Programme ‘Migration for Development’ (PMD)

Project description

Title: Programme "Migration for Development" (PMD)
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: The global Programme “Migration for Development” (PMD) is divided into two modules and is currently active in 24 partner countries.

  • Module 1: Albania, Cameroon, Colombia, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Georgia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Palestinian territories, Peru, Senegal, Serbia, Tunisia, Ukraine and Viet Nam;
  • Module 2: Afghanistan, Albania, Ghana, Iraq, Kosovo, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Serbia, Tunisia.

Partner: The implementing partner is the German Federal Employment Agency’s International Placement Services (ZAV), which works with GIZ under the umbrella of the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM). 
Lead executing agency: Labour ministries in the respective partner countries or responsible local employment agencies such as the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs in Serbia, the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth in Albania, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare in Kosovo, the Moroccan employment agency ANAPEC and the Tunisian employment agency ANETI.
Overall term: 2015 to 2020



Migration is a global phenomenon: more than 250 million people are currently living outside their country of origin. Many move to new countries in search of jobs or training opportunities, while others are forced to leave their home due to war or violence. For countries affected by emigration, migration and displacement pose a major challenge, not least due to the loss of experts and important know-how (brain drain). Migration also offers potential for development in the form of knowledge transfer, investments from diaspora, and development-related opportunities for returnees. Thus far, however, the services offered have failed to comprehensively address the needs and potential of migrants in the various phases of the migration cycle (before, during and after migration). The development-related contributions of migrants are not being fully utilised, and the necessary framework conditions are inadequate in most countries of origin. This is where the first module of the Programme “Migration for Development” (PMD) – ‘development-oriented migration’ – comes in.

At the beginning of 2017, the programme was expanded as part of BMZ’s returnee programme "Returning to New Opportunities" to include a second module – ‘Informed return and reintegration’. More than one million people have come to Germany in recent years to escape war, violence or economic deprivation. Not all refugees will be able to stay in Germany permanently. They need guidance on the options and opportunities available to them and support for reintegration. Thus far, there has been a lack of needs-oriented support for the informed return and reintegration of migrants and refugees.


The Programme “Migration for Development” (PMD) pursues the following objectives:

  1. Module objective 1: The development-related contribution of migrants in their countries of origin is strengthened, and the framework conditions for legal migration have improved in selected countries of origin.
  2. Module objective 2: Migrants and refugees living in Germany receive better needs-oriented support to facilitate their informed return to and reintegration in their home country.


The Programme “Migration for Development” (PMD) works on behalf of the Germany Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is implemented by the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM), which is run jointly by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Federal Employment Agency’s International Placement Services. The programme is divided into two modules and is currently active in a total of 24 countries, although not all components and areas of activity are implemented in all countries.


In module 1 (‘development-oriented migration’), the programme supports people who wish to put the knowledge they have acquired in Germany to good use in their countries of origin – for example, by working as returning experts, diaspora experts, starting their own business or getting involved in diaspora organisations. With their knowledge, experience and contacts, migrants can trigger important changes and contribute to ensuring a sustainable future for their home countries. Module 1 consists of five areas of activity:

  • Transfer of knowledge through returning experts: Support for returning experts who have studied or worked in Germany and who wish to put their knowledge to good use by working in their country of origin.
  • Cooperation with the diaspora: Support for development-oriented projects organised by diaspora organisations committed to improving the lives of people in their country of origin, and support for voluntary short-term assignments for diaspora experts.
  • Business Ideas for Development: Support for migrants who wish to start their own business in their country of origin.
  • Migration advice: Advice on job and training opportunities in migrants’ countries of origin and on options for legal migration to Germany.
  • Migration policy advice: Consulting service for governments and political institutions, offering information on migration policy and support in designing and implementing migration strategies.

In module 2 (‘informed return and reintegration’), the programme provides support to facilitate the reintegration of migrants and refugees returning from Germany to their home countries.

Its approach is multi-faceted:

Germany component

  • Information for returnees and advice on opportunities in their home countries through, for example, the website
  • Strengthening of services offered by returnee advice centres in Germany through the deployment of reintegration scouts: These scouts support the advice centres by putting people in touch with points of contact in the respective country and providing information on local job opportunities and offers.
  • Range of measures to help returnees prepare for reintegration

Country of origin component

Advice on job and training opportunities for returnees at local advice centres for jobs, migration and reintegration: at the advice centres, individuals receive information on opportunities to make a fresh start (including job and training opportunities) and support with applications. There are currently centres in Albania, Ghana, Iraq, Kosovo, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Serbia and Tunisia. Advisory services are offered in Afghanistan in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Civil society component

As part of this component, the programme provides support in selected countries of origin to local and international civil society organisations, whose projects create additional new prospects for returnees. Details are available at the local advisory centres or provided by the project coordinators of the civil society component in Eschborn.


The programme is building on the experience and results of previous projects. Since the start of the Returning Experts Programme, many employers have benefited from the expertise of more than 15,000 returning experts. Since 2016, diaspora experts have contributed their know-how in up to 220 short-term volunteer assignments with partner organisations. Since 2011, 130 diaspora organisations have received support, which helps to sustainably improve the lives of people in the partner countries. Migrants are now engaged to a greater extent in the private sector in selected countries of origin: more than 80 businesses have been founded since 2009, which in turn has created many local jobs and prospects. In selected countries, the programme has helped to shape needs-oriented migration policy. Since 2017, around 50,800 advisory sessions have been held in the advice centres for jobs, migration and reintegration and around 150,300 education and qualification measures have been implemented.