Ayan Hassan Rabi, Focal Point CD4D2 in Hargeisa, Somaliland:
IOM’s Focal Points in countries of origin are essential in approaching Host Institutions. They help identify priority sectors, liaise with diaspora experts about their assignment, and facilitate the overall implementation and monitoring of CD4D2.
Ayan Hassan Rabi represents CD4D2 in Hargeisa, Somaliland, and has a long experience working on Migration and Development Programmes.
“IOM has a very good relationship with many host institutions in Somaliland. CD4D is a long-running project they are very familiar with. When I approach a new institution, I invest in the relationship by being accessible, by actively staying in touch, and by pro-actively following up. I also take this approach with the participants, to make it easier for them to execute their assignment. My contact persons at the nine institutions are by now so involved there is shared ownership of CD4D2.”
The active engagement of Host Institutions is very important for the sustainable impact of the assignments.
“In the first six months of 2020, I set up monthly online meetings with all focal points and the diaspora experts currently on assignment to discuss the challenges achievements and recommendations in achieving their objectives. These sessions are very motivating for all.”
Host Organizations Realize the Benefits of Involving Diaspora
COVID-19 posed new challenges in the first six months of this year. The Host Institutions went into lock-down and staff had to work from home. At first, the knowledge transfer sessions were conducted virtually, which was challenging because the internet in Somaliland is not always reliable. By the end of July however, all staff returned to their offices which means training could again take place physically, taking COVID-19 measures into account.
Since May this year, 30 diaspora experts participated in assignments, both physical and virtual. Most host organizations prefer their staff being trained with the trainer being physically present because the assignments are relatively short and addressing clear topics. “That is why host Institutions find CD4D2 so useful. Knowledge transfer by diaspora experts is a very direct and accessible way to transfer specific expertise. It also requires the host Institution to identify their needs. Exchanging practical knowledge and expertise is very valuable. CD4D2 is an effective programme because it addresses and supports identified needs by involving diaspora. Host Institutions fully realize the positive effects of involving diaspora.”