Projet SPES – Sénégal - Piémont et Sardaigne : migration et co-développement

Short title

Projet SPES

Start date - End date

Wed, 09/30/2009 to Wed, 09/29/2010

Brief description of the initiative

The project started from a position of acknowledging the importance of the citizens of the Louga and the St Louis regions in Senegal for the sustainable development of their communal homeland. The project was set up in two different locations. One part in Italy, where capacity building focusing on increasing migrants’ competences in the area of development were carried out. The second part of the project took place in Senegal, where direct support was given to migrants’ families and civil society and local government agencies were sensitized regarding the opportunities offered by the local economic sector.

Results and lessons learned

Following a close partnership between its members, Project SPES has achieved its aims of 1) training and coaching migrants to enable them to fulfill their role as effective ‘agents of development’ and 2) kick-starting productive businesses in the migrants’ regions of origin.

Project SPES has combined a strategy of capacity building for migrants with the concurrent facilitation of establishing links between migrants and producer organisations in Senegal. The involvement of local authorities played an important part in reinforcing the process of information sharing and advocacy. This benefitted the valorisation and engagement of migrant (human) resources in the local development effort.

Main results:

1) The capabilities of ten migrant organizations in Sardinia and Piedmont have been improved. They are now more accustomed to and capable of defining priorities and formulating sustainable development projects for their countries of origin by partnering up with local actors.

2) 60% of families targeted by project SPES have set up long-term business projects with participation and support from counterparts in Italy.

3) Italian and Senegalese local communities and civil society now recognizes the important capacity of migrants in the development field.


- The project has prioritized a process of awareness raising among migrant families on the importance of wealth generating investment activities linked to the use of remittances. In the end, a willingness to engage in longer-term productive activities makes families in the country of origin privileged actors also based on the participation and support of the migrants themselves.

- It is important to let migrants have a say in the establishment and execution of development projects in their country of origin. Local organizations there can play an important role as interlocutors.

- The difficult international context of migration politics creates risks for the living conditions of migrants in Europe and in Italy in particular. A situation of precariousness can cause a lower participation of migrants in initiatives by small associations and in international cooperation. Such a situation requires the reaching out to migrant, which the project has done via numerous meetings and information sessions in both Senegal and Italy.



Project number



199,960 EUR


JMDI, European Union

Partner country(ies)


Main thematic areas


Focus area

Creating sustainable networks amongst migrant communities for development
Mobilizing and giving a voice to migrant communities for development
Promoting the involvement of women, refugees, asylum seekers in migrant/diaspora organizations for development

First name


Last name






Main objectives

In particular, the project aimed to:

• facilitate the active participation of migrants and their organizations in the Louga and St. Louis regions in the development dynamics of the area they left behind;

• provide migrants with support and advice so as to direct their remittances to the productive sector, thus benefiting their families;

• support local institutions in improving policy management for efficient financial and social investment in their territory;

• strengthen the partnership between local government agencies, peasants’ federations and producer organizations in each of the target regions of the project



Main activities

• launching the project in Louga, St. Louis, Turin and Cagliari; • identification of citizens’ associations in Piedmont and Sardinia; • training of migrants in Italy in the field of project management; • Elaboration, printing and dissemination of a “Citizens’ Guide for Social Economic Development”; • Creation of a ‘round-table’ for discussions; • Taking into consideration local government agencies and citizens’ recommendations for the elaboration of local plans for development; • Press conferences and radio emissions; • Launching a “Day of Interchange” for the capitalization of good practices in development cooperation in Sardinia and Piedmont; • Holding a workshop on employment and investment opportunities, targeting women and youth in particular; • Training on the financial conditions offered by micro-finance structures; • Creating guarantee funds for financing activities which benefit migrants’ families.

Main beneficiaries

10 citizens’ associations in Sardinia and Piedmont (about 200 members), 50 families and 20 communities of origin linked to these citizens (about 200 people), 2 local government agencies which act in the Louga and St. Louis regions, the affected population in Sardinia and Piedmont.

Project Documents