The Southern Africa Migration Management (SAMM) project is a four-year European Union-funded project being implemented by four United Nations agencies – International Labour Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in coordination with SADC member states, relevant Regional Economic Communities (RECs) relevant stakeholders and development partners to improve migration management in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region. The SAMM project collaborates with the following RECs: Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and; the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC); with particular focus on the following SADC countries: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The proposed interventions under the SAMM project foresee a series of coordinated and simultaneous interventions implemented across two main thematic domains: labour migration and mixed migration flows. The labour migration domain addresses the critical needs of strengthening the labour migration governance and approaches in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region focusing on (i) the establishment and promotion of rights-based legal and efficient channels of labour migration and mobility including appropriate protection measures for migrants’ workers; and (ii) establishment and operationalization of a Southern African and Indian Ocean migration observatory. The mixed migration component covers key technical and operational areas that relate to the formulation and implementation of evidence-based management strategies and policies to address mixed migration challenges, including assurance of appropriate protection frameworks for vulnerable migrants in the Southern African and Indian Ocean region.


The widespread recognition of the Diaspora’s role in development has led to an increase in diaspora policy development and programmes attempting to leverage the goodwill and resources of emigrants as many governments are beginning to realize and acknowledge that they could accomplish much more by establishing close links with their Diaspora. The Diaspora has the potential to make substantial contributions and the most recognized of these are the remittances they send to their countries of origin, as well as their role in the development of human capital.

According to the World Bank Migration and Development 2020 Brief, despite the 2020 global economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown, the remittances to low and middle-income countries stood at $445 billion, reflecting about 20 percent decline from the projected amount. Remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa rose from $33 billion in 2015 to $48 billion in 2019 with countries in Southern Africa receiving around $7 billion in remittances, which counts as a substantial financial resource in most countries in the region.[1] Remittances have been an important income source for many

households in the SADC region, as well as a major contributor to foreign exchange for MSs.[2] As economies shut down and shrank and migrant workers lost their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remittances to sub-Saharan Africa were estimated to drop by 23.1 percent to reach $37 billion in 2020, while recovery of 4 percent is expected in 2021. The cost of receiving remittances in Southern Africa remains among the highest in the world.[3] with costs as high as 20 percent in some of the countries which poses a significant challenge to harness the benefits of the diaspora in the region.

The Southern Africa region is known for a high level of intra-regional migration and mobility patterns, with SADC nationals moving primarily within the region and a few numbers emigrating to countries outside the region with strong family and social networks. The net emigration for the region is positive, reflecting and reinforcing ongoing regional dynamics. According to the 2020 Africa Migration Report – Challenging the Narrative, in 2019, the Southern Africa region hosted the largest migrant population (6.7%) in relation to the population of the region, of which a significant number originated from SADC countries.

Educational, employment opportunities, and growing high demand for high- and low-skilled labour have been the main driver of intraregional migration in the region. According to IOM’s 2020 World Migration Report, intraregional labour migration is well established in Southern Africa, where significant numbers of people have traditionally migrated from countries such as Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe, to work in South Africa and Botswana. While traditional sectors, such as mining, continue to attract migrant workers, other sectors – including education, finance and information technology – are increasingly drawing migrants to South Africa”. Southern Africa intra-regional migration, if properly harnessed, has the potential to contribute to greater intra-regional trade and the region’s economic development as well as large-scale diaspora investments.

Southern Africa diaspora populations are growing, as are their savings and the scale of resources available to reinvest in their countries of origin. Yet, except few countries, SADC countries have made little progress in attracting these financial and human resource and little is known about the existing mechanisms and practices as well as policy guidelines and legal frameworks that are in place in those countries. In the Southern African region, the focus on Diaspora for development has been lower compared to other regions in the continent. Only a few countries in the region have made concerted efforts to develop initiatives to involve diasporas in development activities and limited information is available to identify existing practices on diaspora engagement and strategies to ensure productive use of remittances. This is partially due to the lack/limited access to the full range of data, both at home and in host countries on the size, locations, and economic and demographic characteristics of diaspora, including their age, gender, skills level amongst others. However, a number of MSs have developed diaspora policies, such as Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Numerous MSs have expressed interest in engaging more closely with their diaspora. The DRC, for example, has made official request to IOM for support to develop a roadmap to mobilize the Congolese diaspora.[4] Mauritius and Seychelles have also formally requested for assistance with diaspora engagement.[5] Botswana indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic made apparent the lack of information that they have on their diaspora, and that this is a gap that needs to be addressed.

In order to maximize the potential of diaspora for development, governments and their respective diaspora communities must be willing to cooperate and have a shared understanding of their roles, interests and motivations, as well as how they are organized and the issues to which their participation can add values. To identify, assess and strengthen areas of contribution from the diaspora, IOM has formulated a comprehensive strategic approach centered on the 3Es for action: to Enable, Engage and Empower transnational communities as agents for development – with each area involving a range of interventions by governments and other stakeholders, supported by IOM through policy advice and programming[6]. Additionally, IOM has supported the development of the iDiaspora platform[7] , a global digital venue allowing diasporas to connect with, learn from and collaborate with stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds all working to maximize the potential of transnational communities.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), established in 1951, is the lead United Nations agency in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental partners. IOM’s work is to ensure orderly and humane management of migration; promote international cooperation on migration issues; help find practical solutions to migration-related problems: and provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need. IOM has been operational in Southern Africa since the early 1990s; the organization now has a solid regional footprint with a presence in 15 SADC member States and continues to work closely with governments and various stakeholders on the multifaceted migration issues affecting the region. IOM has been working in the region to strengthen the mechanism for diaspora engagement and mobilization of diaspora remittances for development. For example, IOM in 2016 and 2019 supported the Governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia to develop national policies on Diaspora respectively including Diaspora skill initiatives for Zimbabwe in 2016. Similarly, IOM supported the Government of Lesotho to conduct the mapping of the Basotho diaspora in South Africa. Additionally, there are ongoing efforts with the Government of Mozambique to strengthen the mechanism for diaspora engagement in line with the commitment of the government.


