E-Discussion: Contribute to the EC-UN JMDI Regional Event in Tunis on how to promote M and D partnerships


The topics addressed in this e-discussion tie directly with the theme of the EC-UN JMDI regional conference in Tunis “Promoting government and civil society partnerships in migration and development in North Africa”.

Please note that the e-discussion has now been closed. To read the consolidated reply, please click here

The objective of this e-discussion is to help shape the debates of the event by capitalizing on the on-going practices and lessons learned from civil society organizations and policymakers, as well as government representatives, local authorities, and International Organizations active in the key areas addressed during the conference. Please access the background paper to this e-discussion here. 

Recent findings of the research and activities carried out within EC-UN JMDI have shown that the effectiveness of Migration & Development (M&D) activities largely depends on the identification and establishment of strategic partnerships between the civil society and with governments, at central and decentralized levels. In line with the specific focus of the EC-UN JMDI, the workshop will concentrate on the crucial aspect of partnerships, which need to be forged between governments at central and local levels and migrants, their families and communities to give them a more central place in the analysis and definition of policies.

In this context, civil society organizations, among them diaspora groups, can play an instrumental role in supporting the development of their countries in key areas such as transfer of skills; job creation; reintegration of returnees; labour matching; and local economic development. Hence, the e-discussion aims at providing a platform for a wide range of stakeholders from different regions to further define and develop a common ground on how to fully capitalize on the potential of diasporas involvement in the North African region at this time of crucial change.

The contributions to this e-discussion will be presented at the different break-put sessions of the event in the form of a consolidated reply with a view to form a specific set of recommendations for the European Commission's follow-up of its proposals for reinforced cooperation with Southern Mediterranean countries in the area of migration, and particularly the Dialogue on Migration, Mobility and Security which has started with Morocco and Tunisia.

The e-discussion, which will last four weeks, will be split into the below topics which include a series of questions. Despite the fact that the event focuses on a specific region, we would like to receive contributions from practitioners around the world in order to draw upon a wide range of lessons learned and recommendations. 

Please feel free to respond to as many, or few, questions as you like within each topic – there is no requirement to provide responses to all the questions!

Topic 1: How can the skills and contributions of diasporas help foster local development and employment creation in their countries of origin?  

1)       What makes a successful return and reintegration programme?  Can you give specific examples of labour matching mechanisms that have worked to ensure the sustainable reintegration of returning migrants? What is the role of the social partners, the private sector and civil society in this process?

2)      What kind of incentives can national and local governments, or other stakeholders, provide so as to promote the transfer of skills from migrants to their communities of origin? Can you provide concrete examples? Which sectors benefit the most from these skills and how do they contribute to the local economic development?

3)      Are you aware of diaspora-led initiatives that encourage job creation and enhance employability, in particular of youth?  What strategic alliances and partnerships should be put in place to ensure that such initiatives respond to local needs and promote the entrepreneurial activities of migrants and their families?


Topic 2: Maximising the benefits of migration for development is amongst the main priorities of mobility partnerships. What are some of the key factors that need to be considered when developing policies in this field?

1)      Can you share examples of initiatives implemented in the framework of mobility partnerships that adopt an inclusive approach, i.e. joint initiatives between national governments, local authorities, civil society organisations and diaspora communities? What is the added value of such partnerships and how can civil society oraganisations and diaspora communities be actively engaged in agenda setting and implementation?

2)      What are the opportunities offered by labour mobility agreements and what kind of challenges – or downsides – do they entail for the sending and receiving countries, migrant workers, their families, and civil society organizations involved ?

3)      What are key issues that the EC mobility partnerships need to address to better reflect and serve the needs and interests of young people who may wish to migrate?


We warmly encourage members to forward this message to your networks and invite those working in the areas covered by this e-discussion to participate by sending an email to m4d@groups.dev-nets.org or posting response online in the Migration4Development forum. Please note that responses to the e-discussion are not automatically shared but are first directed to the facilitation teams for compilation.

The results of this e-discussion will be presented at the EC-UN JMDI Regional Conference in Tunis at the end of March. Therefore, by participating in this e-discussion you will be helping to shape the debates at the event!

Timeframe: Thursday 23 February to Thursday 22 March 


Chers membres,

En tant que coordonatrice auprès le COPPEM, je voudrais ajouter quelques réflexions par rapport au deuxième sujet faisant parte de la discussion en ligne actuelle :

SUJET 2: Maximiser les bénéfices de la migration pour le développement est l’une des priorités des partenariats pour la mobilité. Quels facteurs clés doivent être pris en compte lors de l’élaboration de politiques dans ce domaine?    

Beaucoup d'institutions internationales sont convaincues de l’importance des mouvements des migrations pour le développement des territoires, même si le chemin à parcourir dans ce sens est encore long.

La plupart des colloques au niveau des gouvernements nationaux en thème de migration n’ont par porté à des solutions partagées, et trop souvent les droits des migrants ne sont pas respectés. Dans la zone Méditerranéenne, suite au traité de Barcelone, le dialogue multilatéral a fait des progrès dans plusieurs domaines, mais en thème de migrations on ne parvient pas à des solutions partagées.

Une importante réunion ministérielle a eu lieu à Algarve (Portugal) en 1997 sur les migrations dans l'espace Euro-Méditerranéen, cette première réunion à été très difficile à cause des différentes positions des pays sur cette matière, et elle n'a pas eu de suivi jusqu'à présent.

Toutefois soit les pays du nord de l’Afrique, notamment les pays du Maghreb, soit les territoires du sud de l’Europe, tels la Sicile, se trouvent à faire face, en même temps, aux trois mouvements migratoires: accueil, transit et départ. Ils font face aux mêmes difficultés, et ont la même perception que ce phénomène constitue une ressource potentielle qui n’est pas valorisée.

Les collectivités locales et régionales peuvent jouer un rôle essentiel dans la conception et la gestion de la politique migratoire, dans un cadre de dialogue inter-institutionnel, avec l’apport indispensable des centres de recherche et des associations. Toutefois en Méditerranée on n'arrive pas à activer un processus multilaréral et structuré, le Comité Permanent pour le Parténariat Euro-Méditerranéen (COPPEM) souhaite qu'on puisse continuer à travailler dans ce sens.

L’action des collectivités locales et régionales en synergie avec les centres de recherche et les associations peut être renforcée si le dialogue se structure au niveau multilatéral, en incluant les territoires qui sont intéresses a un échange de bonnes pratiques et a la création de projets communs. Il faudrait structurer un travail commun dans la zone méditerranéenne, qui puisse réunir soit les collectivités locales, soit les centres de recherche et les associations d’Afrique du Nord et d’Europe, en synergie avec les institutions régionales et nationales qui ont compétence dans cette matière et avec les organisations intérnationales, pour optimiser les efforts des initiatives et des réseaux en thème de migration et développement dans la zone.

Cette conférence constitue certainement une démarche très importante dans ce sens, il serait fondamental que l'effort important fait de la part de l'EC-UN Joint Migration Development Initiative puisse avoir une continuité dans la zone Méditerranéenne.

Très cordialement

Ilia Mazzone
II Commission  coordinator
Cooperation between Cities and Regions
tel. +39.091.6622238
fax +39.091.6622304
Via E. Amari, 162
90139 Palermo – Italy


Dear members of the community,

First of all, I look forward to learning from your experience in this important subject matter. For my part, I would like to briefly address the issue of mobility partnerships from the perspective of the European Union (EU).

Mobility partnerships have since a number of years been labeled the main strategic, comprehensive and long-term cooperation framework with third countries on migration (Commission, 2009). Mobility Partnerships are non-binding multilateral political declarations signed by the EU, interested EU member states and a partner country, creating a framework for migration-related activities taking place between the signatories.

Important for the direction of both Mobility Partnerships is the Commission Communication A dialogue for migration, mobility and security with the southern Mediterranean countries of May 2011. It proposes readmission and border management clauses as constitutive elements to partnership with the region. Importantly, it approaches partner countries not only as countries of origin but also as countries of transit (Commission, 2011). Specific measures to be implemented through Mobility Partnerships are detailed: voluntary return of irregular migrants; readmission agreements; cooperation with Eurosur (European Border Surveillance System) and Frontex (the European external border agency); and cooperation in Integrated Border Management mechanisms (e.g. document security and anti-trafficking).

In terms of migration and development (M&D), experiences show the importance of engaging the local level as well as non-state actors. The aim of the JMDI regional conference to focus on an inclusive approach involving both national and local government as well as civil society thus sounds promising. However, the nature of Mobility Partnerships at this point would not seem to be fully ready to accommodate this overarching objective. Looking at the points for discussion under topic 2, these issues would be of great importance to reinforce the M&D component of Mobility Partnerships next to the detailed requirements on migration management which exist in a much further developed stage of consolidation. In my view, these points can also be reformulated as an overarching question: what can the EU offer in return?


European Commission (2011) 'A dialogue for migration, mobility and security with the southern Mediterranean countries' Communication 292 (final) Brussels, 24 May

European Commission (2009) 'Mobility partnerships as a tool for the Global Approach to Migration' Commission Staff Working Document 1240 (final) Brussels, 18 September

Dear Members,

In the context of the current JMDI discussion, I would like to contribute with experiences drawn from initiatives implemented in Cape Verde in the framework of the Mobility Partnerships.

The Republic of Cape Verde, a high-emigration island nation off the coast of West Africa and highly dependent on remittances, was selected as one of the first countries the EU signed mobility partnerships with. Recognizing the importance of the archipelago in migration issues, the EU (together with Portugal, Spain, France and Luxembourg) signed in 2008 the Mobility Partnership with Cape Verde. In relation to the second priority of the agreement (migration and development) several initiatives are currently being implemented focusing on return and circular migration.

There are four initiatives implemented under the Mobility Partnership. The ‘Diaspora for Development of Cape Verde’ project intended to use the resources of diaspora to foster development, and especially to strengthen the capacity of key development sectors in Cape Verde, through active engagement of diaspora professionals living in Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands. It also aimed to tighten diaspora transnational linkages and strengthen the communication network between diaspora members and institutional entities in Cape Verde (IC, 2008). The initiative gave citizens in diaspora concrete opportunities to engage in the country’s development by transferring their skills and experience to professionals in Cape Verde and by developing entrepreneurial projects with Cape Verdean and host countries’ communities and partners. Another programme with a similar philosophy – Diaspora Contribute – aims to engage migrants and their descendants in the economic, social and cultural development of Cape Verde. The project is in an early stage of implementation and there are still details to improve. The first step is to identify important skills and experience among Cape Verdeans living in Spain. Afterwards, migrants will be asked to give workshops to public and private organisations in Cape Verde. The plan is to extend the project to other host countries. Moreover, France and Cape Verde signed in 2008 an agreement concerning the regulation of the flow between both countries and co-development. Among the list of measures, the agreement establishes the facilitation for short term and multiple entry visas for a period of three months per semester and for short term visa for medical issues. It also allows young graduates to stay in France for a period of nine months in order to acquire professional experience. Two cards were created: competences and talent card, allowing high skilled migrants to stay with the possibility to renew for three years in France; workers card, allows Cape Verdeans to work in 40 determined professions. The agreement also supports migrants willing to return and implement a project in Cape Verde finances up to 70% of the project cost and provides advisory support. Finally, in 2008, CAMPO (Centre for Migrant Support at the Country of Origin) was inaugurated in Praia. The project aims to foster legal and fighting illegal migration, through the reception, advisory and information of Cape Verdean citizens who aim to migrate to Portugal. Since then the Portuguese Government and IOM are developing strategies to stretch the project to the whole country and to give a ‘European dimension’, providing information about opportunities in other European countries. It is also planned to broaden the action by providing information about possible investments in Cape Verde, foster the ties with diaspora members and help migrants to be in touch with migrant associations in the destination country.


