Tuesday, Jul 23, 2019

July 7, 2019 (ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia): The Director of the Health & Social Development Division of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ms Fathia A. Alwan, on Saturday closed the ‘Fifth Biannual Meeting of Experts of Member States in Charge of Education for Refugees Returnees, and Host Communities’ in Addis Ababa.

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IGAD OPENS ITS 5TH MEETING ON EDUCATION FOR REFUGEES

After three days of intensive and fruitful deliberations, the education experts from the IGAD Member States came to the below recommendations to fast track the implementation of the Djibouti Declaration on Regional Conference on Refugee Education in IGAD Member States

of December 2017: 

  • Scale-up sensitisation on the Djibouti Declaration to the target constituencies of Refugees, Returnees and Host Communities for increased awareness and capitalisation on the accruing education, training and livelihood opportunities;
  • Integrate peace-building, conflict resolution and community integration into the (extra) learning curriculum in Refugee, Returnee and Host Community areas;
  • Advocate for peacebuilding and conflict resolution learning interventions to be complemented by the wider peace-building, conflict resolution, national cohesion and reconstruction efforts in refugee hosting areas and areas of return;
  • Regularise the participation of and input from teachers and students from refugee, returnee and host communities in future consultations and dialogue processes of the Djibouti Declaration;
  • Review TVET training courses and match against projected labour market needs in the Member States and the IGAD region.

 In view of the Global Refugee Forum Scheduled for December 17-19, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland, IGAD Member States were encouraged to complete formulation of costed National Education Response Plans (NERPs). The forum provides an opportunity for IGAD MS to tap into the financial, material & technical commitments that will be made in support of the components for education of refugees, returnees and host communities within the respective NERPs. Costed NERPs also provide a basis for synchronised resource mobilisation for related spheres in refugee education.

 IGAD Partners such the UNHCR, Education Cannot wait (ECW) and UNESCO are positioned to provide technical support to IGAD Member States in the development and finalisation of their respective costed NERPs.

 There were also thematic recommendations for the improvement of Refugees education:

  • On Schools in Refugee Hosting Areas and Areas of Return;
  • On Refugee, Returnee and Host Community Students;
  • On Refugee, Returnee and Host Community Teachers.

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July 04, 2019 (ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning inaugurated the ‘5th Biannual Meeting of Experts of Member States in Charge of Education for Refugees Returnees, and Host Communities’ in Addis Ababa.

 This three-day experts and partners meeting is attended by Member States as follows:

  • Ministries of Education
    • General Education/ Education in emergencies
    • Higher Education, Science & Technology, Technical and Vocational Education and Training;
  • Refugee Management Agencies
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs/ Interior
  • Representatives of Teachers in refugee settlements
  • Representatives of Refugee Students

 The Meeting is also expected to be attended by all core taskforce members (GIZ, EU, UNHCR, UNESCO, UNICEF, ECW, GPE, World Bank), the IGAD Development Partners Forum (IPF) and other partner agencies.

 The meetings of experts and partners represent an important platform to engage on relevant themes, generate policy recommendations, and validate policy instruments, programs or plans of action before they are endorsed at ministerial level or at other higher levels. Therefore, this meeting of IGAD education experts and partners is part of the governance framework within which the different components of the education sector fit.

 The Director of Health and Social Development of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ms Fathia A. Alwan, highlighted that ‘IGAD’s focus on education is based on the shared belief that education as a fundamental human right’. ‘Most importantly, refugees with quality education play significant role in peace-building, conflict resolution, and post-conflict reconstruction. They also provide skilled labour to their host communities,’ she added.

 She further reminded the audience that the task in the next three days was ‘to take stock of the progress in the implementation of the Djibouti Declaration as well as to consolidate the National Education Response Plans (NERPs) of Member States’.

 Representatives from the German Development Agency GIZ, UNHCR, the European Union, Education Cannot Wait ((ECW), and UNESCO took the floor before the Ethiopian guest of honour declared the conference open.

 This experts and partners meeting aims to provide technical and expert advice on the promotion of inclusive quality education in the region in general and the speedy implementation of the Djibouti Declaration, in particular. The specific objectives of the 5th meeting are to:

  • Assess the progress and status of implementation of the Djibouti Declaration and the Addis Ababa Call for Action during the first half of 2019;
  • Share experiences and lessons learnt in developing the national education response plans (NERPs) by member states;
  • Identify challenges and opportunities, including funding from international financial institutions and development/humanitarian education partners for refugees, returnees, IDPs and host communities; and
  • Generate recommendations for the 3rd Conference of IGAD education ministers, scheduled for December 2019.

