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Diaspora Succeeds at Home "DAR 1+3"

Primary GCM Objectives

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Dates

2020 - Present

Type of practice

Project/Programme

Latest content

Regions:

Sub Regions:

Summary

Hundreds of thousands of Moldovans live today abroad, most of them are young people who have close ties with their country of origin, where their parents, children and relatives have remained. Thus, a more active collaboration with the diaspora is necessary, in order to be involved in the implementation of projects in their localities of origin from the Republic of Moldova. To support such development projects, the Program Diaspora Succeeds at Home „DAR 1+3” was developed. The objective of this Program is to mobilize the human and financial potential of the diaspora for the local socio-economic development of the Republic of Moldova. Main beneficiaries are: 1. diaspora associations; 2. hometown associations; 3. initiative groups of citizens from abroad or returned; 4. local public authorities.

The State Chancellery (Diaspora Relations Bureau) is the institution responsible for implementing the Program. Key activities of DAR 1+3 include: promotion, grant selection, implementation, monitoring activities (organization of information campaigns in the whole country and diaspora communities by disseminating leaflets, information posters, publishing information on social networks and through diplomatic missions and consular offices of the Republic of Moldova from abroad, developing practical reference tools - application guide, standard forms, etc., organization of training sessions, providing consultations for applicants).

The program is supported financially from: 1. diaspora financial resources; 2. state budget; 3. own incomes of the budgets of the administrative-territorial units; 4. financial resources of development partners / donors. Diaspora financial contribution is the basic criterion for selecting projects. Local public authorities, as local coordinators, use the existing mechanisms and platforms to attract and keep record of the diaspora's financial resources and contribute with their own financial resources to the local development project implementation. The examination and approval of the funding applications, supervision and evaluation of activities and the way of Program development is done by the Evaluation and Supervision Committee.

Organizations

Main Implementing Organization(s)

Government of the Republic of Moldova

Detailed Information

State Chancellery, Diaspora Relations Bureau

Partner/Donor Organizations

UNDP Moldova
Swiss Cooperation Office in Moldova

Benefit and Impact

DAR 1+3 contributed to strengthen the linkages between migrants and their hometowns, ensuring their right to get involved into the decision-making process at the local public authority level. The main argument here is that within the Program, only project ideas preliminary consulted by LPAs with diaspora members, demonstrated by Minutes of such meetings, are eligible.
The implemented projects contribute for solving the current problems that the localities face and enhance the wellbeing of the communities involved. These projects provide access for community residents/natives, including people with disabilities, to infrastructure objects, develop services at the local level (kindergartens, medical centres), create recreational and educational areas (parks, playgrounds, sports fields).

Key results: During two years of implementation, received funding from the state budget: 42 beneficiaries, LPAs in 2020 and 21 beneficiaries, LPAs in 2021.
Projects related to following areas renovation of buildings; leisure areas, parks; street lighting; road repair; waste management; water and sewerage; local tourism development, social protection, culture and covered 26 districts of the Republic of Moldova (of 32 existing).
As development partners / donors for big number of projects was UNDP Moldova, which provided financial support to local public authorities through hometown associations. For the other projects as partners were District Councils, local or foreign economic agents, public associations from the country or abroad.
Efficient communication with the diaspora allowed for many localities the collection of larger amounts than originally planned. Thus, it allowed the extension and / or carrying out of additional works related to projects.

Impact of DAR 1+3 implementation is measured based on the following indicators:
1. volume of investments attracted for local development under this Program;
2. the number of financed local development projects, such as: renovated buildings, created centres, innovative services, road repairs, street lighting, etc.
3. share of attracted diaspora investments in total investments for the locality, under this Program, in the reference year;
4. number of newly created temporary/permanent jobs;
5. other relevant monitoring and evaluation indicators.

The positive effect of the projects has a prompt impact and is promoted constantly by BRD, the State Chancellery, development partners and, of course, mayors and the diaspora, especially during international events. This fact ensures a spillover effect of the Program at national level among LPAs, so that, for example, in 2021 we had 76 applications. And the financing from the state budget (one of the 4 components of the Program) creates premises for its sustainability.

