Our 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.
“I coordinate CD4D2 in Iraq, mainly in Baghdad, where I am the focal point for the Host Institutions. Most ministries are based in Baghdad; some are familiar with IOM’s projects such as the Ministry of Building and Construction and the Ministry of Planning; I have expanded the contacts and now also liaise with other ministries such as Migration and Displacement, Justice, Labour, Health, Education and Planning. For me, having a strategic focal point at the Ministries is vital, because they can liaise with the relevant minister or on directorate level. After explaining to them how CD4D2 can contribute to sustainable development I prepare assignments based on the identified needs. These Terms of Reference then go to IOM in the Netherlands for their outreach to diaspora professionals.
In my contacts with Host Institutions I noticed they highly value experts from the diaspora. Ofcourse because they have useful knowledge and expertise, but their Iraqi background also means a lot. They know the language and often the right dialect and they are familiar with our culture. That the government of the Netherlands is making knowledge and expertise available this way means a lot in my country.
With the diaspora experts participating in CD4D2 I sense a need to serve their country of origin. They are so motivated to share their knowledge to contribute to the development. Currently, we have two experts on assignment – two at the Central Statistics Office with a third assignment about to start at the Ministry of Migration and Displacement. Their training happens virtually; it is unavoidable with the current pandemic. But I heard from staff being trained at the Host Institutions that they so value the knowledge transfer that the virtual aspect does not bother them too much.
The Host Institutions certainly benefit from this unique way of obtaining vital expertise. With the added value of it being shared by trainers with a diaspora background. An effective combination works well in my country, which has a high sense of pride.”