sein des structures locales, c’est-à-dire d’assurer que l’aspect développemental de la migration soit reflété au niveau local dans les plans et politiques de développement des autorités locales centrés sur les communautés locales. Les activités de projet ont été facilitées par les liens et réseaux étroits existants entre l’OIM Géorgie, les partenaires de projet de la société civile en Géorgie et Lettonie et les autorités locales de Géorgie. David Melua, le Directeur exécutif de l’Association nationale des autorités locales de Géorgie, partenaire géorgien local du projet, a souligné que les autorités locales ont joué un rôle primordial pour ce qui est de recueillir des données fiables sur la migration et les coordonnées des migrants. La population locale a également ouvertement partagé cette information avec les responsables locaux qu’elle connaît et à qui elle fait confiance. En conséquence de quoi, le projet a permis de recueillir les données personnes de 17.356 migrants. Ces données sont enregistrées dans une base de données gérée par les bureaux de la migration et utilisée par les autorités locales pour entrer en contact avec les migrants et les diasporas en vue de les impliquer dans les programmes de développement locaux.

Dans l’ensemble, les participants à la discussion en ligne ont convenu que les autorités locales sont les mieux placés pour inciter les migrants et les diasporas à participer aux initiatives locales de développement. L’OIM de Géorgie a par exemple observé que les autorités locales ont un avantage comparatif par rapport aux autorités nationales pour ce qui est de traiter des questions de migration et de développement, grâce à leur proximité avec les communautés locales et la communication directe qu’elles entretiennent avec elles. Plusieurs contributeurs à la discussion en ligne ont tiré le même enseignement, tels qu’Antonio García-Nieto et Cristina Durán d’Espagne, qui ont souligné que les autorités locales connaissent les migrants, leurs communautés d’accueil et les défis auxquels ils sont confrontés. David Melua de l’Association nationale des autorités locales de Géorgie a souligné que les autorités locales ont une relation plus étroite avec leurs citoyens que les autorités nationales, ont plus de crédibilité chez les citoyens locaux et présentent donc l’avantage unique de jouer un rôle important dans la mobilisation des migrants et de leurs familles en faveur du développement local.

Un second exemple d’une initiative réussie en matière de migration et de développement impliquant les autorités locales a été présenté par l’Initiative Atikha-Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, le partenaire philippin  du projet de l’ICMD "Maximiser les gains et minimiser le coût social de la migration outre-mer aux Philippines”. L’établissement de Centres d’information sur la migration outre-mer des travailleurs philippins (OFW), qui fournit des services sociaux et économiques aux migrants et à leurs familles restés au pays, est l’une des initiatives lancées dans ce cadre. Jusqu’à maintenant, trois centres d’informations OFW sont concernés, et 20 autres municipalités, villes et provinces demandent actuellement de l’aide à Atikha pour établir des centres ou des bureaux OFW. Atikha met également en place des forums sur la migration et le développement auxquels participent les autorités locales et d’autres parties prenantes aux niveaux municipal, provincial et régionale. Elle a souligné que le partenariat multipartite a été possible en raison du capital social déjà existant et de l’implication des organisations internationales, qui ont encouragé la participation des gouvernements locaux.