Supporting communities and regions in managing the challenges of migration
Title: Management of Migration Challenges in Niger
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: EU Trust Fund for Africa
Country: Republic of the Niger
Lead executing agency: Ministère du Plan
Overall term: 2016 to 2021
Migration plays a key economic and cultural role in Niger but the effects of migration movements present a major challenge, particularly for the country’s communities and regions. The large-scale flows of people to, through and away from communities have consequences for people’s access to education, health care and drinking water, among other things. At the same time, they influence the economic development opportunities and social cohesion in the affected regions.
Until now, the communities and regions have had little scope to counter these challenges. Yet migration also offers potential benefits, such as the inflow of qualified workers and money transfers. However, these opportunities are seldom recognised or utilised. Elected community representatives and administrative staff lack sufficient expertise. Information regarding the impacts of migration on the country is patchy. At the same time, the communities and regions do not have sufficient qualified personnel and financial resources.
Selected communities and regions are in a position to control and better manage the impacts of migration on local development.
The programme works closely with the communities and regions along the migration routes and is concerned with migration, local development and decentralisation.
Robust information regarding the current situation is essential to be able to adequately address the challenges that arise due to migration. Community and regional representatives are therefore supported with continuously improving their own level of knowledge regarding the impacts of migration on their community and region.
To this end, 17 communities and three regions have set up local observatories with the support of the project. Mayors, leading community and regional councillors and representatives of local administrations, the central government and civil society belong to these observatories. As an internal advisory instrument, they support the communities and regions throughout the process of acquiring information and analysing the effects of migration. Building on this, they then suggest suitable development measures and options for action.
The project supports municipalities and regions with implementing these options for action. The focus is in particular on infrastructure projects in the fields of water supply and health care as well as education and business. Access to these public services is to be improved for the local population and migrants. At the same time, the local economy is boosted.
In training courses and coaching sessions, community and regional representatives receive additional expert knowledge in the areas of migration and local development planning.
The project also promotes communication between national ministry officials and representatives of the communities and regions. This allows local experience to be incorporated into the development of a national migration policy.
The European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) provides financial support for the programme. The consulting firm GFA runs the training courses mentioned.
16 local observatories with 200 members are active in the communities and regions. Each observatory regularly analyses the impacts of migration on society. In this way, the community employees develop their own expertise in this area. On this basis, the communities and regions have developed specific options for action.
So far, approximately 630 administrative officers, local councillors and members of civil society have also received training in more than 70 courses. This has enabled them to deepen their knowledge in the areas of migration and gender, economic development, conflict management, and analysis and planning methods, for instance.
Together with partner communities and regions, the project is running 57 development measures identified by the observatories with more than 75 construction sites. This work predominantly involves building health centres, drinking water networks, markets and (vocational) schools, supporting small companies and improving municipal waste disposal. Over 150,000 people are benefiting from these services. Furthermore, approximately 2,000 temporary jobs have been created so far through the construction schemes.