JMDI Migrant advisory board


For phase I of the JMDI (2008-2012),the  JMDI established a Migrant Advisory Board composed of six experts with recognized academic and hands-on expertise in the field of Migration and Development to provide substantive advice to the Joint Initiative. The composition of the Board supported the ambition of the Joint Initiative to work closely with prominent Migration and Development practitioners, in order to support programme implementation and create a channel for engagement with the Joint Initiative. The membership of the Board reflected the geographic coverage of the Joint Initiative, with the aim of bringing into programme planning the specific regional dimensions of Migration and Development. Members of the Board had different profiles and areas of expertise, with a view to include and reflect the many aspects of the work of diaspora and migrant associations/organizations.

The members of the Board shared with the programme their networks, as well as their policy and political knowledge on issues surrounding Migration and Development along the four thematic areas of the Joint Initiative: Capacities of migrants, Communities of migrants, Remittances and Rights of migrants. The Board provided substantive inputs during the drafting phase of the four funding thematic windows of the Call for Proposals targeting civil society organizations and local authorities. It played a crucial role in contributing to and reviewing the priorities and expected outputs, while securing the inclusion of diaspora and migrants organizations’ core interests and needs.


1. Mr. Jean Paul ZOYEM
Jean Paul Zoyem was born in Cameroon and educated in France, where he also gained his PhD in Economics. Subsequently, he has worked as a Poverty Economist for the World Bank, as a Researcher for the World Food Programme in France and as an Economist/Statistician for international organizations in Africa. Since 1991, he has been working directly with African diaspora associations in France. He is the Coordinator of CASE-DAFRIQUE, a company linking experts to firms providing technical assistance in Africa. In this framework, he developed a programme to enhance the capacity of migrant communities from Cameroon to find employment using diaspora networks. In addition, he participates actively in the diaspora association ACSE-Afrique, which aims to improve the quality of education in Africa, through the connections between the North and the South.

2. Ms. Titilola BANJOKO
Ms. Titilola Banjoko was born in Nigeria and educated in the United Kingdom. She is currently an advisor to international organizations, governments, the private sector and non-governmental organizations on the issue of capacity building and leveraging remittances in Africa. Ms. Banjoko advocates for the use of human capital and diaspora capital as a tool for addressing developmental capacity in Africa. In this regard, she has created a website: “Find a Job in Africa“, for which she successfully developed online and offline tools, instruments and processes to enable effective stakeholder engagement. She has likewise pioneered the formation of AfricaRecruit, a programme designed for capacity-building in Africa. Ms. Banjoko has received three awards for her efforts regarding Migration and Development. She is currently working in London on country-specific initiatives in the area of remittances.

3. Mr. Ayman ZOHRY
Mr. Zohry was born in Egypt. He gained his PhD in Geography in the United Kingdom and returned to his home country, where he founded the Egyptian Society for Migration Studies (EGYMIG), a research institute based in Cairo of which he is currently President. Mr. Zohry has an extensive record of experience in lecturing and researching in the field of migration and development. In the past few years he has worked as a visiting professor at the American University of Beirut (AUB), the American University in Cairo (AUB) and the Danish Institute for International Studies. Mr. Zohry has also provided various consultancy services and technical advice to IOM, the World Bank, the Arab League, UN-ESCWA, the EU, the Academy for Educational Development (AED), USAID, and many other national, regional, and international organizations and NGOs.

Ms. Leila Rispens-Noel was born in the Philippines. She has fifteen years’ experience working with migrant organizations from various regions (Africa, Latin America and Asia) and influencing policy in the field of migration, development and remittances. Based in the Netherlands, she currently works as Programme Manager for Oxfam Novib. In addition, she provides technical assistance to Dutch non-governmental organizations as well as to diaspora organizations that support projects in East, West and Southern Africa. She is organizing a capacity building programme and functions as an expert regarding microfinance, remittances, migration and development. Ms. Rispens-Noel advocates for the inclusion of migration in development strategies and the active participation of diaspora organizations in the field of development. She is an active member of the Association of Bansalenos Worldwide and she maintains two web-blogs: one on migration and development and the other on Filipino migrant advocacy:

5. Mr. Gibril FAAL
Mr. Faal was born in Gambia and educated in the United Kingdom. He has over fifteen years’ experience as a researcher and as a diaspora leader. Mr. Faal is the director of GK Partners, a company specialized in advising on social enterprise and international development, as well as of RemitAid, an organization that is mainly focused on mitigating the negative impacts of remittances and developing collective remittances. Mr. Faal has also worked as an independent evaluator for the University of Oxford, the Centre for Migration, Policy and Society, and has published several articles on remittances and Migration and Development. On various occasions he acted as an expert advisor for international organizations such as IOM, UNESCO, the EU and the African Union (AU). Mr. Faal currently resides in the United Kingdom and is chairman of the African Foundation for Development.

6. Ms. Elizabeth THOMAS-HOPE
Ms. Elizabeth Thomas-Hope was born in Jamaica, where she is currently the James Seivright Moss-Solomon Senior Professor of Environmental Management and the Director of the Centre for the Environment at the University of the West Indies. She gained her PhD in the United Kingdom. Ms. Thomas-Hope is the author of various books, articles and papers on international migration, Caribbean social issues, sustainable development, and environmental issues. Moreover, she has an extensive record of international experience, functioning as a member of expert panels on migration issues for the IOM, UNITAR, ECLAC and ILO. She has executed the Caribbean aspects of a number of international research projects on migration, environmental issues, and sustainable development.