The main objective of the study is to conduct a review of existing practices within SADC countries on diaspora engagement and the productive use of remittances in the region.

Specific Objectives:

  1. Analyze the coordination mechanisms, strategies, policies and regulatory frameworks in place in the SADC countries, regionally and the national level on diaspora engagement and remittances mobilization and how they respond to the needs of diaspora and the government aspirations.

  2. Conduct case studies of the REC and countries in the region that have successfully initiated diaspora investment programmes and identify some of the global, continental and regional good practices related to institutional and coordination mechanisms as well as policy guidelines and legal frameworks. Using best practices emanating from the case studies, make practical recommendations applicable to the subregional context.

  3. Assess the adequacy and capacity of the diaspora institutional and coordination mechanism in the SADC and country levels to fully harness the development potential of the diaspora in the region.

  4. Determine obstacles and challenges within the SADC countries impacting effective diaspora engagement strategies and remittances as well as human resource utilization.

  5. Identify opportunities available at the RECs and national levelson productive diaspora engagement.

  6. Consolidate all the mapping/data on diaspora in the region and ensure consolidation of information in the Regional Migration Data Hub (RMDHub) in coordination with the RMDHub team.

  7. Develop an implementation plan for MS to enhance the productive use of remittances through sensitization of both sending and receiving communities, partnership models, innovative financial services.

  8. Develop concise and specific recommendations for diaspora engagement in the region for RECs and MSs consideration and present the same to relevant stakeholders.

This study aligns with the output 3.1 of the SADC Labour Migration Action Plan (LMAP 2020 – 2025) on “Mechanisms for remittance transfers improved” and the prioritization of activities for LMAP 2020 – 2025 as endorsed during the Employment and Labour Sector Ministerial Meeting held on 30 April 2021. N


· Report on review of existing practices within SADC countries on diaspora engagement and the productive use of huan capital and remittances in the region including key recommendations; and**

· Implementation plan for SADC MSs to enhance diaspora engagement and productive use of the Diaspora remittances, considering the report of the study and country-level information and make a presentation to the SADC MSs.**


The method for this study will be a combination of a desk study and in-country interviews with relevant stakeholders where feasble. The prospective Consultant(s) must outline their proposed research methodology when submitting their expression of interest. Overall, the methodology for the assessment will be agreed upon by the consultant in consultation with IOM and its implementing partners under the SAMM project.

However, the design should employ a mixed-method approach and include:

· Desk review.

· Virtual/face-to-face consultations with stakeholders in Southern Africa and the IOC region subject to the lifting of the ban of travels and public gatherings.

· Key informant Interviews – virtual/face to face. The face-to-face meeting and gathering will depend on the lifting of COVID-19 imposed travel restrictions and physical gatherings.


The Consultant will require 60 days, spread over the period June – July 2021. The expected main activities and deliverables are as follows:


Main Activities


i) Inception

Prepare and submit inception report detailing the methodology

Inception Document with detailed methodology, and work plan with a detailed schedule for the assignment presented to IOM and SAMM partners. (5 days)

ii) Literature review and development of tools

Conduct detailed literature review and develop tools and methodology to guide the study

Literature review, research protocol, and tools (10 days)

iii) Fieldwork

Collect and analyze data from RECs and the Member States

Data collection and analysis; preliminary report of findings (30 days)

iv) Report writing

Draft and submit a report with proposed recommendations

Final draft report (10 days)

Regional analysis report (1 report and 1-page country briefs)

v) Validation

Present draft report and recommendations to stakeholders for validation

Final report (5 days)


i) Education: Advanced university degree in Social Sciences, Development Studies, Anthropology, or Demography.

ii) Experience: A minimum of 10 years’ experience in migration management, international development, development policy, and/or research and analysis , preferably with a focus on Diaspora and migration or migration-related subjects. Demonstrated knowledge of SADC policies and strategies, as well as familiarity with the institutional landscape and political economy in the SADC region.

iii) General skills: Demonstrated analytical skills and excellent communication and report writing skills; and

iv) Language: Written and spoken English, French or Portuguese


Prospective consultants will be evaluated for suitability to undertake the task based on the following criteria:



Education and Training


Specific skills


General skills


Total **



i) The IOM Regional Project Coordinator will be responsible for the overall execution of the consultancy, with technical support from IOM Thematic Specialist on Labour Mobility and Human Development based in Pretoria and IOM HQ colleagues in collaboration with the relevant colleagues from the UN implementing partners.

ii) The consultant will be expected to work from his or her own offices and to use their facilities.


The consultant will be required to ensure reporting against measurable indicators. These indicators should reflect the consultant’s commitment to delivering quality outputs promptly, aligned to the agreed methodology as proposed in the inception report. The final set of indicators should be provided in the inception report along with progress to be monitored.


This assignment will be implemented over 60 days, at remuneration scales commensurate with demonstrated experience, education and skills levels. The fees will be paid in accordance with deliverables in the following proportions:

i) 30% upon submission and acceptance of Inception Report

ii) 50% upon submission and acceptance of the final Draft Report

iii) 20% upon validation and submission of final validated Report

For more information, see

iDiaspora – Connect, Learn, Contribute


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