First, most returnees do not bring financial capital with them, while those who invest do it mainly in housing and family support. Although this has an important positive impact, investment in business is limited. The reason for the general low level of investment in business is the difficulty to set up an economic activity in Cape Verde. There are structural factors contributing to the harshness of the Cape Verdean economy, like the fact that the country is an archipelago and consequently transportation costs are high and the market is small. The high value of import tariffs is one of the main problems, as well as heavy bureaucracy, credit difficulties and lack of responsibility among economic agents. Second, the human capital that returnees bring back home is not automatically used in a productive way. Many returnees are retired or become unemployed, which means that the human capital acquired abroad is not exploited. Return migrants who studied abroad (coming back after finishing their studies overseas) do bring back new knowledge and skills, but the opportunities to put these new ideas into practice are often limited, as the structures in Cape Verde are not as open and receptive as they need to be. Third, migrants are transnational actors interacting with various places, communicating and transferring knowledge and skills. In Cape Verde it is true that most returnees maintain transnational relationships,however the social capital in terms of professional relations, is often small, as returnees mainly maintain contact with friends and family member. The majority of returnees returned because they feel nostalgia for their country: some return to retire, but their money is limited and mainly used for house construction; others return as a result of unsuccessful experiences and/or lack of opportunities abroad. It is mainly the graduate returnees who could make a difference, but most return without money. Their motivation tends to be high, but their manoeuvring space is very limited. Returnees face structural constraints that prevent them from using their skills, and there are few opportunities to invest in productive ventures.


It is, of course, difficult to analyse the impact and viability of policy measures that are in a pilot phase, but based on the experience in Cape Verde it becomes clear that return and circular migration (as emphasised in the context of the mobility partnership) will not contribute to Cape Verdean development automatically. Mobility partnerships (as currently implemented by the EU) might work as tool to ‘control’ and/or reduce migration, but will have little impact in stimulating Cape Verdean development as long as returnees have difficulties to make use of the resources acquired overseas. The focus should not be on supporting or promoting circular or return migration, but on improving local conditions and local people’s capacity to invest, make use of new ideas and benefit from professional relationships overseas. The governmental effort to encourage and facilitate migrants’ investment is much in line with the archipelago’s needs. Rather than encouraging circular and return migration, the EU could play an important role in improving migrants’ life in the areas of destination and supporting Cape Verdean authorities in terms of investment promotion. I am looking forward to comparing the experience drawn from Cape Verde with other members of the CoP.

Best regards,

Frederico Brandão

References :


A., Sodade di Nhos Terra: the development potential of return migration to Cape Verde, IDPR, Liverpool University Press, No. 32, 2010, pp. 267-289.

IC (Intituto das comunidades), c, “Resumo do Projecto Dias de Cabo Verde II”, (unpublished document), Praia, 2009. IPAD (Instituto português de apoio ao desenvolvimento), b, “Projecto Centro de Apoio ao Migrante no País de Origem – CAMPO – Cabo Verde”,http://www.ipad.mne.gov.pt/index.phpoption=com_content&task=view&id=523&Itemid=2, 2008.


The contribution is based on the experience gained through the JMDI financed Devinpro Moldova Project and follow-up initiative undertaken by IASCI, Austria, and CIVIS, Moldova.

Topic 1: How can the skills and contributions of diasporas help foster local development and employment creation in their countries of origin?

Reliable data and information on the potential of utilizing migrants’ wealth for local development is often lacking; as is the funding and capacity to conduct the necessary research and follow-up action. Local financial institutions and other private-sector actors lack awareness, experience and knowledge on appropriate products and services to offer migrants. As a result, relevant investment (direct or indirect) or savings opportunities are either unavailable or not trusted. At the same time, migrants, who save money for their retirement, family or business, among others, are often unable to invest in financial instruments in the countries of destination. This combination can often frustrate the core wealth accumulation process and in doing so extends the spontaneous circular migration process - often to the point of discounting return all together. - Emphasis needs to be placed on a solid knowledge base: partner and project activities need to be based on solid empirical evidence of social and economic trends in order to ensure that policies and interventions are based on existing needs and demands. Solid monitoring and evaluation tools need to allow for the progressive fine-tuning of the options that are tested. Regular systematic exchange of experience, best practices, information and the transfer of expertise between participating institutions need to be established.

1) What makes a successful return and reintegration programme? Can you give specific examples of labour matching mechanisms that have worked to ensure the sustainable reintegration of returning migrants? What is the role of the social partners, the private sector and civil society in this process? Successful migrants are the core of any successful return and reintegration programme. The role of the social partners, governments (both of origin and destination) and private sector should be to provide practical and meaningful support mechanisms to this distinct market-segment. Contrary to conventional belief, a growing body of evidence shows that most people migrate with the intention of reaching a wealth accumulation objective and then of returning home. In other words, the original purpose of migration - and all personal activities related to it - is often directly linked to reaching important personal goals such as starting or supporting a business, building a home, educating children or securing a pension. In fact, most migrants consider returning home only if and when they have reached their savings objective and when they feel safe in doing so, financially, socially and politically. The primacy of the wealth accumulation objective (i.e. rather than remittances) is confirmed by the extremely high household savings rate among circular migrants studied in the broad South-east Europe region – about 45% of net household income on average. In fact, circular migrant households studied accumulate financial capital at a significantly higher rate (between 130% - 450%) than what they remit. Because of mistrust in home-based financial systems and governments, this capital is primarily retained in countries of migration, even though the purpose of migration and the savings objective itself is usually linked to a goal to be achieved at home. This core financial objective is often combined with related ambitions such as learning necessary skill-sets and business-practices, gaining experience, and establishing relevant contacts. Together, this financial and human capital can be considered as the accumulating wealth of migrants and diaspora.

2) What kind of incentives can national and local governments, or other stakeholders, provide so as to promote the transfer of skills from migrants to their communities of origin? Can you provide concrete examples? Which sectors benefit the most from these skills and how do they contribute to the local economic development? Public actors and private-sector market leaders can collaborate to develop and test-market ‘migrant-centric’ products. Examples include: savings plans and investment opportunities, private insurances and pensions, state pensions and child education savings products. Other options could include: municipal and national ‘migrant-bonds’, loans for housing, health insurance, mutual investment funds, transportation options, recruitment services, e-learning and language training. Coordinate the active involvement of stakeholder groups such as national government, private sector actors, worker’s and employer’s organizations, civil society organizations including Diaspora groups to develop, provide and deliver services. Examples might include: pre-departure counseling and coaching; return and reintegration support, including issues related to employment opportunities, social inclusion issues, on-going education, etc; making available specific assistance to vulnerable groups; making referrals to qualified stakeholders as necessary.

3) What strategic alliances and partnerships should be put in place to ensure that such initiatives respond to local needs and promote the entrepreneurial activities of migrants and their families? In our view the challenge in enhancing partnerships between governments, civil society organizations/diaspora communities and private sector, is to determine how the energies, ambitions, skills and wealth of millions of migrants can best be supported to the benefit of the migrants and their families, their countries of origin, and their countries of migration. Our response has been to develop an integrated migration services provider, offering practical solutions to help migrants achieve their own goals through a platform that enables conversation and builds community. In doing so, NEXUS CENTRAL (working title) directly supports both mobility agreements as well as the personal, social and economic development opportunities of migration. We believe the planned NEXUS CENTRAL is a decisive step forward. It builds a network of private sector enterprises and public institutions that share a commitment to promoting and unleashing the potential of migrants in both place of origin and place of migration. The key joint aim is to benefit an underserved population by helping individuals achieve their migration-related wealth accumulation objectives faster and easier, thereby enabling them to manage the negative effects and risks associated with migration, to improve their own lives, and to contribute to the development of society. NEXUS is positioned to support human mobility at every stage, including return and reintegration initiatives by: • Providing relevant, timely and evidence-based information and consultancy services about migrant interests and needs to its network of private and public sector partners; and, • Assisting partners to deliver high quality advice, goods and services to current, future and returning migrants.

Topic 2: Maximizing the benefits of migration for development is amongst the main priorities of mobility partnerships. What are some of the key factors that need to be considered when developing policies in this field?

Our overall impression, based on our experience in South-east Europe and specifically Moldova, is that mobility partnerships and efforts at enhancing necessary partnerships should take greater account and provide practical/relevant support to the core objectives and overall migration experience of those actually engaged in human mobility. Or, in other words, adopt a more migrant-centric perspective. Unfortunately, poorly developed migration policies and practices, in combination with counter-productive legal, administrative, financial, social, and political obstacles often make reaching these laudable wealth accumulation objectives more difficult than they need to be. Further, migrants are often vulnerable to exploitation by illegitimate recruitment agencies, corrupt officials, human traffickers, organized crime and the like. These factors are not only dangerous and violations of human rights, but also serve to frustrate migrants’ ability to reach their objectives and hence return home and contribute to the development of their home communities. In terms of policy and intervention coherence, because migration and development cover a broad range of issues that fall within the competence of different government bodies, both horizontally and vertically, it is important to invest in the establishment and maintenance over time of structures that serve as dialogue and coordination frameworks. In Moldova for example there has not been a specific local or regional policy in relation to migration and development. A large number of activities and projects in this area have been promoted and managed by NGOs and not accompanied by local or national policies.

2) What are the opportunities offered by labour mobility agreements and what kind of challenges – or downsides – do they entail for the sending and receiving countries, migrant workers, their families, and civil society organizations involved?

2.a Effective migration-management and development both require the constructive interaction of both public and private sectors. When personal, private and public elements are harnessed constructively, they can have a simultaneous and profound effect on bottom-lines, sustainable development, and migration management. Recently in Moldova there has been a marked increase in developing policy coherence and regulatory frameworks that support, rather than hinder, migrants’ ambitions. This positive trend includes enhancing the essential private sector environment. The private sector already plays an important role in the migration-development process. It is the private sector that provides employment and finance; develops human capital; and introduces technology and intellectual property, supply chains, cutting-edge business practices and other relevant expertise. Yet, other than the attention placed on remittance transfers, the financial and commercial sectors too have to a large extent failed to identify circular migrants and their households as a significant market segment. Little has been done to reach this sizeable niche market and to act upon the potential inherent in more directly meeting the needs of circular migrants and their trans-national households.

2.b Human mobility is national and international, at the same time all migration is in effect personal and local. At its most relevant and efficient level, transnational households bridge and connect across two communities and two local economies. Interventions and projects need to incorporate measures increasing support to the activities of national and sub-national authorities and civil society organizations. In many countries migration-management and development have increasingly involved national government working with international organizations, while the potential contribution of local authorities has not received the same attention. The close proximity of local authorities to their constituencies, their direct experience in implementing policy, their potential to initiate multi-stakeholder dialogue and participatory decision-making, as well as the skills that they have often developed in spatial development strategies, make local authorities potentially important actors in migration and development governance. Yet, to date migration and development and the linkages between national and local authority remains a new field of action. For example reflecting its strong local ownership, the NEXUS project consortium is composed of different typologies of actors, including the National Chancellery working together with six local authorities, as well as a local NGO partner. On a broader scale, the planned project incorporates the active participation of international experts and Moldovan stakeholders, including local civil society and diaspora groups as well as market-leading private sector actors. By systematically introducing sub-national and migrant-centric perspectives the project is designed to pave the way for a more fundamental and pluralistic reassessment of underlying issues that drive outmigration, return migration, attachment, and the beneficial linkages those citizens living abroad can bring to Moldova and their communities of origin. Then, by consciously linking these actors to the national level it will help Moldova to develop coordinated capacities in the formulation of pro-development migration policies while avoiding heterogeneous approaches among territories within the same country. Finally, by carefully complementing ongoing and planned initiatives such as the EU-Moldova Mobility Partnership and the UNDP/IOM Mainstreaming Migration and Development Initiative the project will contribute to improvements to laws, policies and management structures in respect of migration and development.

2.c Incorporating the structured representation of migrants and migrant groups is in the interest of local authorities in both countries of origin and destination. Migrants should be encouraged to contribute to local development and local development planning should take into account all social and economic dynamics in a given territory. Further, local consultative processes are deemed to have an important role to play in promoting the integration of migration issues into local and regional development plans and in fostering coherence between migration and development policies. With this in mind labour mobility agreements need to be grounded on a migrant-centric approach, insofar as they can provide practical support to the individual needs of migrants during every phase of the circular migration experience (from preparation to departure to period in migration to sustainable return). In practical and hands-on ways labour mobility agreements should encourage the contribution of diasporas to the development of community of origin and increase the value of migrants' return. More emphasis can be placed on mitigating the negative socio-economic developments, in both immediate and long-term; especially in the context of a severe population decline in countries such as Moldova. In line with the EU Global Approach to Migration it therefore should assume a balanced approach to the migratory phenomenon.

