Under a new action to support the Diaspora Affairs Office of Saint Lucia, in April EUDiF was in London to train a group of government officials and diaspora individuals on how to design and run a skills mapping.
Following the completion of our support to Madagascar which generated a profile of Malagasy skills in France and Switzerland, as well as a modifiable methodology for mapping skills, we have started a new action to replicate the exercise with Saint Lucia. The action is a collaboration between the Diaspora Affairs Office and the High Commission of Saint Lucia in the UK.
In the coming months, EUDiF will work with Saint Lucia to tailor the mapping methodology to the context of the Saint Lucian diaspora in the UK. We will then launch a survey and, working with diaspora professional Mandy Preville-Findlay of Beyond Iyanola, we will analyse the skills profile of the Saint Lucian diaspora in the UK.
As in all EUDiF actions, we endeavour to support our partners via a short-term collaboration which is designed to have a long-term impact on their activities and operations. In the case of this micro-project with Saint Lucia, we therefore place great emphasis on upskilling government staff and creating institutional memory so that the results of the mapping can be kept alive in future, or complementary mapping exercises in other countries can be run autonomously.
The workshop in London was the first step in this process. Over the course of two days, EUDiF’s Fanny and Charlotte delivered a workshop which covered research principles, survey design and structure, communication and roll-out, how to analyse results and what mapping results can feed into in the future.
Saint Lucia’s evidence driven approach
The government of Saint Lucia is committed to evidence-based policy making and programming. Equally, it is a great believer in the potential of its diaspora to support development. However, its current data on the diaspora is patchy. Running a skills mapping will help the government to fill in some of these gaps so that the Diaspora Affairs Office in particular can develop appropriate programmes to serve the diaspora, and make the most of its untapped potential.
The first workshop brought government officials and diaspora individuals together as equals in the exercise, each with something to contribute in the design and dissemination stages. Starting the action in this way, with a mixed group and in close collaboration with Mandy, really sets the tone for the transparent and collaborative manner in which Saint Lucia sees its diaspora engagement future. At EUDiF, we are particularly excited to continue in this inclusive way.
Post-workshop, we are refining the survey based on the inputs gathered in order to launch it in the course of June. This will be followed by analysis, reflection and further training for government officials in Saint Lucia. Watch this space!