30.09 – 02.10 Dakar

The AICS (Italian Agency of Development Cooperation) workshop was an innovative experience of working together between experts and directors of the various AICS offices in African countries, to share and set up a path to define the first operational guidelines of the Italian Cooperation on Migration and Development. In this sense it was a very good opportunity for FOCSIV and Faces of Migration project to participate in an informal debate on the main issues about the role that development cooperation should have in financing projects aimed at enhancing human mobility for development as well as responding to human costs of migrations and protection needs.

AICS wants to systematize the different experiences-projects on the subject, to discuss scenarios and approach, so as to outline operational indications on future financing. The path towards the operational guidelines is particularly relevant for CSOs and diasporas because among these guidelines it is possible to include indications on their role in cooperation. It will therefore be necessary to envisage the involvement of CSOs and diasporas in the discussion of the guidelines draft in the coming months, as foreseen in the AICS consultation process.

Andrea Stocchiero took part in the workshop, as external expert on migration and development and in the National Diaspora Summit. He facilitated the discussion with another external expert (Tana Anglana) and brought useful content to guide the AICS debate, supporting the importance of the participation of CSOs and diasporas in the cooperation field.

For a workshop description, please find attached the AICS Agenda and the power point presentation by Anglana and Stocchiero. The main issues and orientations discussed and to be shared with CSOs and diasporas are summarized below:

  • Human mobility for local economic and social development. Development cooperation should accompany internal and regional human mobility, the movement of people to work in agriculture, industry, from the countryside to the cities, encouraging the role of intermediate cities in order to reduce the flooding in the slums and to sustain territorial development, supporting short production and commercial value chains; the creation of educational and health services for local communities and together for migrants, easing tensions between them; and finally encouraging the contribution of diasporas to local economic and social development.
  • Returns, reintegration and support for humanitarian corridors: several developing countries ask for help in managing returns from other countries and in reintegrating men, women and children into their families and communities; these are mostly voluntary returns but unfortunately deportation cases are not uncommon; they are therefore both humanitarian aid and support for local development when returns of skills and financial resources are possible; returns directly involve diasporas who are often subjects of returns or accompaniers on returns. Another important action could concern support for humanitarian corridors, for the resettlement of vulnerable people in other countries.
  • A major area of intervention is related to the vulnerabilities and human rights of migrants, the protection of refugees and asylum seekers, displaced persons from natural disasters and human causes, the protection of women and children victims of traffic. Humanitarian measures and emergency initiatives are needed, which must increasingly be linked to fragile but necessary local development initiatives, especially in the case of protracted crises. Here too the CSOs and diaspora can play a role by already being active in supporting communities of origin in cases of emergency, as well as in participating in projects for protection, local development and reconciliation for peace. It is recognized the case of Somalia diasporas where some associations of migrants, especially women, help their local communities in improving health conditions and education for children.
  • Governance and migration policy, that is to cooperate with governments of countries of origin and transit to strengthen their capacity to manage migration, to enhance it for the purposes of sustainable development. The aim is to strengthen public administrations at central and decentralized level, their relationship with the private sector (e.g. private recruitment agencies, agencies managing reception and refugee facilities), and their relationship with CSOs and diasporas. It is essential that CSOs and migrant associations can cooperate positively with the governments of their countries of origin, with local public administrations and with local communities. Italian cooperation can help to improve relations between diasporas and countries of origin.