3) What are key issues that the EC mobility partnerships need to address to better reflect and serve the needs and interests of young people who may wish to migrate? As noted, better understanding and supporting core migration goals best serve all categories of migrants, including young ones. In the context of EC Mobility Partnerships this can be achieved by addressing the following: developing national and sub-national tools and capacities for well-managed labour migration; better matching labour demand and supply (in both countries of origin and destination); providing for pre-departure training, services and products, information on rights and obligations, advice on employment opportunities and on available channels for legal migration, supporting voluntary return and reintegration, as well as training of potential migrants. The protection and monitoring of migrants' human rights should be systematically included as an important component. Further, information campaigns for migrants and for local communities on migrants’ rights, relief and assistance to vulnerable categories of migrants and to victims of trafficking need to be incorporated. In our case the planned NEXUS project brings together Moldovan national and sub-national local authorities, civil society actors and businesses in a coordinated platform; and thereby offers a practical example and hands-on experience for designing and delivering durable migration and development initiatives, as well as developing tools and building capacities for well-managed labour migration. The purposeful integration of these categories of stakeholders puts forward and tests an innovative, integrated and complementary response to the increasing migratory pressure on the EU’s Southern and Eastern borders.

All the best,

Ruslan Sintov

Dear CoP members,

Pease find below my contribution to the current EC-UN JMDI e-discussion highlighting some realties that can be observed in the Nigerian context.

TOPIC: How can the skills and contributions of diasporas help foster local development and employment creation in their countries of origin?

1. (a) It is known that in diaspora members often work hard to acquire special skills in various fields of human endeavour, an effort mainly driven by the harsh economic realities of their homeland. Hence, upon return to their countries of origin, they usually come home equipped as employers, rather than job seekers. This can be seen in areas such as Engineering, Law, Medicine, Accounting etc. By attending foreign universities believed to be better equipped than the ones they left at home, they usually come home as experts and some even return with hard currencies which enable them to kick start their own businesses at home. This in turn results in their ability to provide the local population with employment opportunities. As immigrants are allowed to work and to receive education in some European countries, the individual was challenged to embark on the trip in the first place, and he/she normally have in mind to return home after a while in order to set up a business. Hence, migrants often save as much as possible by avoiding expenditures in the country of destination, and at the same try to invest in as much education as possible in order to acquire core professional training. Because of the value of foreign currencies over and above that of the local ones, little savings turn out to be great sources of investment back home.

   (b) Except professions such as law which often require enrolment at the local bar before practice licenses are granted, other disciplines permit the individual to be merely registered with the professional body and can hence subsequently resume its profession once back home. Hence reintegration can easily be achieved. Social partners like agencies responsible for creating an enabling environment for the reintegration of diasporans are up and running. An example is the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria, which is responsible for the registration of all companies. They have recently improved their services so that investors can register a company in a much shorter timeframe than before. Similarly, the Export Promotion Council has also made its services easy and affordable. All these are aimed at creating a conducive environment for any returnee to be able to do business in Nigeria without hitches.

2. The National (Federal) Government in particular can start by providing basic infrastructure such as good networks of roads and stable electrical power. Without good roads linking communities, cities and towns, it may be difficult for any investment to strive. In Nigeria where petroleum products are rarely seen, how can an investor be expected the power his/her investment with a generator? Where this happens, it will make the cost of production extremely high; thus unaffordable to the consumers. The beauty of Nigeria as a country is the seize of its population. This is a ready market for any kind of consumable, but if basic infrastructure is lacking, it makes no sense to invest, as the investor may never be able to maximize profits. Examples can be drawn from attempts by returnee doctors to set up cottage hospitals, but the lack of electrical power undermined this dreams for many. Also, entrepreneurs who returned to set up small scale factories for the production of soaps, toilet tolls, candles, body sprays, etc have had their factories closed as a result of high cost of production which at the end of the day turns out to be unprofitable.

TOPIC 2: Maximising the benefits of migration for development is amongst the main priorities of mobility partnerships. What are some of the key factors that need to be considered when developing policies in this field?

1) A returnee recently set up an organisation for the prevention of prostitution in the country, and the government welcomed this initiative and decided to partner with the respective returnees by creating vocational schools for the training and acquisition of skills by the victims of this age old trade. Other non-governmental agencies have since identified with this body and have collectively recruited more people to help in this process. This was strictly a diaspora initiative, which was then taken over by local partners and indeed the government who saw the good in it. Local partners and the government often perceive returned migrants as a great source, given that the aboard acquired skills can benefit the country of origin in terms of providing their country with best practice examples drawn from different countries. So our local partners, the government and the civil societies are compelled to trail the blaze set as standard by the diaspora.

2) Of course opportunities like this offer a variety of chances to all stakeholders of particular note are the group training schemes which sometimes are conducted abroad using donations and grants from partners and government. Participants are introduced to new environments, and often come back with many new skills that permit to perform above average. However, workers may not able to bring along their family when abroad and this can create problems leading often to family separation. Thus, it creates problems for the sponsoring organisation, the recipient nation where the training is to take place and the nuclear family where the outgoing spouse is depending from.

3) The EC mobility partnerships may do a great deal in the area of influencing their individual countries to lower their migration policies by way of amending legislation. Currently, it seems that most EC partnering countries’ migration policies are not youth friendly at all. Best regards, Ngozi Diugwu


Chers membres du réseau M4D,

 En tant que président du FACM, une organisation qui a mis en œuvre un projet financé par l’Initiative conjointe sur la Migration et le Développement, je voudrais partager avec vous certaines leçons apprises lors de nos interventions dans le domaine de la migration et le développement en Algérie.

 SUJET 1: De quelle manière les compétences et les contributions des diasporas peuvent-ils contribuer au développement local et à la création d’emplois dans leurs pays d’origine ?

1)       Quels éléments assurent la réussite d’un programme de retour et de réintégration? Pouvez-vous donner des exemples spécifiques de mécanismes d’adéquation de l’offre et de la demande sur le marché du travail pour les futurs migrants et les migrants de retour ? Quel rôle jouent les partenaires sociaux, le secteur privé et la société civile dans ce processus ?

La réussite d’un programme de retour et de réintégration dépend avant tout de l’inversion de la tendance qui a été la cause de l’émigration. En effet, au sous-développement lato sensu (possibilité d’accès à un emploi salarié ou d’exercer une activité non-salariée extrêmement réduite, non rentable, voire inexistante), l’attrait d’une meilleure qualité de vie ont été à l’origine du phénomène d’émigration de l’Algérie vers les pays voisins de la rive nord du Bassin méditerranéen, plus particulièrement la France, ancienne puissance coloniale, proche géographiquement, historiquement et linguistiquement.

Le phénomène migratoire algérien vers ce pays a toujours été favorisé par plusieurs facteurs : besoin de main d’œuvre, notamment pour exécuter les travaux d’une pénibilité extrême, renforcement numérique de la communauté et son organisation, regroupement familial, acquisition de la nationalité par le sol.

Dans le pays d’origine, les conditions du retour et de la réintégration des émigrés sont désormais optimales : accès à l’emploi, au micro crédit et à l’investissement en général, même si le retour n’est pas encore envisagé, à de rares exceptions, de manière définitive. Une action d’information et de sensibilisation permanente est entreprise en direction de la communauté émigrée, notamment sous l’égide d’une structure créée ad-hoc, le Secrétariat d’État auprès de la communauté à l’étranger. Le secteur privé demeure évidemment le pôle d’attraction le plus fort, la création de PME personnelles et familiales étant favorisée par le savoir-faire acquis à l’étranger. Le tissu associatif est également un moteur non négligeable de retour et de réintégration, car les diverses associations constituées à l’étranger par la communauté algérienne émigrée sont, outre un facteur de rassemblement, un lieu d’échanges et d’information favorisant les projets de retour au pays, notamment grâce à l’investissement individuel et/ou collectif. Les émigrés contribuent aussi à la réalisation de projets initiés par des associations locales, par des opérations de sponsoring.  

Le problème crucial demeure celui de gagner intégralement la confiance des émigrés dans le retour au pays et d’emporter leur conviction et leur adhésion. L’approfondissement du processus démocratique et les réformes entreprises dans ce cadre pour consolider la démocratie, la citoyenneté participative, la régularité des élections ainsi que la société civile, la mobilisation massive de la communauté émigrée autour de ce programme constituent autant d’ingrédients destinés à faciliter le retour au pays et la réintégration des émigrés dans les circuits économique, social et culturel. Dans cette panoplie de moyens, l’ouverture et la stabilité politique, l’assouplissement des procédures administratives et la sécurité des placements et transactions financiers doivent être le souci cardinal du législateur et de l’Administration. 

2)      De quelle manière les gouvernements nationaux et locaux (ou d’autres acteurs) peuvent-ils promouvoir le transfert des compétences des migrants vers leurs communautés d’origine? Pouvez-vous fournir des exemples concrets? Quels secteurs économiques bénéficient le plus de ces compétences? Comment ces derniers contribuent-ils au développement économique local?”

3)      Connaissez-vous des initiatives, émanant d’une diaspora, qui encouragent la création d’emploi et augmentent l’employabilité, en particulier en ce qui concerne les jeunes? Quelles alliances stratégiques et partenariats devraient être mis en place pour garantir que ces initiatives répondent aux besoins locaux et promeuvent les activités d’entrepreneuriat des migrants et de leurs familles?”

Le gouvernement algérien a soutenu, par le passé, politiquement sa communauté à l’étranger, en contribuant à résoudre les problèmes communautaires liés au statut familial et à l’exercice du culte.

A l’occasion de l’ouverture à l’économie de marché, depuis le début de la décennie 90,  une approche multiforme de la communauté algérienne à l’étranger a été entreprise. Elle combine la création d’une structure gouvernementale dédiée à cette communauté, pour assurer en permanence un suivi de son statut et de son devenir, la visite et les rencontres de personnalités politiques avec ses membres, dont le premier responsable politique, la réalisation d’émissions de télévision, l’organisation de manifestations économiques, culturelles et sportives drainant cette communauté, notamment.

La diaspora algérienne est ainsi affectivement attirée vers le giron national et informée de l’évolution du développement du pays. Le tourisme n’est pas en reste, puisque des facilitations sont accordées aux émigrés et à leurs familles, qui se traduisent ces dernières années par des séjours réguliers d’une population de plus en plus importante durant l’été et les fêtes religieuses.

De nombreux projets d’investissement ont vu le jour et se multiplient, créant de l’emploi et une valeur ajoutée certaine.

Bien cordialement,

 Nourredine Sbia


Dear CoP members,

 In the framework of the current JMDI e-discussion, the ACP Observatory on Migration would like to respond to two questions, notably those that focus on the reintegration of migrants and the transfer of skills, and share with you the experiences acquired over the course of the implementation of our programme.

Topic 1: How can the skills and contributions of diasporas help foster local development and employment creation in their countries of origin?  

1)      What makes a successful return and reintegration programme?  Can you give specific examples of labour matching mechanisms that have worked to ensure the sustainable reintegration of returning migrants? What is the role of the social partners, the private sector and civil society in this process?

The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Observatory on Migration, an initiative of the ACP Observatory on Migration, funded by the European Union, implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and with the financial support of IOM and its Development Fund, the United Nations Population Fund and Switzerland, carries out research aimed at assessing the reintegration of newly returned refugees in Angola. This research focuses on existing return and reintegration programmes in Angola and on their impact on the situation of newly returned migrants.

Since the end of the war in Angola in 2002, migration trends increasingly include labour migrants looking for employment and self-employment in Angola, asylum-seekers, irregular migrants as well as a significant number of IDPs and refugees voluntarily returning home. Existing data on return migration remains scarce. This challenges the understanding of Migration and Development trends in the country and hampers the development of comprehensive policies.

The prospects of reintegration of the newly returned refugees should be carefully planned and accompanied to ensure that they are provided basic social services (including food, housing, health care and education) to facilitate their reintegration. In order to avoid stigmatization, the impact of their return within local communities and the labour market should also be addressed. The results of the research and its employment in policy may also be used as a basis to attract other Angolan emigrants to return to the country.