 The meeting is supported by the German Government through the German Development Agency GIZ.

 Background

 The Djibouti Declaration on Refugee Declaration was adopted in December 2017.

The Djibouti Declaration emphasised on five key strategic interventions:

  • Inclusion of refugees and returnees into national education systems with a multi-year costed plan of action;
  • Higher Education and TVET/ post-secondary skills and competencies;
  • Regional Qualifications Framework;
  • Accreditation and Certification of Education;
  • Resource Mobilization and Partnership.

 In December 2018, the Second Conference of Ministers in charge of Education issued the Addis Ababa Call for Action which reiterated their commitments to the Djibouti Declaration. The Ministers of Education also adopted:

  • The IGAD Regional Education Policy Framework
  • The IGAD Regional TVET Strategy and
  • The Consultative Process on the IGAD Regional Education Qualification Framework based on the preliminary draft initiated by IGAD.

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July 3, 2019 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Regional Secretariat on Forced Displacement & Mixed Migration (RSFDMM) of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) yesterday concluded a two-day training workshop on the use of Geo-Information Technology (GIS/RS) at the Djiboutian Agency for Social Development (ADDS).

This training was conducted within the framework of the mapping of development investments, database management and spatial planning in regards to the IGAD Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) which is implemented in five member countries.

This targeted capacity building event at country-level, which was conducted by IGAD DRDIP GIS Officer, gathered staff members from the Djibouti DRDIP Implementation Unit, from the Djiboutian Agency for Social Development and from the Djibouti Department of Statistics. 

IGAD Regional Secretariat on Forced Displacement and Mixed Migration (IGAD RS) did receive requests from the DRDIP Project Countries for technical support on Geo-enabling initiative for monitoring and supervision. This initiative is aimed at assisting country GIS and M&E teams utilize geo-spatial solutions to enhance monitoring and evaluation; remote supervision, real-time safeguards monitoring and portfolio mapping and coordination. 

The main objective of the training was to build capacity on the utilization of Geo-information technologies (GIS/RS), geo-tagging of DRDIP development investments, database management and spatial planning.

 Specifically, it focused on:

  • building technical aptitude on optimal application of spatial and attribute data collected using simple Information & Communication Technology tools;
  • optimising application of GIS/RS tools to process, manipulate and analyses spatial data; geo-database management;
  • processing and interpretation of remotely sensed data (especially freely available satellite imagery);
  • spatial planning; and
  • development of maps depicting various social economic phenomena.

The HEAD of DRDIP Implementation Unit-Djibouti, Mr Ibrahim Ali, noted the importance for mapping data such as infrastructures in rural areas with refugee settlements (schools, medical clinics, wells and bore holes etc) in such a way ‘we easily visualise meta data, census, figures and much more for the purpose of informing decision-making processes’.

A Researcher at the Djibouti National Statistics Institute, Mr. Omar Moussa, attended the training as he works intensively on migration issues. ‘Recently, my Institute tasked me to focus on migration, human trafficking in the region,’ he said. Mr. Omar expressed his satisfaction to have been invited to the training that will add value to his knowledge of GIS but will also introduce him to the DRDIP concept.

The IGAD Regional Secretariat on Forced Displacement & Mixed Migration is planning to conduct similar training sessions in Nairobi, Addis Ababa and Entebbe in staggered dates between July and November 2019.

As outlined in its Strategic Plan, the IGAD Regional Secretariat on Forced Displacement and Mixed Migration creates a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, and lessons learnt among the project countries. The IGAD RSFDMM enhances its facilitation role in the IGAD region through the creation of an appropriate and usable knowledge base on durable solutions in partnership with universities and think-tanks in the Horn of Africa. These partnerships will be linked also to the objective of the Regional Secretariat to contribute to better understanding of the nexus between socio-economic development, forced displacement and mixed migration in the IGAD Region though studies and research.

In executing its overall support roles to DRDIP Project countries, IGAD Regional Secretariat focuses on four key areas of intervention:

  • Spearhead the advancement of the development approach to displacement in the Horn of Africa;
  • Building partnership with universities and think-tanks in the IGAD region with respect to development planning, durable solutions and generation of actionable knowledge and information;
  • Foster learning and sharing of experiences in response to the impacts of forced displacement on refugee hosting communities for all the IGAD region countries; and
  • Contribute to better understanding of the nexus between socio-economic development, forced displacement and mixed migration in the IGAD region though studies and research.

