The MIEUX+ team has recently completed three Actions in the Great Lakes region, collaborating with newly established partners.
These projects engaged local and central governmental actors, covering themes such as migration management, consular protection, urban planning, and migration data management. Key activities encompassed drafting plans, producing reports, and designing training courses and materials.
At the same time, the MIEUX+ team is also completing the ongoing project with the COMESA Secretariat, aimed to prepare border management practitioners to face the next potential health crisis.
Democratic Republic of the Congo: protecting its citizens abroad
The diaspora originating from the Democratic Republic of the Congo is moving towards a growing diversity of destination countries. This prompted the Directorate of Congolese Abroad, operating under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), to request the assistance of MIEUX+ in enhancing the government's efforts to protect its citizens abroad through a more effective policy framework.
Towards the end of 2022, the MIEUX+ team and experts conducted a fact-finding mission in Kinshasa. This not only marked the official launch of the Action but also provided an opportunity to gain deeper insights into the expectations and priorities of the MFA. Concurrently, the team aimed to present a preliminary structure for the upcoming Consular Protection Plan.
To ensure the plan's effectiveness, the MIEUX+ team actively engaged in interviews and surveys with Congolese diaspora organisations, diaspora members, and consular officers online and offline. The objective was to understand the primary challenges in consular protection from the end-users' perspectives.
In collaboration with experts from France and DRC, the team developed the Consular Protection Plan, a set of recommendations, a training course on assistance and consular protection, tailored to the MFA, in collaboration with its Diplomatic Academy. The MIEUX+ team and experts concluded this project in October 2023 with a training session in Kinshasa, which participants enthusiastically welcomed.
One of the participants stated that: <<I am grateful to MIEUX+ and the DCE for providing us with the valuable opportunity to participate in this training course, crucial for the advancement of our professional careers.>>
Uganda II: mainstreaming migration into local urban planning
MIEUX+ collaborated with the Municipal Council of Nebbi, the Yumbe Town Council, and the NGO Urban Afrikanischer Traum to enhance their capacities for integrating migration into local urban planning in a cohesive and effective manner. The primary outcome of this collaboration is a report with practical recommendations on mainstreaming migration and integrating refugees at the local level.
Following the development of the Capacity and Training Needs Assessment Guidelines in the second half of 2022, MIEUX+ organised two fact-finding missions to Yumbe and Nebbi at the beginning of 2023.
Experts from Finland, France and Sweden conducted interviews with over fifty individuals representing Yumbe and Nebbi municipalities, civil society organizations, international organizations, the private sector, as well as refugee and migrant communities. The team also visited the Bidi-Bidi refugee settlement and the border post on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The draft report was presented during the validation workshop in May 2023, attended by representatives from the office of the Prime Minister, Commissioner for Urban Planning, mayors of Yumbe and Nebbi, civil society, international organisations, and the EU Delegation to Uganda.
MIEUX+ experts from Wroclaw municipality in Poland and Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare and MIEUX+ team facilitated discussions with the participants and shared relevant regional and European case studies and practices.
Following the workshop, the MIEUX+ team and experts finalised the set of recommendations for the municipalities of Yumbe and Nebbi. The assessment report also scrutinised their internal systems and processes to pinpoint areas needing improvement and to strengthen specific institutional needs.
<<The cooperation with MIEUX+ was truly remarkable for us.>> as confirmed Geoffrey Ngiriker, mayor of Nebbi town, Uganda. << It allowed us to learn from experts in the European Union and other African countries and strengthen our ties with civil society. Here in Nebbi Town Council we are committed to improving the lives of refugees and migrants who join us from neighbouring countries. Our team is ready to apply the recommendations which we jointly developed during this Action in our daily work>>.
Uganda III: managing and leveraging data related to migration
Recognising the importance of improving migration data management, the Directorate of Citizenship, and Immigration Control (DCIC) within the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uganda sought assistance from MIEUX+.
The MIEUX+ team and experts from Italy and Malta organized an initial on-site mission to engage with a diverse range of national and international stakeholders, gaining insights into the national statistical system and existing migration data, along with identified gaps.
After assessing the capabilities of DCIC personnel in this field, a tailored course on Migration and Data Management was developed and conducted in July 2023. The course covered various subjects, including national-level migration data and trends, sources, tools, and best practices for data collection and analysis, as well as statistics.
Following the successful implementation of the data management training course, the MIEUX+ team and experts conducted the 'Vocational Train the Trainers' course for a selected group of public officials in October. The goal was to empower them to replicate the migration data management training session with their colleagues. As a result, DCIC officers have enhanced their knowledge and skills in collecting and identifying migration data, enabling them to train colleagues in other departments.
Although these initiatives have concluded, their lasting impact is here to stay. Through a collaborative creation process that prioritized the involvement and ownership of partners, public officials have bolstered their expertise in migration management issues.
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