The ACP Observatory on Migration and its Board partner, the School of Economics and Management (ISEG) at the Technical University of Lisbon (Portugal), have selected a research team from Angolan institution Development Workshop to carry out this research. The study will include a desk review and qualitative interviews with relevant stakeholders to gather available data and evidence. A survey questionnaire will be designed and implemented to collect primary data from returned migrants. The final objective is to map and analyse return migration patterns in Angola and identify the interests, characteristics and needs of return migrants and the link to human development efforts in Angola. A short- and long-term return migration policy strategy will be promoted including more evidence-based and coherent (urban) planning programmes.

The ACP Observatory will work with policy makers, with research institutions and with the civil society to gather information and share the results of its research. In particular, the relation between researchers and policy makers will be strengthened to promote the adoption of evidence-based policies. The interaction of these institutions is a key factor to ensure the success of return and reintegration policies. The issue of data and evidence remains a challenge in many ACP countries. Using newly collected information, the ACP Observatory on Migration will be able to identify concrete recommendations for the development of return and reintegration policies.


2)      What kind of incentives can national and local governments, or other stakeholders, provide so as to promote the transfer of skills from migrants to their communities of origin? Can you provide concrete examples? Which sectors benefit the most from these skills and how do they contribute to the local economic development?

Several African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, have implemented measures aimed at promoting the engagement of diasporas for development. The ACP Observatory on Migration conducts research on the potential participation of Nigerian and Kenyan diasporas in the development of their home countries. Policy-making in this field has been mainly focused on remittances and the promotion of skills from migrants in developed countries to developing countries. The ACP Observatory on Migration focuses its attention on South-South diasporas, a domain where available data and evidence remains scarcer.

National Consultative Committees in Kenya and Nigeria, including representatives from the Government, from research institutions and the civil society, have requested studies on the involvement of South-South diasporas in development. Available data suggest an increase in outflows of Nigerian citizens in recent years. Estimates vary between 800,000 to more than 1 million Nigerian emigrants living abroad in 2005 corresponding to about 0.6 per cent of the total Nigerian population (IOM, 2009; Ratha and Shaw, 2007). A large share of these emigrants remains within the sub-region: 44.5 per cent reside in other sub-Saharan countries (Ratha and Shaw, 2007) moving inter alia to Sudan, Chad, Cameroun and Benin as major destinations. In 2005, the stock of Kenyan emigrants was estimated at 912,890 with the large majority residing in Africa (41.5%), followed by Europe (37.9%) and North America (14.4%). These figures highlight the importance of South-South movements and interregional, in particular towards Tanzania (13.5 % of total emigrant stocks) (DRC Sussex, 2007).

South-South migrants play an important yet largely unrecognized role in the promotion of development. The Government of Kenya is increasingly promoting diaspora members’ skills transfers through their employment in the public sector and relying on Kenyan think tanks abroad for advice. The International Jobs and Diaspora Office at the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been mandated to facilitate the participation of Kenya’s diasporas in the economic development at home. Yet little is known about Kenyan diasporas residing in the South. Hence there is a need to identify the interests, skills and possible obstacles of cooperation with these diaspora members.

The ACP Observatory on Migration partners with the Southern African Migration Programme in the framework of these studies. Policy Consult, in Nigeria, and the University of Nairobi, in Kenya, have been selected to carry out the research Both institutions have been trained to undertake the data collection and analysis processes. The final objectives of these studies include the definition of short- and long-term policy strategies to sustain and foster the contribution of Kenyan and Nigerian diaspora members to the development in target countries. The project will foster cooperation between research institutions and policy makers for the development of relevant policies.

Best wishes,

The ACP Observatory on Migration


Chers membres, 

Voici une contribution à la discussion actuelle en ligne de la parte du Comité des Cités Unies.

Le Comité Italien des Cités Unies – C.I.C.U. est une association de Collectivités locales italiennes (Régions, Provinces et Communes) engagées ou intéressées à l’action internationale. C.I.C.U. a été longtemps un promoteur de jumelages entre villes et à partir de la moitié des années ’90 un animateur de projet de coopération décentralisée en particulier sur le thème du renforcement institutionnel et de la démocratie locale.

CICU est le référant italien de l’association mondiale Cités et Gouvernement Locaux Unis (CGLU) siégée à Barcelone depuis 2004.

L’expérience de CICU pour les sujets proposées se réfèrent donc aux rôles des collectivités locales et aux leçons apprises dans les actions de coopération.

Les expériences de nos membres qui peuvent revêtir un intérêt sur ce sujet :

  • Projet de soutien à la création d’entreprises féminines à Louga – Sénégal, suivi du projet pour la formation du guichet d’entreprise, toujours à Louga (totalement fonds propres de la coop. décentralisée Province de Turin (I)- Région de Louga (SN)
  • Projet MIDEF – Maroc, chef de file CICSN, soutien à la création de coopératives de femmes – financé par l’Initiative Conjointe sur la Migration et le Développement

Dans les deux cas les associations des immigrés ont été impliqués avec des résultats divers.

SUJET 1: De quelle manière les compétences et les contributions des diasporas peuvent-ils contribuer au développement local et à la création d’emplois dans leurs pays d’origine ?

1) Quels éléments assurent la réussite d’un programme de retour et de réintégration? Pouvez-vous donner des exemples spécifiques de mécanismes d’adéquation de l’offre et de la demande sur le marché du travail pour les futurs migrants et les migrants de retour ? Quel rôle jouent les partenaires sociaux, le secteur privé et la société civile dans ce processus ?

2) De quelle manière les gouvernements nationaux et locaux (ou d’autres acteurs) peuvent-ils promouvoir le transfert des compétences des migrants vers leurs communautés d’origine? Pouvez-vous fournir des exemples concrets? Quels secteurs économiques bénéficient le plus de ces compétences? Comment ces derniers contribuent-ils au développement économique local?”

Les gouvernements locaux peuvent promouvoir et soutenir le transfert des compétences des migrants vers les communautés d’origine avec des accords directs avec leurs homologues des pays d’émigration, dans le cadre de projets de coopération qui s’appliquent à des thèmes comme par exemple :

  • Guichets publics locaux  pour l’accompagnement à la création d’entreprise
  • Création de fonds de rotation pour le microcrédit
  • Organisation de stages et échanges du personnel, agents locaux dans des actions de suivi à la création et startup des micro et petites entreprises.
  • Accompagnement à l’organisation dans les communautés d’origines de cours professionnels  pour les jeunes entrepreneurs

A notre avis le transfert des compétences peut donc s’attacher en premier lieu aux actions de création d’entreprise, puisque c’est dans ce domaine que les migrants ont développés le mieux de leurs expériences dans les pays d’immigration.

Il y a aussi la possibilité de promouvoir en même temps un intérêt à l’investissement des migrants dans les nouvelles entreprises dans certains secteurs innovants, tels que :

  • Tourisme solidaire
  • Marketing pour les investissements dans le secteur immobilier
  • Productions bioénergétiques

3) Connaissez-vous des initiatives, émanant d’une diaspora, qui encouragent la création d’emploi et augmentent l’employabilité, en particulier en ce qui concerne les jeunes? Quelles alliances stratégiques et partenariats devraient être mis en place pour garantir que ces initiatives répondent aux besoins locaux et promeuvent les activités d’entrepreneuriat des migrants et de leurs familles?”

Dans nos expérience récentes il n’y a pas au sens propre des initiatives émanantes d’une diaspora : les actions menées ont bien concerné des diaspora et présenté aux diasporas des opportunités, mais l’expérience nous a montré que ces initiatives sont loin d’être des véritables possibilités économiques pour les migrants et leurs familles : il s’agit pour le moment de niches soutenues par la coopération décentralisée.

Ce qui manque est un cadre d’accords avec les pays d’origine et des programmes nationaux dans les quelles ces actions (de coopération décentralisée) peuvent se développer et être soutenues au-delà de la période de validité des programmes de coopération qui sont  pour le moment, des projets de démonstration et pilotes.


SUJET 2: Maximiser les bénéfices de la migration pour le développement est l’une des priorités des partenariats pour la mobilité. Quels facteurs clés doivent être pris en compte lors de l’élaboration de politiques dans ce domaine?

Pour enrichir les débats, nous proposons de réfléchir sur les questions ci-dessous dans le cadre de accords de mobilité.

Comment les partenariats pour la mobilité peuvent orienter et rendre soutenables les actions réalisées à l’initiative de la coopération décentralisée ?

Est il possible d’envisager un accord global qui reconnait le rôle spécifique des Collectivités – Administrations Locales en particulier des pays d’origine au travail avec les homologues des pays de destination en particulier pour une implication correcte de tous les acteurs locaux (société civile, monde économique local, etc.) dans la mise en œuvre des accords de mobilité ?

En d’autre termes est il possible envisager des accords de mobilités de « territoire à territoire » gérés au niveau local, reconnus et suivi par les deux pays concernés ?

Cet approche nous permettrait de mieux orienter certaines initiatives de coopération décentralisée institutionnelle qui s’appuient sur le rôle des diasporas.

Bien cordialment,

Gian Paolo Morello
Segretario Generale C.I.C.U.
Comitato Italiano Città Unite
Via La Salle n.17
10152 Torino (I)


Dear CoP members,

Through our work at the Department of Arab Expatriates at the League of Arab states (LAS), and after all the specialized conferences, meetings with officials in ministries working in the field of migration and Arab expatriates affairs, meeting with Arab communities abroad, studies we made on Arab communities and their participation in the development of their home countries,  we founded that a unified Arab policy is needed with respect to immigration and immigrant Arab skills and that this policy should rely on unified mechanisms adopted by the Arab states and integrated under the umbrella of the Arab League through the following mechanisms:

Topic1: How can the skills and contributions of diasporas help foster local development and employment creation in their countries of origin.

Transfer of Skills: What kind of incentives can national and local governments or other stakeholders, provide so as to promote the transfer of skills from migrants to their communities of origin? Can you provide concrete examples? Which sectors benefit the most from these skills and how do they contribute to the local economic development.

-       Migration Information System: Developing an Arab Migration and Expatriates Information System that would include databases for: highly-skilled Arab expatriates and public figures to make this information available for organizations and governments in the Arab region to stimulate cooperation between Arab expatriates and their home countries in order to foster the interrelationships between migration and development in the Arab Region,  civil society organizations and unions of Arab expatriates to establish a consolidated network  for a systematic exchange of information, knowledge and best practices. In particular, the network will promote links between such organizations and their home countries as well as intra-organizations cooperation, databases for policies, programs and legal norms related to migration in the Arab region, in addition to databases for research centers related to Arab migration and expatriates all over the world.

-     Networking: Supporting networks of Arab migrant skills and activating their role in building partnerships with their home countries and reinforce their contribution in scientific research and in the development process in the Arab world, and calling on universities and research centers in the Arab countries to enhance their communication and cooperation with Arab scientists and skills abroad.

-    Online Communications: Launch a website that targets Arab expatriates abroad, supervised by the Ministry of Immigration and Arab expatriate’s affairs and includes all the topics, information and services, related laws and investment opportunities, facilities accorded to expatriates and bilateral agreements at regional and international level. The website will foster quick, easy and Inexpensive links  between the Arab expatriates from all the world and their home countries , keep them on a full knowledge of the various events taking place at their home countries, as well as access to facilities and services they need electronically without logistical and administrative difficulties.

-       Skill Transfer: Develop infrastructure for scientific research in the Arab world and encourage the transfer of updated technology to reduce the causes that leads to Arab Brain drain and also to encourage Arab skills aboard to participate in the development of their home countries.

-       Policies Harmonization: Unifying and developing  policies, legislation and laws on Arab immigration and expatriates  affairs to support and activate the role of migration in the Arab economic integration.

-      Supporting and Promoting National Initiatives: Adopt and promote national initiatives in the field of communicating with the Arab migrant skills abroad for example the initiative of Qatar that aims at creating a sustainable partnership with Arab Scientists abroad in addition to Syria’s Arab emigrant think tank all established to enhance Arab expatriates to participate in the development efforts in the Arab world.

-      Studies and Research: Conduct training, workshops, expert group meetings, and thematic conferences that aim at promoting the concept of migration and development and publish research and reports related to the importance of the relationships between migration and development in the Arab region in cooperation with international and regional institutions.


Topic 2: Maximizing the benefits of migration for development is amongst the main priorities of mobility partnerships. What are some of the key factors that need to be considered when developing policies in this field?