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July 03, 2019 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held its 4th Regional Project Steering Committee (RPSC) meeting in Addis Ababa on June 24 and 25.

The RPSC is one of the key platforms which brings project countries together in order to share experiences, report on the progress made and the challenges, and the technical support they may require in line with the project objectives under DRDIP. The RPSC’s role is key to the realization of the objectives of this strategy and each project country is called upon to actively participate and share information at all platforms.

The participating countries to the Project are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. They were joined by Somalia for the first time.

The Coordinator of the Regional Secretariat for Forced Displacement and Mixed Migration (RSFDMM), Dr. Mohamed Elduma, informed the delegates that the Regional Secretariat was successfully relocated to Djibouti and was now fully operational. He added that on top of the World Bank, other development partners have joined to support the development response to forced displacement in the region through the Regional Migration Fund supported by the German Government.

He also reminded the delegates of the upcoming Midterm Review due to take place in July 2019. He finally noted that steps have been taken to address the gaps in communication between IGAD and the countries Project Implementation Units.

The Social Development Specialist of the World Bank, Mr. Samuel Lule, tasked the members of the Steering Committee to support IGAD in defining the research Agenda and identifying the technical assistance required. The World Bank Representative also underscored the role played by IGAD in spearheading the development response agenda in the IGAD region. Mr. Lule urged the delegates to spearhead the implementation of the delayed activities ahead of the upcoming midterm review.

During this 4th Steering Committee meeting, the IGAD Regional Secretariat for Forced Displacement and Mixed Migration and the countries’ Project Implementation Units (PIUs) for the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP):

  • Reviewed DRDIP implementation Progress Update for the year 2019 as part of facilitating exchange of information to support learning and sharing agenda;
  • Discussed and defined the research agenda for IGAD Regional Secretariat;

The participants also agreed on structured communication channels through which stories, best practises and lessons learnt from implementing countries are shared with IGAD Regional Secretariat for publication and dissemination.

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June 24, 2019 (ENTEBBE, Uganda): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today opened the ‘IGAD Member States Validation Meeting on the Draft Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and Its Road Map for Negotiation and Implementation’ in Entebbe under the leadership of the IGAD Migration Programme’s Free Movement Project Officer, Ms. Lucy Daxbacher.

These five-day discussions on the draft Protocol, which were preceded by country-level consultations on subject matter in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, are the first of the kind and will be followed by two other similar meetings.

Participants to these first regional discussions are experts and officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, of Interior, of Justice, of Labour, Attorney Generals and National Security agencies mainly.

This meeting is meant to validate the following documents on the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in the IGAD Region namely:

  • The National Consultative Reports on the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in IGAD Region;
  • The Study on benefits and barriers of Free Movement of Persons in IGAD Region;
  • The Draft Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in IGAD Region;
  • The Road Map for the Implementation of the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in IGAD Region.

On fifth day, Negotiations on the Protocol will be launched by submission of observations by countries. Time will be made to plan for the next round of negotiations, and also to schedule working missions to the Secretariats of the East African Community and of the Economic Community of West Africa States for the purpose of exposing IGAD Member States to best practices and lessons learnt by similar regional bodies on the continent.

During the last couple of years, IGAD Secretariat undertook national consultative meetings with all its Member States to get a clear understanding of the benefits and barriers to free movement of persons in the region as well as get inputs of the Member States experts into the thematic provisions of the Draft Protocol with support from European Union Trust Fund.

Developed in the past decade, IGAD has a rigorous Migration Governance Architecture backed up by strong policy instruments. Migration at IGAD is therefore addressed within the framework of Regional Migration Policy Framework (RMPF) that is derived from the continental framework on Migration adopted in Banjul in 2006.

The Framework was adopted by the IGAD Council of Ministers in 2012 and has become the primary IGAD policy reference on migration. The IGAD RMPF provides a comprehensive policy approach that addresses thematic, institutional and other challenges related to migration governance in the IGAD Region with an ultimate objective of achieving the developmental potential of migration. In order to implement the RMPF, the IGAD Secretariat developed the Migration Action Plan (MAP) 2015-2020 which sets priorities among which is the establishment of the free movement regime in IGAD Region.

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