Improving Communications in the Voluntary Return and Reintegration Network
Sijal Aziz, Director, Women Empowerment Literacy and Development Organization
Haldeng Nkomba Frank Ulrich, Diplomat in Charge of Migration Affairs, Cameroonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Catherine Rombauts, Policy Officer, International Unit, Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (Fedasil), Government of Belgium
Camille Le Coz, Associate Director, MPI Europe; Senior Policy Analyst, MPI
Voluntary return and sustainable reintegration involve a large network of stakeholders in countries of origin and destination, each working under different (although sometimes overlapping) authorities and policy environments. Given the multiplicity of voluntary return and reintegration strategies and programs in recent years, stakeholders are sometimes unclear about the strategic priorities that others within their networks are pursuing. Ensuring wider awareness about goals is a key first step towards successful cooperation, including around questions of ownership and funding of initiatives. So is the success of public information campaigns around voluntary return and reintegration, as well as opportunities after return and tackling the prejudice often directed at returnees.
While public communication has improved, with dedicated awareness campaigns undertaken by civil society and government entities in countries of migrant origin and destination alike, many challenges remain. Among them are inadequate outreach to the most vulnerable groups and the need to counter misinformation and rumors about the profile of returnees. Some questions are also pending as to which actors and formats are the most suited for successful engagement, whether through official government channels, diaspora groups and other civil society actors, or returnees sharing their experience.
This Migration Policy Institute (MPI) webinar explores the goals and target audiences for public-facing information campaigns on voluntary return and reintegration, how to evaluate dissemination gaps, and the risks associated with inadvertently issuing messages that are not trusted or are misunderstood.
This webinar is part of a research partnership between MPI and the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ), supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).