1) Can you share examples of initiatives implemented in the framework of mobility partnerships that adopt an inclusive approach, i.e. joint initiatives between national governments, local authorities, civil society organizations and Diaspora communities? What is the added value of such partnerships and how can civil society organizations and Diaspora communities be actively engaged in agenda setting and implementation?

We would like to share with you briefly the project we implemented  under the EC-UN intitaive, our Program called “Entrepreneurial “knowledge”: Towards Arab German-Egyptian Women Development Experience, jointly implemented by the Arab Expatriates Department at the League of Arab States, and Arab German Friendship Association in Berlin introduced a good example in building partnership with organizations and associations across borders.

As a leading regional organization, the League of Arab States established a department for Arab Expatriates, which initiated and implemented the project with the German organization. During the life-span of the project, both partners could develop cooperation with a number of NGOs, government-led organizations, business associations, etc. Also, each partner has expanded its outreach to local and regional networks. Products of the project have been widely used by other organizations particularly the training manuals, which developed through intensive discussions between Arab Expatriate women in Germany and their Egyptian counterparts. The outreach of the League of Arab States extends to all member states from gulf to ocean, including plenty of NGOs and other associations operating in Arab countries, and the German partner has its own outreach with German donors, government bodies and NGOs.

The project was a real example of “participatory approach” in development. Materials were made through intensive dialogue at German side, and being modified and adopted to Egyptian case through in-depth discussions. This led to rich products reflecting expectations at both sides, and mutual understanding.


Best wishes,

Arab Expatriates Department

League of Arab States


En tant que représentant de la Direction Régionale des Affaires Sociales, de la Femme et de l’Immigration de la Région de Murcie, en Espagne, institution qui a mis en œuvre divers projets de migration et développement avec le Maroc et l’Amérique latine, je souhaiterais partager avec vous certaines réflexions issues de notre expérience.

Sujet 1: De quelle manière les compétences et les contributions des diasporas peuvent-elles contribuer au développement local et à la création d’emplois dans leurs pays d’origine?

Souvent les immigrants qui souhaitent réaliser des activités productives, sociales ou culturelles dans leurs communautés d’origine se trouvent confrontés à plusieurs difficultés telles que le manque d’information et de connaissances concernant les démarches à suivre et les institutions qui peuvent les aider.

Les gouvernements nationaux et locaux, et même les organisations à but non lucratif peuvent jouer un rôle très important dans le domaine de l'information, du conseil et de l'accompagnement des immigrants. Cette tâche est nécessaire tant dans le pays d’accueil que dans le pays d’origine.

Par exemple, dans la Région de Murcie, beaucoup d'immigrants s'adressent à l'accueil des communes ou bien des ONGs afin d'obtenir des informations concernant la mise en place d'initiatives dans leurs régions d'origine et ils ne sont pas bien informés car ces structures ne disposent pas de renseignement sur ces pays. Parfois, les migrants peuvent être conseillés en ce qui concerne les démarches à suivre en Espagne mais pas sur les opportunités existant dans leur pays d'origine.

D’autre part, dans certains pays d’origine il y a des institutions gouvernementales qui s’occupent de l’accueil des migrants retournés au pays, mais normalement ces institutions sont centralisées dans les capitales ou les grandes villes et ne fournissent pas ce type de services dans les villes ou les villages les plus éloignés. Souvent, les migrants retournés au pays se trouvent désorientés et sans le soutien nécessaire pour reprendre une nouvelle vie.

C'est pourquoi, au cours du projet «Capacités entrepreneuriales à Chimborazo (Equateur)» de l’ICMD, nous avons travaillé en vue d'aider les migrants retournés au pays et nous avons abouti à la mise en place de certaines initiatives économiques.

De ce fait, il est très important que les institutions des pays d'origine et des pays d'arrivée (administrations publiques, universités, associations…) coopèrent dans le but d'améliorer la diffusion de l'information, de conseiller les migrants retournés au pays ou qui souhaitent y retourner ou encore d'aider ceux qui souhaitent collaborer avec leurs communautés d’origine. Cette coopération peut être réalisée au niveau national mais serait surtout plus effective au niveau des régions et des collectivités locales, principalement entre les régions où il existe un flux considérable de migrants. Cette collaboration peut être menée à bien simplement entre institutions ou bien avec des associations ou de façon plus institutionnelle, à travers des conventions formelles entre deux régions ou deux institutions. La coopération bilatérale peut également encourager de nouvelles initiatives de projets de migration et développement.

Les régions d’origine et les régions d'accueil peuvent tirer profit des flux migratoires et créer des liens entre elles en constituant des consortiums. Les objectifs de ce type de partenariat peuvent être les suivants: 1) Conseiller et accompagner les migrants retournés au pays. 2) Créer un réseau économique de migrants entrepreneurs. 3) Susciter des échanges économiques mais aussi culturels entre les deux régions

Sujet 2 : Maximiser les bénéfices de la migration pour le développement est l’une des priorités des partenariats pour la mobilité. Quels facteurs clés doivent être pris en compte lors de l’élaboration de politiques dans ce domaine?

Un des défis principaux que nous devons affronter dans ce type de projets porte sur l’implication des diasporas. Malgré le fait que les associations sont des acteurs utiles, le rôle de l'immigrant est crucial afin de mener à bien des projets de migration pour le développement. Il est nécessaire de souligner que le migrant, et non pas le groupe, décide de l'utilisation de son argent et de son temps. De plus, dans le pays d’accueil, l'immigrant doit d'abord résoudre divers besoins (travail, logement, langue…). De plus, il doit souvent envoyer de l’argent à la famille restée au pays. Néanmoins, une fois que l'immigrant est bien installé dans la région d'accueil, il se trouve en disposition d'intervenir et de jouer un rôle dans le développement de sa région d'origine. Il s'agit d'une décision personnelle et volontaire de chaque migrant.

Dans la Région de Murcie, a été réalisé un projet avec des migrants équatoriens, de 2006 à 2009. Au début du projet, l'immigration équatorienne était trop récente, ce qui a provoqué de nombreux problèmes au moment d'impliquer les migrants équatoriens dans les activités organisées avec leur localité d’origine. De plus, de nombreuses associations de migrants ont été créées uniquement dans le but de tirer profit des subventions dudit projet.

Par contre, un autre projet (Tawasol 2007-2011) a été mené dans la Région de Murcie avec des migrants marocains. Ledit projet a travaillé directement avec des migrants qui avait déjà démontré leur intérêt et leur motivation concernant le développement de leur région d'origine, et qui avaient collaboré antérieurement avec les communes et les ONGS de la région de Murcie. Ce sont d'ailleurs ces institutions qui ont servi d'intermédiaires afin de présenter ledit projet à ces migrants.

En conclusion, notre expérience nous a confirmé que les Autorités Locales peuvent accomplir un rôle important dans le domaine de la migration pour le développement car ce sont les institutions les plus proches des immigrants. Il existe une complémentarité très forte entre le Gouvernement régional, les Autorités Locales et les Associations de la société civile. Chacune de ces institutions joue un rôle prépondérant: l'Administration régionale possède une approche plus ample, les Autorités locales ont l'avantage de la proximité et les Associations, celui de la flexibilité.

De plus, pour que ce type de partenariat fonctionne, il est crucial de collaborer (dans le pays d’accueil et aussi dans le pays d’origine) avec des associations solides, bien organisées, dotées de bonnes capacités techniques et d'une parfaite connaissance des problématiques des migrants et de leurs familles.


Bien cordialement,

Antonio García-Nieto

Dirección General de Asuntos Sociales,Igualdad e Inmigración, Consejería de Sanidad y Política Social; Comunidad Autónoma Región de Murcia; Avda. de la Fama nº 3; 30071 Murcia; Telf.  968 36 5172; Fax.  968 366841


Chers members,

 En tant que membre de la diaspora burundaise en Suède, membre du comité exécutif de l'association "Afrosvenskarna" ASR cad des afrosuédois, je voudrais partager avec vous mes refelcions par rapport à cette discussion en ligne. Nous sommes une association où a évolué l'actuel Ministre de L'Intégration et l'Égalité des sexes en Suède; Madame Nyamko Sabuni d'origine Congolaise (Kinshasa) et née au Burundi.

SUJET 1 : De quelle manière les compétences et les contributions des diasporas peuvent-ils contribuer au développement local et à la création d'emplois dans leurs pays d'origine ?

 a) Quels éléments assurent la réussite d'un programme de retour et de réintégration ?

Les problèmes de la diaspora en ce qui concerne le retour et la réintégration au pays natal se ressemblent dans beaucoup des pays. Il existe néanmoins des différences près selon les spécificités de chaque pays. Je me baserai ainsi sur mon pays pour des éléments de réponse. Le Burundi a eu des travailleurs migrants par le passé à destination des pays voisins avant l'indépendance mais le véritable mouvement migratoire d'où est partie la presque totalité de la diaspora burundaise fut issu des guerres plus tard et ses effets néfastes. Cette question de retour et de réintégration est d'une très grande importance au Burundi puisque le pays est dans une phase post-conflictuelle. Les barundi susceptibles de rentrer sont deux ordres: a) Des barundi candidats au retour définitif et b) des barundi candidats au retour temporaire soient pour faire des "affaires" ou  porter mains fortes aux membres de la familles restés au pays soient pour faire partager aux compatriotes les connaissances acquises à l'extérieur. Dans cette catégorie l'on pourrait ajouter des barundi prêts à aider leurs compatriotes sans pour autant se rendre au pays. C'est ainsi que le pays s'est organisé de différentes manières afin de porter appui à un mouvement de retour pressant. C'est le cas de la création du Ministère de la Solidarité Nationale, du Rapatriement des Réfugiés de la Reconstruction Nationale et de la Réintégration Sociale. Il sera très opérationnel avec le retour définitif des migrants. L'on a également le Département de la Diaspora au sein du Ministère des Relations Extérieures et de la Coopération internationale. Il sera plus efficace à l'écoute au deuxième groupe cité. Nous apprenons dans ce cadre qu'une conférence internationale de la diaspora burundaise est en vue cette année au Burundi. Quoiqu'il en soit, l' on comprends aisément que la première préoccupation des migrants sera la sécurité; la sécurité de la personne et des biens dans tous les cas. C'est ce même élément sécuritaire qui avait fait défaut aux barundi, entraînant leur exode hors des frontères.

- Nous aurons ainsi d'une part des élements qui incombent aux migrants pour la réussite de leurs actions au pays natal  tels que des éléments relatifs à l'information sur son pays que l'on a quitté depuis un temps.

-Nous aurons aussi des éléments qui incombent au pays d'accueil en ce qui concernent des structures d'accueil. Ce sont des structrures qui auront des variantes si le pays s'y est suffsamment préparé puisque les migrants rentrent avec des capacités d'intégration différentes. L'on sait par exemple qu'un jeune paysan agriculteur qui rentre d'un pays anglophone afin de cultiver la terre n'aura pas les mêmes besoins qu'un professeur chercheur d'une université belge qui déciderait de rentrer au Burundi, son pays natal, faire partager son " savoir faire". Son temps étant le plus souvent limité, il aura besoin par exemple d'un système de dédouanement temporaire rapide pour ses appareils électroniques tandis que le paysan désirant de renter définitivement aura besoins des nouvelles sur les biens de sa famille encore disponibles tels que des biens immeubles comme les propriétés foncières. Quant au migrant homme d'affaire murundi de la diaspora, il se posera des questions commun aux hommes d'affaires relatives au système d'exonération encourageant, les avantages concernant l' adhésion du Burundi à la communauté anglophone de l'Est Afrique, une clientèle à l'Est du Congo garantie etc... C'est dire qu'avant de mener une politique de retour et de réinsertion des migrants il existe un préalable. C'est notamment disposer des informations sur les migrants susceptibles de rentrer et s'y préparer en conséquence. Sinon  il y a risque pour le pays  d'être surpris  et de créer des conflits entre les résidents et les migrants de retour au pays natal en cas de retour défintif ou de découragement de la diaspora s'agissant d'un retour temporaire pour mener des actions de développement. Afin d'éviter des informations erronées, des descentes sur le terrain éclaireraient davantage les décideurs politiques avant l'opération de retour et de réintégration des migrants. Le Burundi savait par exemple qu'avant de lancer la politique de retour défintif et de réintégration des migrants et des réfugiés, il y avait en Tanzanie voici bientôt 5 ans, au moins 30.000 burundais susceptibles de rentrer au pays natal.

