Empowering Female Diaspora Associations to Strengthen their Role in the Development of Countries of Origin

Empowering Female Diaspora Associations to Strengthen their Role in the Development of Countries of Origin 

A. Contexte  

With the September 2015 adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the international community has officially recognised “the positive contribution of migrants for inclusive growth and sustainable development”

At the European Union level, strategies for development are calling for new partnerships and this includes the diasporas. These partnerships are key to the promotion of inclusive dialogue and the implementation of SDGs. Strategies also mention the need to further build the capacities of these new potential partners. However, the diaspora is often taken as a whole without consideration of a gender specific approach even though the role of women has been acknowledged as central to achieve sustainable development.

Thus, the project targets African diaspora associations managed by African diaspora women residing in Belgium and aims to strengthen their role and capacities as effective actors in the development of their countries of origin. The selection of beneficiary associations will be based in accordance with the list of priority countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation (DGD) (Morocco, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Benin, Niger, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and the Palestinian Territory).

This project supports the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals


The project “Empowering Female Diaspora Associations to Strenghten their Role in the Development of their Countries of Origin” is a short-term pilot project being implemented by the office of the International Organization for Migration in Belgium with the financial support of the Belgian Development Cooperation.

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the empowerment of African diaspora women’s associations in Belgium to enhance their involvement in the development of their countries of origin.

More specifically, it aims to:  

1. Strengthen the capacities of African diaspora women’s associations in Belgium so that they engage more efficiently in projects or activities which aim to contribute to the development of their countries or regions of origin;

2. Improve the visibility of African diaspora women’s associations so that they are better perceived as drivers and potential partners for development.

To reach these two specific objectives, IOM, in collaboration/coordination with Belgian stakeholders and the beneficiaries will implement the activities developed under points C and D.


IOM Belgium will organize in Brussels a capacity building training made up of the below three modules. A minimum of 10 associations will be selected for this project with one or two representatives per association taking part in the training and in turn, training the members of their respective associations through restitution sessions.  

Module 1: Institutional strengthening and Project Cycle Management (PCM)

This first module will consist in a four-day equivalent training on institutional strengthening (how to structure and consolidate an organisation etc) and on PCM guidance, including a strong fundraising component, to acquire the ability to develop relevant projects and respond to appropriate calls for proposals.

Module 2: Migration & Development and the role of women

The second module will focus on Migration and Development including a gendered approach to M&D:

- Day 1 & 2 will cover the various ways diaspora can contribute to development through social, cultural, human and economic (remittances) resources.

- Day 3 will bring together the project’s selected African women’s diaspora associations with experienced diaspora associations in migration & development in Europe and Belgium. These associations will share their best practices and address recommendations on how to engage diaspora into development.

Module 3: Women and peace building/community cohesion

The third module, during two days, will be on “women and peace building”:

- Day 1 will cover the international and national policy frameworks addressing the inclusion of a gender perspective in peace and conflict prevention;

- Day 2 will consist in a workshop on “women and peace building” which will bring together the project’s selected African women’s diaspora associations with other associations active in peace building and conflict resolution in order to present and exchange on women’s role in conflict resolution and peace building.


This visibility component will contribute to the recognition of the work and added-values of African women’s diaspora associations in Belgium. The activities will consist in:  

- The elaboration of a repertoire of African diaspora women’s associations in Belgium to facilitate info-sharing and networking.

- The elaboration and dissemination of three briefs with success stories on individual or collective actions done by diaspora women residing in Belgium who are contributing to the development of countries of origin.

- The elaboration of a calendar for 2019 presenting the involvement and successes of the beneficiary associations.


While IOM Belgium has implemented various projects with the African diasporas in Belgium, this will be IOM Belgium’s first project targetting specifically diaspora women. Through the project, IOM will develop new contacts and synergies with various stakeholders working in the areas of gender, development and peacebuilding.

For more information, contact Ms. Coryse Lehembre (clehembre@iom.int(link sends e-mail), tel: +32 (0) 2 287 75 15)