Migration trends in Moldova show mainly emigration for employment opportunities which has led to an increasingly important ‘culture of migration’. The government of Moldova therefore focuses its migration governance efforts on diaspora engagement and safer labour migration. Moldova has made commendable progress in enhancing its data collection efforts on migration through its government-led Extended Migration Profiles that are produced yearly, and the innovative manner in which it promotes the mainstreaming of migration across all sectors via its network of migration focal points. Migration has been mainstreamed into the recently developed draft National Development Strategy 2030 and a specific National Diaspora Strategy for 2015-2025 has also been approved and implementation kick-started. The government has made good progress at aligning both of these with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including through setting pertinent indicators to monitor progress. Migration governance efforts have also been institutionalized within the State Chancellery under the leadership of the Diaspora Relations Bureau (BRD) and which oversees an inter-ministerial coordination committee and the network of diaspora, migration and development (DMD) focal points in all central public authorities. The migration mainstreaming mechanism was also extended to the local level, with DMD committees established in more than 130 communities (at the date of submitting the report in July 2018). The programme has also supported the successful mainstreaming of migration into Moldova’s UN Development Assistance Framework which was renewed in 2017, fostered cooperation with various UN agencies and has been very active in sharing their experience via the Global Forum on Migration and Development and via the consultations and negotiations of the Global Compact on Migration.
The evidence base on M&D was strengthened for enhanced planning, policy development and M&E at national level through:
- 6 editions of nationally owned Extended Migration Profiles have been updated and used throughout the Programme to inform policy making
- A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework has been developed and aligned with the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development to support the government in monitoring and evaluating the M&D mainstreaming process. This was recently updated further to refine the indicators set for monitoring and ensure they are in line with the National Development Strategy, the Diaspora 2025 Strategy and other migration related strategies.
Moldova achieved the mainstreaming of migration into policy formulation and implementation planning by supporting:
- The development of a Comprehensive National Diaspora Strategy 2025 (CNDS 2025) and its Action Plan for 2016-2018, with a framework for monitoring and evaluation aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It marks a significant step forward in the GoM’s recognition of the development potential of migration. The PoA includes 4 objectives: (i) drafting and developing the strategic and operational framework for the area of DMD; (ii) ensuring diaspora’s rights and to build trust; (iii) mobilizing, harnessing, and recognizing diaspora’s human potential; (iv) engaging diaspora directly and indirectly in the sustainable economic development of the Republic of Moldova
- The development of the new draft National Development Strategy “Moldova 2030” (NDS 2030), replacing the NDS 2020, which is also aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and includes migration considerations.
- The National Programme for Attracting Remittances into Economic Development PARE 1+1 was revised which included providing recommendations for the use of innovative instruments for engaging diaspora for development and running a diaspora thematic webinar and consultation
- The National Action Plan for Reintegrating the Returning Migrants (NAP) 2014-2016 was revised, which informed the development of a new NAP for 2017-2020 through 22 recommendations referring to further developing a comprehensive legislative, institutional, informative framework; to further providing capacity building for the institutions involved in providing reintegration services; and to reflect the Sustainable Development Goals in the next POA. The new NAP sets out three main objectives: (i) enhancing the institutional framework for information and promotion of (re)integration of RM citizens returned from abroad; (ii) ensuring social (re)integration of the RM citizens returned from abroad; and (iii) supporting economic (re)integration of the RM citizens returned from abroad.
- The formulation of the National Employment Strategy (NES) and its Action Plan for 2017-2021, which integrated aspects of diaspora engagement, to make migration’s development impacts more tangible.
- The development of an ex-ante policy impact assessment methodology to support and monitor the mainstreaming of migration into sectoral policies.
- The mainstreaming of migration into the UNDAF 2013-2017 including migration-related indicators, its subsequent action plan, the report of the Common Country Assessment report and the development of a Migration and Diaspora gender mainstreaming checklist for the UNCT. This also informed the mainstreaming of migration into the new UNDAF 2018-2022.
- In total, following the implementation of the migration mainstreaming mechanism in Moldova, 17 new migration sensitive/relevant law reforms/new laws/strategies/action plans were elaborated/implemented.
Moldova also kick-started implementation of the new policies with the following activities:
- The assessment of the Integrated Information System “Migration and Asylum” (SIIAMA), which lead to the development of comprehensive recommendations and of two roadmaps for improving IT architecture.
- The development of a system for transfer of remittances involving the National Postal Office and foreign counterparts, which was pilot-tested in one payment corridor (Italy-Moldova), and is currently under negotiation for further expansion to other payment corridors.
- The promotion of diaspora / nostalgic tourism to Moldova, via the promotion of festivals, national holidays, tourist routes, the development and pilot-testing of a Tourist Passport and the coordination of efforts from state agencies and service providers from the tourist sector.
- The development of a cooperation mechanism involving private partners in M&D policy development
- The conceptualization of a M&E framework for the DMD field o It has been accompanied with the development of a Guide for the application of the framework
- The capacities involved in applying the M&E framework were also consolidated.
In order to achieve greater institutional coherence and sustained coordination by government and other stakeholders, the following actions were carried out:
- In Moldova, the government developed synergies with the following M&D-related initiatives: o IOM / UoC (SIPA) Capstone Project “Improving the implementation of the GoM Pare 1+1”
- SDC “Consolidating Moldova’s migration and development institutional framework Project (MIDIDOM)”
- EU / UN Women project “Promoting and Protecting Women Migrant Workers’ labour and human rights”
- The establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Diaspora, Migration and Development (ICDMD) at central level ensured intra-governmental coordination and policy coherence.
- The extension of the DMD National Focal Points (NFPs) to the local level with Local Focal Points (LFPs) for mainstreaming migration into policy development and implementation at all levels, with over 130 communities establishing DMD committees at the moment of submission of the present report (July 2018)
- The Programme supported the development of a concept and curricula for a comprehensive and sustainable training programme on M&D, the development and pilot-testing of a practitioner-oriented curriculum on M&D, the development and pilot-testing of two academic curricula with two handbooks produced (500 copies), and the production, publication and dissemination of various guides, handbooks and handout materials.
Challenges, solutions and lessons learned
The Programme faced a high dependency on high-level political buy-in, concentrated in few committed public officials with often volatile careers. It also had to adjust to radical organizational restructuring due to the politically unstable climate. Another challenge was the limited institutional memory due to a high turnover in public agencies’ personnel. Both the turnover and the restructuring resulted in capacity constraints that hindered the Programme’s implementation. Annex 1f. Countries’ Fiches
The Programme also had to adjust to limited commitment from central and local public authorities, in part due to the limited awareness of the concepts and benefits of mainstreaming migration amongst these actors. This is accentuated by limited public funding for migration mainstreaming related activities, which both reduces the interest from actors and restricts the implementation of strategies and policies developed.
Consequently, the Programme was required to be constantly adjusted to governmental strategic, political, administrative and staffing changes. Thus, a strong degree of flexibility when implementing activities was crucial to ensure smooth and timely implementation of project activities. It also required developing training programmes to ensure accumulation of knowledge and the transfer of the expertise to newly recruited public staff.
The Programme also supported the development of a network of focal points at the local level. This is not fully functional yet, but already showed strong interest at local level (more than 130 local DMD committees already established) and the potential for ensuring vertical coordination between levels of governance. This will enable national policies to be more responsive to real needs at the territorial level as well as ensure the continuation of migration mainstreaming processes and coordination efforts despite future restructuring at the national level.