-De quelle manière les gouvernements nationaux et locaux (ou autres acteurs) peuvent-ils promouvoir le transfert des compétences des migrants vers les communautés d'origines ? Pouvez-vous fournir des exemples concrets ? Quels sont les secteurs qui bénéficient le plus de ces compétences ? Comment ces derniers contribuent-ils au développement économiques et local ?

-Connaissez-vous des initiatives émanant d'une diaspora qui encouragent la création d'emploi et augmentent l'employabilité en particulier en ce qui concernent les jeunes ?

Dans la question précédente, j'ai déjà énoncé la création des structures d'accueil qui sont indispensables, une manifestation de la volonté du gouvernement. Cette volonté au Burundi s'est traduite  par la création  d'un département de la diaspora au sein du Ministère des Relations extérieures et de la Coopération internationale. Il reste à lui donner les moyens à la dimension de sa mission afin de galvaniser les potentialités de la diaspora burundaise qui fait ses preuves là où elle est, malgré un exil pour la majorité des burundais relativement récent. 

Au Burundi, les secteurs qui bénéficient des compétences de la diaspora, c'est avant tout la santé et l'éducation. La raison est que le Burundi de forte est doté d'une forte densité de la population (105 hab. par km2) dont 51 % de la population est de moins de 18 ans. Dans le secteur de la santé, c'est soit au nivau des initiatives isolées de docteurs burundais orientant des recherches pour l'amélioration de la santé des Barundi avec des fonds extérieurs ou c'est au sein des associations des barundi qui cherchent des fonds pour la construction des dispensaires. Au niveau de l'éducation, c'est le cas des professeurs visiteurs ou des associations des barundi qui cherchent des fonds pour la construction des écoles primaires et secondaires afin d'épauler le gouvernement qui a fait de la scolarisation des enfants une priorité.  Les exemples concrets des membres de la diaspora sont nombreux en Europe, en Suède, Norvège, Belgique, Hollande etc... Il s'en suit une création de l'emploi synonyme de développement social et humain de la population entraînant un développement local. Un secteur de nos jours prend son envol où la diaspora pourrait jouer un rôle remarquable. C'est le tourisme revitalisé grâce au dynamisme des cadres du ministère ayant le tourisme dans ses attributions. Un point d'orgue est que ce ministère vient d'avoir un prix au Salon International de Tourisme à Berlin. La diaspora burundaise est déjà mise à contribution. C'est ainsi par exemple que grâce à l'initiative conjointe de l'ambassadeur du Burundi en Russie et des membres de la diaspora burundaise qui font leur vie en Russie; un groupe d'hommes d'affaires touristes russes accompagnés des journalistes s'est rendu au Burundi pour s'enquérir  des possibilités d'investissement au Burundi.

- Quelles alliances stratégiques et partenariats devraient être mis en place pour garantir que ces initiatives répondent aux besoins locaux et provoquent les activités d'entreprenariat des migrants et de leurs familles ?

Toutes les opérations de nature à rendre les alliances plus durables sont très louables. Les partenaires sont d'une part les migrants et leurs bailleurs de fonds et d'autre part  les acteurs locaux au pays natal. Ces opérations seraient notamment des accords de coopérations entre les acteurs cités plus haut, des jumelages et des visites sur les lieux, les centres de développement ciblés. Je suis partisan de cette approche dans la mesure du possible, à savoir des descentes sur le terrain pour avoir effectués deux fois deux voyages dans mon pays avec des scandinaves. C'est aussi ce que j'avais fait en invitant des jeunes de Suède en Tunisie dans le cadre du programme JMDI en 2009; mon pays n'ayant pas été choisi parmi les premiers pays bénéficiaires. Il est certain qu'une coopération à base d'une conaissance mutuelle et l'amitié entre les acteurs, s'avère par la suite plus spontanée car la connaissance du terrain renforce davantage la volonté d'intervention. Un des exemples en Norvège initié par notre compatriote Japhet Ndayishimiye est à signaler. En effet, après des voyages réciproques au Burundi et en Norvège entre norvégiens et burundais, il en est suivi un jumelage entre deux minicipalités norvégiennes et burundaises. Au Burundi, il s'agit de la commune Butaganzwa et en norvège le commune Hâ. Outre la construction d'un dispensaire au Burundi et la rénovation de l'abattoir de Butaganzwa; la première action des norvégiens "a été d'apporter de l'eau potable à plus de 400 ménages  avec l'objectif général d'installer des puits de l'eau potable dans toute la commune de Butaganzwa. Auparavant, le probléme existant était la fuite observée et l'utilisation de l'eau d'une manière incontrôlée dans des milieux proches des étangs ce qui entraînaient la pénurie de l'eau dans des services publics ...".

Telle est ma contribution aux questions posées.

Bien à vous.

Louis Ruzoviyo


Chers membres de la Communauté de Pratique,

En tant que président de  l’AMSED à Strasbourg et coordinateur du projet ‘Le compagnonnage des migrants, un nouvel outil levier du développement du pays d’origine’ financé par l’Initiative Conjointe sur la Migration et le Développement, je voudrais apporter mes réflexions et expériences aux questions posées dans cette discussion en ligne.

SUJET 1 : De quelle manière les compétences et les contributions des diasporas peuvent-ils contribuer au développement local et à la création d'emplois dans leurs pays d'origine ?

1)     Quels éléments assurent la réussite d'un programme de retour et de réintégration ? Pouvez-vous donner des exemples spécifiques de mécanismes d'adéquation de l'offre et de la demande sur le marché du travail pour les futurs migrants et les migrants de retour ? Quel rôle jouent les partenaires sociaux, le secteur privé et la société civile dans ce processus ?

Le éléments pouvant assurer la réussite de programme de mobilité et de circulation des compétences des migrants pour le développement du pays d’origine peuvent se situer au  niveau intrinsèque du migrant, de sa prise de conscience du mal développement du pays ou du territoire d’origine du migrant qu’il connait bien de par son origine, sa famille restée dans le pays …  cela peut se traduire par la connaissance des éléments de diagnostic suivants, vécus par les migrants:

- L’exode rural et la fuite des cerveaux et leurs impacts négatifs sur le développement de la région d’origine (zone rurale et montagneuses)

- L’inexistence d’opportunités de formation de proximité dans un secteur ou filière particulière- Un taux de chômage intolérable (30 % de la population par exemple) touchant surtout les jeunes et les femmes, dans les territoires les plus reculés du pays

- Une sous-exploitation des potentiels que représentent les capacités des migrants, ancienne de plus d’un siècle- Une très faible implication des migrants dans le développement de leurs pays d’origine

Ainsi les solutions et les programmes ne peuvent qu’être pérennes, puisqu’ils émanent de vrais besoins identifié localement.

Quant aux mécanismes adéquats liés à l’offre et à la demande du marché du travail se construisent sur la base d’une vrai concertation entre les acteurs locaux et de proximité : le migrants et leurs organisations,  les associations locales de jeunes, de femmes, socioprofessionnelle ou de développement local ; les autorités locales (services déconcentrés de l’état (subdivision agricole par exemple), les chambres consulaires au niveau régionale, les élus locaux,  les dispositifs de financements publics ou privés de projet, les universités;  petit investisseurs locaux.

Ces mécanismes de développement endogène prennent diverses formes : la création d’un consortium pluri-acteurs comme outils et espace de réflexion et d’identification de besoins des populations locales, ou des conseils de concertation et d’orientation en tant  de bonne gouvernance du projet.

2)     De quelle manière les gouvernements nationaux et locaux (ou d'autres acteurs) peuvent-ils promouvoir les transferts des compétences des migrants vers leurs communautés d'origine ? Pouvez-vous fournir des exemples concrets ? Quels secteurs économiques bénéficient le plus de ces compétences ? Comment ces derniers contribuent-ils au développement économique local ?

La méthode de compagnonnage pratiquée par l'AMSED Association Migration solidarité et Echange pour le développement)  est ses partenaires  l’ADPAL (l’association pour le développement et la promotion de l’artisanat traditionnel) et l’APAM (l’association pour la promotion de l’apiculture de montagne) dans le pays d’accueil et dans le pays d’origine, s'est avérée un outil efficace pour la mobilité et le retour des migrant dans le pays d’origine l’Algérie) promouvoir la circulation des compétences des migrants vers leurs communautés d'origine.

Le compagnonnage désigne l’action de formation, formalisée ou non, menée par un compagnon, et le compagnon est un agent expérimenté qui partage progressivement ses connaissances et ses savoir-faire avec son binôme afin que ce dernier puisse acquérir les compétences transmises.

Le compagnonnage s’appuie donc sur la solidarité entre des personnes expérimentées dans une profession, volontaires pour partager leurs connaissances et leurs savoir-faire avec leurs compatriotes. Le compagnonnage comprend l'identification des capacités des migrants de la diaspora algérienne ainsi que le fait de les sensibiliser et les répertorier dans une banque de compétences en vue de les impliquer et de renforcer leur rôle dans le processus de développement de leurs pays d'origine. La méthode du compagnonnage, en tant que stratégie, pratiquée par l'AMSED comporte cinq entrées différentes, à savoir :

  1. Les formations de renforcement de capacités des acteurs locaux (apiculture, fromagerie, conduite de projets, teinture végétale, formations de formateurs - multiplicateurs ...)
  2. Les outils virtuels (une banque de compétences répertoriant les compétences de 220 membres de la diaspora algérienne et leurs associations, un blog, un forum virtuel et une boîte à outils)
  3. L'appui aux projets concrets de développement local à travers la création des ruchers-écoles, un outil innovant contribuant au développement local avec un impact structurant sur le territoire.
  4. Le forum sur la migration et le développement du pays d'origine, un outil vivant et participatif réunissant migrants et porteurs de projets locaux et facilitant le transfert des ressources des migrants et la coopération décentralisée
  5. L'accompagnement des porteurs de projet à travers par exemple une sensibilisation aux notions de base relatives aux initiatives d'investissements économiques, du conseil dans les dispositifs de financement, un appui aux projets par des associations locaux, et la mise en réseau des porteurs de projets en bénéficiant de l'expertise pluridisciplinaire des personnes-ressources répertoriées dans la banque de compétences.

Ainsi, les compétences, les connaissances et les réseaux des migrants, qui sont souvent faiblement impliqués dans le développement du pays d'origine, sont mobilisés via les activités concrètes de formation, permettant le renforcement des capacités des apiculteurs et des éleveurs et des agents de développement local dans trois wilaya différentes Tizi Ouzou, Bejaia et Boumerdes (élus, chambres consulaires, dispositifs publics de financements de projets CNAC, ANSEJ, organisations issues de la société civile et porteurs de projets locaux). Le secteur bénéficiant du transfert de ces compétences est avant tout le secteur agricole, un secteur à très fort potentiel en tant que déclencheur du développement rural mais qui jusqu'à présent reste sous-exploité.

En résumé et par rapport à notre expérience les gouvernement nationaux, via leurs service déconcentrés, contribue au transferts des compétences des migrants via son implication au niveau local dans les actions de concertation pluri-acteurs (associations, petits investisseur locaux, autorités locales, élus, universités, dispositifs de financements dans les deux rives) utilisant des outils tels les Consortium, les ateliers de réflexion, Conseil de concertation.

Le secteur économique bénéficiant des apports des migrants dépendent fortement de l’approche préalable du projet, issu de la réflexion stratégique des partenaires locaux et des ressources des migrants. Est-elles horizontale (territorial zone urbaine ou rural) ou vertical (un raisonnement par filière, l’apiculture, l’élevage …) ? Les acteurs peuvent ainsi avoir une approche globale ou spécifique à une filière.

Au-delà de cette classification, les critères ci-dessous motivent davantage les acteurs, partenaires et bénéficiaires de cette dynamique de transfert de compétences :

Des projets innovants, tels que les ruchers écoles et ayant un double approche verticale (filière) et transversal au niveau d’un territoire sont mobilisateur des ressources des migrants et des partenariats dans la région d’origine

- Des projets structurants  pour un territoire, inscrits dans la durée et ayant des impacts multiple sur le développement économique local (emploi, équipement de proximité, formation, animation, agrotourisme  …)  donne une forte légitimité aux migrants et partenaires locaux;

L’alternance entre approches individuels (appui aux projets), collective (formation, atelier de réflexion action, séminaire de capitalisation) et virtuel (banque de compétences) favorise la qualité du transfert des ressources des migrants

La mobilité temporaire des migrants (mission d’appui) fédère les acteurs et renforcent les dynamique locale endogène

3)     Connaissez-vous des initiatives, émanant d'une diaspora, qui encouragent la création d'emploi et augmentent l'employabilité, en particulier en ce qui concerne les jeunes ? Quelles alliances stratégiques et partenariats devraient être mis en place pour garantir que ces initiatives répondent aux besoins locaux et promeuvent les activités d'entrepreneuriat des migrants et leurs familles ?