Key Lessons

The elaboration and implementation of DAR 1+3 involved considerable efforts, interest from all stakeholders, the allocation of appropriate human and financial resources, but also inherent risks, unforeseen situations that arise during implementation.
The following challenges have been identified:
1. The difficult situation created by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed. This factor led to the delay in carrying out the project activities (cessation of works by the economic agents responsible for carrying out the works).
In order to overcome that difficulty, the deadline for the implementation of the project was extended to allow the completion of all activities.
2. Rising prices for construction materials, raw material that led to an increase in the project budget.
Overcome: Greater efforts have been made to raise funds from the partners involved.
3. Reduced collaboration and communication with the natives of the commune, including those from outside the country, in solving a commonly identified community problem.
Overcome: Were carried out several communication / promotion activities of the LPAs and the Hometown Association (online and offline meetings, videos in which locals, the mayor, and the project implementation team formulated a friendly request to the diaspora and locals to get involved in the local development project)
Increased visibility and transparency in actions leads to increased credibility of citizens in LPA, confidence in the possibility of implementing local development projects.
4. The difficulty of convincing as many natives as possible to contribute financially / donate, given the pandemic and the global financial situation.
Overcome: Were organized various cultural activities both online and offline to bring people emotionally closer to their home towns and motivate them to get involved in activities and fundraising.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

1. Determine whether you need such a program and how is it going to build up on already existing national framework in the diaspora/migration/development areas (if it exists). First of all, there might be a focus and a mission, for example, help hometowns of diaspora members, involve diaspora in the development at national level, or build trust between diaspora and local public authorities.
2. Get know your partners/stakeholders. First of all, it is recommended to have a national institution responsible for relations with diaspora and a consolidated network of authorities, especially at local level, which are regularly trained in the field of diaspora, migration, development and which apply diaspora collaboration mechanisms. For ex., in Moldova this program was created by Diaspora Relations Bureau and local public authorities have the experience to work with diaspora, especially hometown associations, including the support of development partners.
3. Prepare a successful application process. It is important to provide as much information and as many resources as possible to potential applicants (local public authorities) to support them in the application process, including explanatory documents and templates. They might have opportunity to ask questions and receive information about the application and selection process through (phone) consultations, (online) meetings and others. For ex. in Moldova, there are organised many informative sessions with local public authorities in a pre-application phase.
4. Manage grant selection. The main aspects here are to establish eligibility criteria and multistakeholder selection committee, being able to explain the reason for application selection decisions.
5. Support effective monitoring and reporting, through dialogue, participatory monitoring, establishing report templates, openness to some new forms of reporting and discussing the project challenges.

Innovation

The Program adopted the innovative approach of "engaging migrants in local development” (this approach was brought and implemented in Moldova by development partners UNDP and Swiss Cooperation Office). To be mentioned that a similar program has not yet been implemented in the Republic of Moldova. In the same time, this might become an innovative practice for many other countries in the world.
But also, another innovative component of the program is to synergize the joint efforts of the Government - LPAs - diaspora - development partners / donors on the dimension of migration and development. An unprecedented level of involvement and commitment from these stakeholders is ensured. Thus, the subject of the diaspora's contribution to local development is becoming more actual than ever.
Thus, DAR 1+3 catalyzed the impactful model of engaging migrants in local development of the country and enhancing social cohesion. It is a milestone to see that this is now scaled up at the national level and could become an important tool for the 200 hometown associations already existing in the Republic of Moldova.
The practice is scalable through: tangible and useful things, number of communities involved, volume of investments attracted, number of financed projects, number of direct/indirect beneficiaries, and others.
DAR 1+3 meant to improve livelihoods, create decent jobs and instill a sense of hope, so much needed in changing circumstances posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impacts. Despite the pandemic situation, diaspora get highly involved. The communication with the diaspora and the natives was ensured by the town halls through social networks, the communication from person to person, sending letters to the potential donors from the locality.

Media

Programul Diaspora Acasă Reușește „DAR 1+3” | Realizări 2020

Date submitted:

18 February 2022

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.

 

 

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).