Title: Migration and Diaspora Programme Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Country: Global programme, currently operating in 22 partner countries: Albania, Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Palestinian territories, Peru, Senegal, Serbia, Tunisia, Ukraine, Viet Nam. Lead executing agency: Labour ministries in the project countries or responsible local employment agencies such as the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) in Ghana, the Employment Agency of the Republic of Kosovo (EARK) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Indonesia. Overall term: 2019 to 2022
According to the United Nations, around 272 million people were migrants in 2019. They make an important contribution to development, building bridges between their countries of origin and the countries in which they live and work. They are actively involved in associations, realise local projects and send money back to families and friends. They also transfer knowledge and experience when they return home for a shorter or longer period to work there or start up a business.
Migration, however, also carries risks for the individuals involved, who might expose themselves to the dangers of irregular migration, and for their countries of origin, which risk losing highly qualified experts. In cooperation with employment agencies and ministries, regular, safe and orderly migration can be made fair and socially equitable, benefiting the countries of origin and Germany.
Key actors in partner countries make more effective use of regular migration and diaspora engagement to achieve their development goals.
The programme works on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the 2030 Agenda provide the framework for activities along with the planned Skilled Workers Immigration Act (Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz) and the German national action plan on integration.
The programme has three components. Not every component is implemented in every country:
Regular labour migration and mobility
Many migrants who have lived and worked in Germany later return to their countries of origin. Local employers can benefit from the knowledge and experience of these returning experts to develop further. The programme supports this know-how transfer with training and salary top-ups.
The programme also provides potential migrants with information on regular and safe migration channels and explains the risks posed by irregular migration. The programme helps improve the advisory services offered by employment agencies and training facilities. When candidates are recruited from abroad to fill vacancies, it checks that this is acceptable for the labour market in that country and that the terms are fair and socially acceptable for the migrants. At present, ten partner countries have advisory centres for employment, migration and reintegration which provide all relevant information about the preconditions for labour and educational migration.
Migrants in Germany work to foster development in their countries of origin. One option is to undertake assignments as experts for a limited period. The programme helps these diaspora experts contribute their expertise to local institutions. It supports diaspora organisations which work with local partner organisations to implement their own projects. Dialogue forums with the diaspora are used to encourage engagement in development in the countries of origin.
The programme supports migrants in starting a business in their country of origin. The expertise they have acquired in Germany enables them to use their innovative ideas to advance the country and create jobs.
Migrants also make a financial contribution to their country of origin, sending cash remittances to family and friends. Transfer fees, however, are often very high, so less cash reaches its destination. The price comparison portal geldtransfair.de gives users a swift and uncomplicated overview of the fees charged by various service providers.
The programme advises governments and international partners on policy, organisational and strategy development relating to migration. It provides training and assigns (integrated) experts to these institutions to build the capacities of their staff and promote the development and implementation of future-proof migration policy. This takes place in the framework of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which was adopted by the United Nations in 2018.
To support the substantial priorities of the programme, the Expert Fund Migration & Diaspora provides funds for subsidy agreements with returning and integrated experts.
The programme builds on the experience and results of the predecessor Migration for Development programmes (I and II). Since the returning experts programme was launched in the 1980s, numerous employers have benefited from the expertise of over 15,000 returning experts.
Since 2016, diaspora experts have undertaken 360 short-term volunteer assignments to bring their expertise to partner organisations.
Since 2011, up to 150 diaspora organisations have received assistance for their projects that aim to bring a lasting improvement to the living conditions of people in the partner countries.
The private-sector engagement of migrants has been strengthened in selected countries of origin. Since 2009,more than 700 people interested in starting a business have been supported and up to 100 companies founded, creating numerous jobs and enhancing prospects.
Currently, migration policy is being co-shaped in line with demand in seven selected countries with individual advisory services and training.
Since 2017 the advisory centres for jobs, migration and reintegration have provided around 75,000 consultations.