Les « ruchers-écoles », outils innovants et structurant pour le développement local, mis en place dans le cadre du projet de compagnonnage des migrants sont un exemple concret d'une initiative qui encouragent à la fois la création d'emplois,  augmente l'employabilité des chômeurs et l’égalité homme femme. Il existe actuellement une dizaine de ruchers-écoles en Algérie. Ils contribuent à la création d'emplois en zone rurale ou en zone de montagnes enclavées, mais ils constituent aussi une formation à proximité, permettant aux jeunes de la région d'acquérir de nouvelles compétences dans le domaine de l'apiculture. En outre, de diverses formations de renforcement de capacités, tels que les formations sur la fromagerie, l'apiculture, la teinture végétale et la conduite de projets, ainsi que les visites d'immersion contribuent aussi à renforcer les compétences de la population locale en vue d'augmenter leur employabilité et/ou de leur aider dans le montage de leur propre projet. 

Dans ce type de projets, il est indispensable de travailler en consortium, avec une forte implication d'acteurs dans la diversité de leurs compétences et appartenances. Le fonctionnement qu’a eu le consortium dans lequel l'AMSED a travaillé dans le cadre du projet de compagnonnage de migrants donne un exemple de comment ces partenariats peuvent être mis en place. Il s'agit d'un plan de développement local endogène et ascendant associant des acteurs privés et publics ainsi que  la société civile. D'un côté, il y a le réseau régional de l'AMSED en France: les bénévoles de l'association, les différentes universités de notre région (l'Université de Strasbourg, l'Université de Haute-Alsace à Mulhouse et l'Université de Franche-Comté à Besançon), des associations d'apiculteurs, un rucher-école local, des associations de migrants, des migrants individuels, des collectivités territoriales et des personnes ressources. De l'autre côté, au niveau régional en Algérie, se trouve des associations, des universités, des chambres consulaires, des communes, l'Assemblée Populaire de la Wilaya de Tizi-Ouzou, des entreprises, des dispositifs de financement publics et des personnes ressources. Les plus-values de ce type de réseaux se trouvent dans le cadre de l'information, la formation, l'appui aux projets, les recherches de ressources, la mutualisation de moyens, les productions d'outils, etc.

SUJET 2 : Maximiser les bénéfices de la migration pour le développement est l'une des priorités des partenariats pour la mobilité. Quels facteurs clés doivent être pris en compte lors de l'élaboration de politiques dans ce domaine ?

Comment les partenariats pour la mobilité peuvent orienter et rendre soutenables les actions réalisées à l'initiative de la coopération décentralisée ?

Les partenariats pour la mobilité peuvent rendre durable les actions réalisées dans le cadre de la coopération décentralisé à travers ce qui suit :

  1. La reconnaissance, sans ambiguïté, de l’apport de la migration pour le développement du pays d’origine. Les migrants possèdent des capitaux et ressources sociales, humaines, culturelles et financières non négligeables pour le développement du pays d’origine ;
  2. La considération du migrant comme un développeur ou un médiateur de par sa double culture, sa connaissance et maitrise des rouages et complexité du pays d’accueil et du pays d’origine 
  3. Avoir une volonté politique de part et d’autre ; c’est-à-dire des deux territoires ou collectivités en coopération pour travailler dans la durée, et ce en articulation avec les pouvoirs publics nationaux. Cela se traduit concrètement par le partage des même enjeux, la mise en place de  stratégie de développement local concertée, plans d’action opérationnels ; ainsi que les moyens humains et financier 

Est-il possible d'envisager un accord global qui reconnaît le rôle spécifique des collectivités – administrations locales en particulier des pays d'origine au travail avec les homologues des pays de destination en particulier pour une implication correcte de tous les acteurs locaux (société civile, monde économique local, etc.) dans la mise en œuvre des accords de mobilité ?

En d'autres termes, est-il possible d'envisager des accords de mobilité de « territoire à territoire » gérés au niveau local, reconnus et suivis par les deux pays concernés ?

De par notre expérience  de compagnonnage des migrants en partenariat avec l’Algérie, dans le cadre de l’initiative conjointe pour la migration et développement nous avons constaté un fort engouement  des migrants, leurs organisations en France et Europe, des divers acteurs du pays d’origine impliqués dans les actions (autorités et élus locaux, dispositifs de financement de microprojets, société civile, petits investisseurs locaux, les medias …).

En effet, la viabilité et pérennité de cet engouement pourra passer par la création de cadres adéquats facilitant la prise d’initiatives maximale et fluidifier ainsi la circulation des ressources des migrants en vue du développement du pays d’origine. Ces espaces innovants peuvent prendre les formes suivantes :

  1. Développer des accords de partenariats « territoire à territoire », une forme de coopération décentralisée extensive ouvertes à tous les acteurs privés et publics, ne se limitant pas aux collectivités locales. Nous pouvons l’appeler « le Co-développement décentralisé », et centré sur les contributions des migrants
  2. La création d’Agences de la Migration et le Développement (AMD) du pays d’origine dans les pays d’accueil et qui auront comme missions de capter les migrants et leurs ressources en vue de les mobiliser au profit du pays d’origine, tout en créant les mécanismes facilitant leurs prises d’initiatives. Ces agences peuvent créer des antennes régionales dans le pays d’origine ou fonctionner d’une façon plus souple ; en développant des programmes de proximité, concertés et pluri-acteurs (association locales, organisations socioprofessionnelles, chambres consulaires, service déconcentrés de l’Etat, collectivités locales,  universités, dispositifs de financement, investisseurs locaux …). Notre association et ses partenaires ont déjà expérimenté cette deuxième approche organisationnelle dans le cadre d’un consortium.


Bien cordialement,

 Djilali Kabeche


Dear Members,

My contribution to the CoP is a freestyle, sometimes ironic, “narrative” based upon a number of hands-on practice of the Veneto Region policy and measures and special projects on return and co-development in which I have been personally involved since 2006. It also makes specific quotes from the report “From Migration to Development:  Lessons Drawn from the Experience of Local Authorities” which I co-edited for the JMDI with Anna Lucia Colleo (Nomisma - report coordinator) in 2010.  The report is available in English French , Italian and Spanish at the JMDI website : http://www.migration4development.org/content/migration-development-lessons-drawn-experience-local-authorities

Sandra Rainero (Veneto Lavoro – Regional Employment Agency of Veneto Region)

Topic 1: How can the skills and contributions of diasporas help foster local development and employment creation in their countries of origin?  

Experts of migration and those of development often speak different languages, so do local authorities and other different actors, such as NGOs or diasporas’ associations. One of the main topics of discussion is the idea that only a certain level of development in origin areas triggers migration (domestic or international – possibly with exception of forced migration - as part of a family, group or individual strategy) and that migration (migrants or diaspora in our case) can contribute to the development of their countries of origin only when a certain degree of development (in terms of policies at least, without underestimating other social and cultural aspects) is in place in the origin countries and when ALL their resources, skills, financial and social capital are recognized and mobilized for development.  As a result of the personal experience (as a scholar and a practitioner) that I have had in the last 8 years working for a local authority I tend to agree with this view.  All these conditions cannot happen overnight, and require at least the absence of divergent goals, and some policy coherence both in origin and destination countries, this can make migration work for development.

As we have mentioned in the “From Migration to Development” JMDI report, a “solid knowledge base” is the first step to understand the nexus between migration and development.  The key word of “solid” knowledge and afterwards “solid” or effective contribution to development depends on the capacity of research to embed some general concepts and data (statistics, trends, figures, behaviours etc) by gathering and distinguishing them from a local perspective. The concept of “location” -- meant as the sum of social and power relations and opportunities – is pivotal to the understanding of trends and features of human mobility.  It is widely acknowledged that migrants do not simply move from country to country, but rather they tend to follow specific routes, which connect precise areas or localities of origin and destination. Therefore, general assumptions in the M&D field may become more or less relevant when looked at and acted upon from the local perspective, the “solid” base needs to be embedded in the local realities.

Starting in 2006, in Veneto, we have started analyzing the most “visible” potential factor of development triggered by migration: remittances, with a focus on remittance flows to Eastern Europe.  Working in partnership with the local Chamber of commerce and other socio-economic actors however, our focus has gradually shifted to the analysis of “spontaneous” dynamics that referred to the flows of “skills” and “competences” to and from our region: namely the entrepreneurial attitude of migrants and the potential that such undertakings may have for development both in origin and destination areas.  It has become clear that the positive governance of such trends could benefit both ends of the migration experience. It has also become clear that a transnational, multi-stakehoder and multi level effort was necessary to create an enabling environment to capitalize on such dynamics.

“Experience shows that migrants’ ownership is reinforced when there is a direct contribution from migrant groups in terms of human capital (identifying, developing and assessing skills and capacities), financial capital (by investing or putting at disposal remittances/savings for development), and social capital (by facilitating relationships and building on family and social networks for better cooperation and joint action between origin, transit, and destination countries).” Working on these three sets of interconnected skills before, during and after the migration experience is the only way to make migrants’ resources work for development. Clearly it is a task that is shared among a number of different actors in origin and destination areas, which makes it impossible to define general strategies of what works and does not. We go back to the local relevance and vested interests.

This difficulty is linked to the concept of “convergence” of goals in the management of M&D, with a focus on skills, an example can shed light on the ambivalence of involved actors, especially when we talk about “return” of such skills. In a small-scale survey that my Agency carried out in 2010 with a sample of 100 SMEs in the Veneto area, we asked local companies that had migrant workers as employees whether they considered the idea of investing in countries of their migrant workers, giving them a role in this process. Very few respondents answered that they might consider the option, but a large number were worried to lose competitive skills for which they trained and invested in their plants/production chain.

This means that skills – especially scarcely available skills in the labour market – are not easily relinquished by those who have invested in them.

Finally, the issue of skills needs to be looked at from at least two perspectives, one that concerns destination areas: in order to value migrants’ skills (and the debate on EU blue card is an example of this skewed view of migration dynamics in Europe) a good system to recognize skills (formal, but especially informal and non formal) is a step to a better inclusion in the socio / cultural/economic system of destination areas to positively exploit them and to respond to actual labour market demands. As it has been already mention in this CoP, a successful return depends on a successful migration experience: gaining skills, avoiding brain waste is certainly a good start.  Also, skills and innovation that migrants learn and possess need to have a value in their area of origin and this is not a “given”.

Topic 1: How can the skills and contributions of diasporas help foster local development and employment creation in their countries of origin?

One would think that communities, authorities, and stakeholders in origin countries would be more than willing to accept and make productive use of skills of migrants. For different reasons this does not happen automatically, instead migrants lament the opposite, that is, a certain degree of skepticism for skills and trades learned abroad. As I have learned interviewing and working with migrants and companies in Moldova and Romania, while many migrants regularly return home, mostly for brief periods of time, their permanent return is perceived in an ambivalent way by the local communities of origin.  This is especially true for business communities that are not particularly flexible and that see return enterprise with suspicion rather than a resource for the local market.  The entrepreneurs of immigrant background interviewed in Italy have repeatedly raised this issue of “foreignness” during their attempt to establish new businesses in their place of origin, where the financial investments were easily accepted but their consequent presence was not fully supported, causing the entrepreneurs to go back to the country of destination.

In our surveys we have highlighted stereotypes on both sides: on one hand migrants show limited trust (especially of public authorities) of origin countries and on the other hand actors, companies and institutions have an ambivalent attitude towards skills and contributions of the diaspora, because they think that returning migrants have expectations that exceed the labour market (in terms of salary or work conditions) and the economy (for example access to credit) standards.

