Putting the “Plus” into MIEUX Part I: Holistic Capacity Development Actions

MIEUX+ debuted in April 2020 with a number of key innovations that find their roots in feedback offered by our partners. Laura Zorrilla Fernandez, Knowledge Management Specialist, describes how this feedback has been incorporated into the design of the new phase. Part 1 of 2 in “Putting the Plus in MIEUX”.

Putting the “plus” into MIEUX

Since 2009, the programme embarked on successive phases, each marked by an innovation.

  • MIEUX I (2009 – 2011) started as a pilot project focusing exclusively on capacity development on the subject of Irregular Migration and Trafficking in Human Beings.
  • MIEUX II (2012 – 2015) enlarged the scope of the programme to cover more topics, including International Protection and Asylum, Legal Migration, Migration and Development and crosscutting topics that were clustered under the name of Horizontal Interventions.
  • MIEUX III (2016 – April 2019) incorporated new actors as eligible organisations to request capacity development assistance, including local-level authorities, parliamentary assemblies, and civil society when coupled with government institutions.

Putting the “plus” in MIEUX for the new phase, debuting in April 2020, entailed delving into its portfolio of over 100 projects (Actions) to extract lessons learnt, practices and expertise to determine what had made MIEUX so successful over the years. Consultations with partner authorities took place in 2018; partners provided input that fed into the design of the new phase and materialised into two new types of projects that would focus on a holistic approach to capacity development and on regional capacity development partnerships. For this first part, I will describe our new type of Actions focusing on holistic capacity development.

What do we mean by “holistic capacity development”?

With multiple international donors and institutions providing capacity development on migration, recipient institutions find the need to streamline multiple inputs from different programmes, integrate them into a coherent training programme for their staff and sustain the newly acquired skills in order to retain knowledge. Likewise, the programmes and institutions accompanying this capacity development process need to look beyond the mere provision of training to build sustainable processes for beneficiaries.

Conversely, one of the main ideas conveyed by MIEUX partners during the 2018 Round-tables and consultations was the need to embed capacity development interventions into the wider context of their individual career progression and of institutional development.

Going into MIEUX+, the aim is to bring together a number of actors with responsibility over migration governance and management as well as capacity development. This typology of Actions, which will be additional to the “classic” ones, will require different preparation and implementation, with greater coordination required between different actors at different moments of the implementation cycle in order to achieve tangible results at institutional level.

Capacity development institutions (diplomatic academies, official training centres and public administration schools) in the partner countries we will work with will be boosted as key actors in the implementation cycle.

The new Actions will show a good degree of institutional sustainability, because of the steering role played by the beneficiaries and the high levels of local ownership. In addition, they will support the incorporation of results into existing policy and institutional frameworks in partner countries.

This approach is inspired by 12 years of implementation and the three levels of the capacity development model as described by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – individual, institutional and enabling environment.

The first means increasing the skills and abilities of individuals; the second focuses on increasing the capacity of organisations to fulfil their mandates; and the third involves improvements in policies, legislation, regulations, labour market institutions and societal systems.

How will we address the three levels?

At enabling environment level, MIEUX+ will work with the existing inter-departmental coordination mechanisms in order to ensure transfer of the final outcomes within institutions and structures, and receive the necessary buy-in to apply a comprehensive approach to capacity building.

At organisational level, the involvement of the institutions’ management, human resources departments, training units and thematic departments will be required to put in place a process that is transversal and beneficial to different entities within the partner institution. Moreover, certification of the personnel will require coordination, for example, between the human resources and training departments, as well as their full involvement in the process.

At individual level, the public servants who will go through the entire Action will be certified as fully-fledged trainers (or experts). This approach will be thoroughly addressed with the enabling and institutional levels (management, inter-agency structures, human resources departments, training units, etc.) to guarantee the involvement of the designated public servants.

Next steps

The success of these projects will require continued collaboration and commitment from the partner countries to ensure coordination at all levels. New Actions of this sort are in the pipeline and we will duly inform our audiences through the website, newsletter and social media channels.

Read here the part two of “putting the plus in MIEUX”, where I describe our thinking behind the regional capacity development partnerships in MIEUX+.

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