We have also learned that it is important for origin-country institutions to build stable relationships not only with the central but also among the local levels and to foster public and – critically - private collaboration. Destination-country institutions should promote skills circularity, linking skills to economic policies and incentives for local companies who are interested in investing and creating spin-offs or joint ventures, especially with returnees, because in a number of cases, this has proven successful.

Origin-country institutions should make sure that the channels of communication with the diaspora is maintained open, especially through direct support and information that starts before and continues during the migration experience, about possibilities to regularly migrate, build on skills and competences and productively return. This can help reduce the negative attitudes that migrants have with regard to their origin country institutions (not true for all nationalities, but a recurrent trend).

Finally, based on another experience in which my agency has been involved in the framework of a EU- Migration and Asylum financed project, I want to point the attention to the importance of skills in their relationship to incentives (see also point 2) especially of financial nature, that can be developed to foster the capitalization of migrants for their origin areas development.

The Italian Ministry of Exterior Affairs has set up with the Senegalese government a 20 M € scheme, called “Plasepri” which is meant to facilitate investment in Senegal, a part of this facility is dedicated to the Senegalese diaspora willing to invest (through physical or virtual return) in their origin country.

More recently the Veneto Region has invested in a small guarantee fund to help would-be (return) entrepreneurs access credit (providing a collateral for banks in Senegal). Both experiences represent good practice in terms of innovative tools to try to overcome what is a common obstacle in creating (return but not only) business: the difficulty in accessing credit for start-up of those businesses that cannot be assisted by either microcredit (the threshold too low for the start-up) or large scale investments (the requirements cannot be met by SMEs).

These tools represent a step forward to the problem of access to credit, a major issue remains the skills of the would-be entrepreneurs, and therefore the quality of the businesses and the issue of their sustainability. That is, banks, even in the presence of a guarantee or other financial mechanisms that facilitate access to credit, still require a sound business plan and assess according to their rating system.

That is to say, in order to facilitate business investment by the diaspora, financial facilities per se are only a piece of the work to be done.

Entrepreneurial skills need to be assessed, developed and accompanied by a system of qualified services in a transnational effort. Skills – and a good business idea – are the basis on which to build (as Dr. Cassarino puts it in his theory or return) “prepare and mobilize” all the different sets of resources - including the financial capital, which represents one important but in some instances, not the most critical asset. Adequate resources and time are of essence.

1)     What makes a successful return and reintegration programme?  Can you give specific examples of labour matching mechanisms that have worked to ensure the sustainable reintegration of returning migrants? What is the role of the social partners, the private sector and civil society in this process?

We have learned that productive return, reintegration and its developmental potential vary according to the dynamics that have caused them. Moreover, with some limited exceptions such as the case of the Philippines, governments have not yet committed to specific policies or measures that facilitate this type of return. The sheer numbers of citizens abroad, the remittances that they send home and the fact that other countries are providing them with social and economic opportunities, all these factors make of migration a socio-economic lever for these countries, at least in the short term

The «Return Information Desk - RID» has been active in Veneto since 2008. The RID with small resources at disposal has been a process of learning by doing. Over time the RID has been developed, also in the framework of transnational projects such as Migravalue (CADSES programme) into a structured network that foresees a promoter, the Central Node (The Veneto Region through the RID) that liaise with both the local authorities and the business support bodies as Operational Nodes, and a system which includes different stakeholders that operate both in origin and destination areas as Network Partners (service and information providers).

What we have learned is that the success of a return path and its developmental impact depend on the migrant’s ability to weave and maintain over time a number of connections with individuals, interest groups and communities which allow the individual –at both ends of the migration experience –to capitalize in its broadest sense her/his experience. Such networking skill becomes a crucial asset of the experience itself.  Analogously, the strategy, actions and services developed by the RID aim foremost at creating an enabling transnational environment for migrants who wish to invest productively in their origin country, but require assistance in identifying the facilities and a trusted support network(s) to do so. 

The Return Information Desk is above all an information service.

  • “first information” service concerning the aims and the role of the RID;
  • “country information” concerning current economic, social and financial situation of the country of origin;
  • “legislative information” concerning the actual and recent legislation in the field of migration, return, visa, social support, insurance and children education…;

The Rid organizes periodical meetings and workshops with a number of public and private actors, in order to update all the potential stakeholders and to be updated with reference to the more recent trends in migratory flows in the Veneto area.

  • Periodical Networking Activities with the practitioners working on migration in the regional area (migration flows, integration, social care, …) such as migrants associations and diasporas, social partners, microcredit associations/ institutions, employment centers, chambers of commerce, professional associations and training centers;
  • Monitoring activities concerning funding opportunities for productive return projects and information to the beneficiaries; 

Finally the RID has started bilateral relations with countries of origin where networks of stakeholders are necessary not only in host countries, but also where migrants intend to return. The invitation of the RID to meet stakeholders in the origin country may seem a banal step, but the meetings have highlighted that building a network on this theme entails a great effort: in all the meetings organized by the RID in 4 countries, many stakeholders sat to share return migration issues around the same table for the first time.

Initially, the overwhelming majority of the migrants that have approached the RID did so with a business idea in mind. Given the different features of the labour market in Veneto and their country of origin, returning as employees was not seen as a viable option. The enduring economic crisis that has hit our region has changed this trend, although not completely. Entrepreneurship, even at micro-business level has been the most common idea among the clients of the RID in the last three years.

While building the networks, we have noted that in order to function, local administrations but also relevant non-governmental actors (diasporas), including trade unions and employers’ representations, need to build their capacity to work together towards common goals, this is as necessary as giving full ownership and responsibility to migrants.  

Finally, one last word on the role of Public Employment Services (PES). In the framework of the Mobility Partnership project with Moldova our Agency has signed an agreement with the Public Employment Services of Moldova to share information on potential would-be returnees and vacancies that are available in Moldova. We have also helped the project’s partner organize a Job fair in Padua, where some companies located in Moldova and Moldovan citizens (through the diaspora) met and discussed about opportunities to return.  

My experience indicates that labour migration and mobility management depend on an efficient labour information system (LIS) that can and should include labour market data usable at transnational level (just like the EURES system does for EU mobility). A Good information system allows for management but also planning of policy and measures linked to the actual labour demand- supply dynamics.  The other important thing is the cooperation, also in terms of capacity building and technical assistance, with the origin country PES and the capability to link labour market policy to other policies and actors (social, educational, financial etc) and engage them on a constant basis. In case of return and reintegration are paramount. 

2)     What kind of incentives can national and local governments, or other stakeholders, provide so as to promote the transfer of skills from migrants to their communities of origin? Can you provide concrete examples? Which sectors benefit the most from these skills and how do they contribute to the local economic development?

Since 2006, we have started to look at some mechanisms and incentives that could assist migrants in transferring their skills to their origin countries, starting from the project Migravalue and followed by the IFAD –funded project “SME” that focused on Romania and Moldova return entrepreneurship. The idea was to promote the creation of “migrant banking” products and assess the feasibility of a transnational guarantee fund.

Veneto Banca, a local bank of the Venice area, has developed, also in the framework of SME, a number of tools to attract migrant customers, especially for the Balkans countries, where it has created an international financial group.  The tools developed are tailored to encourage migrants to open bank accounts offering banking services that respond to their needs (loans for houses, twin accounts, increased number of ATMs in rural areas) with low fees for the transnational use of savings. These tools are important for migrants and their families because return entrepreneurship entails other financial needs of different nature (return of family, necessity to maintain an account both in Italy and Romania/Moldova, mortgage etc.). Furthermore A formal historical record of financial accountability is the first step to get access to further credit.

Although several financial institutions have offered “financial literacy” courses – mostly to sell their own products- the capability of migrants to manage their finances is another important skill that can be developed in the framework of integration and circular policies. Currently there are quite a few initiatives, supported by local authorities (some municipalities, provinces and regions), national authorities (the interior Ministry) and NGOs in Italy (notably a couple financed by the JMDI) that are promoting financial literacy as an important skill that migrants – and their families at home - can use for the development of their origin areas.

In light of the experience and to overcome some difficulties that limit the active contribution of migrants and their skills, policy and measures have to be implemented in both origin and destination countries. As we reported in “From Migration to Development” « Migrant inclusion and integration can propel the human and financial capital necessary to link the migration experience of individuals or groups to the development of their country of origin. Integration programmes include language courses, venues for intercultural dialogue, the support for initiatives to fight discrimination and xenophobia, and other varied experiences that target both European citizens and third-country nationals. In such initiatives, the development potential of migration for origin countries remains a marginal approach. Nevertheless, these experiences can have positive externalities, which relate to the empowerment of migrants. When better integrated migrants acquire more skills, as well as social and economic resources, then they are able not only to thrive in the host society but are also better able to contribute to their community of origin. This potential, though, does not automatically turn into practice unless there is a clear understanding as well as a strong will and mandate to tackle integration within the framework of global dynamics, external relations, and the joint development of origin and destination areas.”

In the report, we have also noted that « encouraging the involvement of migrants in receiving societies does not necessarily imply that policies target migrants exclusively - as we have mentioned in the inclusion of fast-track measures for returnees within the mainstream policy in origin countries. Migration policies are policies that concern the entire population. Tailoring programs to migrants exclusively may have adverse consequences on the integration of immigrants in the society at large. Programs should, to the maximum extent possible, follow an inclusive approach and encourage migrants to be active within societies.”

3)  What strategic alliances and partnerships should be put in place to ensure that such initiatives respond to local needs and promote the entrepreneurial activities of migrants and their families?

Return entrepreneurship represents not only a way to create development from migration, but also an innovative potential for development and the economy in general; to take advantage of this potential, coherence between different policies, including the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises, access to credit, labor market, social and welfare policies and human capital, has to be actively pursued. Origin countries need to develop fast-track options within their existing (mainstream) development policies to foster return entrepreneurship, with ad-hoc measures and tools that meet the specific situation of returnees.

The importance of vertical and horizontal partnering has been highlighted in our report. “The issues and challenges facing local communities are often complex and require a holistic approach to resolve them. Greater coherence between migration policy and other related policy areas (labour market, local and regional development, entrepreneurship, social inclusion – to mention a few) is important to develop the administration’s overall capacity to implement migration policies.

Migration management needs to be comprehensive not only in terms of the types of issues it encompasses but also in terms of stakeholders’ participation. For the sustainability of development processes it is very important that they are built by mobilising different stakeholders to work together thus generating collaborative approaches for attaining common development goals. Moreover, enhanced coordination and consistency in the definition of migration and development policy objectives would be beneficial to identify and allocate the necessary resources in an efficient manner.

To this aim, local authorities can beneficially promote vertical partnerships within other levels of government but also horizontal partnerships with other actors operating at the same level.

Vertical – inter-institutional – cooperation is particularly important to succeed in their exchanges with counterparts in other countries. Transnational dialogue rarely occurs between counterparts at the same level either because the level of decentralisation is unequal or because the effectiveness of co-operation relates to different levels of competence. Developing a whole-of-migration approach that promotes and values effective partnerships is an important asset to enhance the sustainability of migration and development interventions.”

Economic and financial institutions of both origin and destination countries should be entrusted with an important role, especially chambers of commerce, banks, and the private sector in general because of the overall transnational nature of return enterprises which have the potential to create co-development. Migrants express their lack of trust in institutions and political representatives of their origin country, considered too bureaucratic and little transparent while they rely on a mix of transnationally-monitored public-private support; Not all migrants can or want to be entrepreneurs, targeting high potential individuals and preparing them can be facilitated by involving local companies that are interested in opening to new markets or investing in origin countries of migrants;

Strategic alliances should rely on the credibility of the proponent that can play two key functions in the creation of the network. 1: to become the guarantor of the quality of the services offered to the would-be entrepreneur; and 2: to become the promoter of a network specialized in return entrepreneurship and the privileged interlocutor with origin and destination country authorities and stakeholders.


Best regards,

Sandra Rainero

 Veneto Lavoro; Unità Progetti Speciali/ Special Projects Unit; via Ca' Marcello 67/b I 30172 Venezia; tel + ; fax:+39.; cell: +39.335.739.1117; email: sandra.rainero@venetolavoro.itskype ID: sandra.rainero


Previous discussions

Past e-discussions brought together stakeholders from local governments, national authorities, Civil Society Organizations, academics, the international community and more to discuss such topics as forced displacement and sustainable development, the protection of migrant workers, how CSOs and other local actors can support city leadership on M&SD topics and more.