CARMP activities in Tajikistan

Output I: Polices for managing migration are evidence-based and effectively implemented.

CARMP supports the creation of a gender- disaggregated database on migration managed by the Ministry of Interior’s Migration Service (MS) and fosters coordination and data sharing between the Migration Service and the State Border Guards Committee. The creation of the databases contributes to a clear delineation of functions and decreased inter-agency competition. Government officials and other stakeholders involved in the management of databases are trained.

A separate database on job vacancies (www.kor.tj) is created in collaboration with the State Agency on Employment and Social Protection (SAESP) under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (MoLSP). A website based on this database offers information on: (i) employment prospects; (ii) available vocational training courses; (iii) market profile and updates; (iv) standard labour contracts and forms; (v) service providers (medical examination and language centres, financial institutions); (vi) bilateral labour agreements; salary rates; (vii) publications, research and statistics.

Manuals on how to use database are developed; and government staff is trained on the data base use and management. The data is integrated into the official statistics of the State Statistic Committee (SSC) on regular basis.

Coordination and cooperation between the Migration Service and the State Border Guards Committee (SBGC) under the State Committee of National Security (SCNS) improves. Migration cards were introduced by the MS, aimed at identifying migration flow from Tajikistan are not filled in at border controls as this is not requested by the SBGC officers. A process of dialogue and the signing of a joint agreement between the two agencies aims to identify responsibilities and mechanisms of cooperation. A training session provided for the officers on border check points responsible for collection of migration cards should improve bilateral understanding.

Output II: Improved regional partnerships, dialogue and coordination on selected migration issues.

CARMP provides specialized expert advice to Migration Service to prepare and follow up on EurAsEC high level and expert group meetings. Topics for briefing notes are agreed and include gender issues.

Output III: Labour migrants and their families benefit from a broader range of gender sensitive services provided throughout migration cycle.

CARMP provides assistance to establish a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and to strengthen coordination and cooperation among agencies. In addition, operational support is provided for Migrants Support Centres, run by NGOs. Information campaigns are conducted in cooperation with all project partners.

CARMP provides assistance to the Government of Tajikistan to conduct an initial country assessment prior to establishing the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) to identify which agencies and NGOs are the key actors in migration activities, and which of them should be part of the NRM. This activity aims at ensuring government responsibility in establishing an efficient referral mechanism for migrants who need employment, protection, health care, and social assistance.

The second step is the design and implementation of the NRM, including participating agencies/structures, standard operating procedures, and a programme of action.

Support to NGOs operating Migrants Support Centres (MSCs).

MSCs are established on the basis of the 7 existing IOM NGO partners representing all provinces of Tajikistan. Support is provided in the form of grants. This financial support is necessary for NGOs to provide appropriate assistance to migrants. This assistance deals with various issues such as raising awareness of migration-related issues among labour migrants, their families and the population as a whole. NGOs are mainly entrusted with tasks of (a) awareness-raising among migrants; (b) organizing seminars to promote regular labour migration; (c) counselling support and referral assistance; It is expected to target about 24,000 direct beneficiaries with assistance provided by the MSCs within a three-year period.

Production and dissemination of information.

In total, 150,000 copies of printed materials are produced and disseminated via CARMP counterparts. CARMP also produces Public Service Announcements (PSAs) of 60 seconds each to be aired through local radio and television stations. The PSAs are used by the MSCs on a daily basis to be shown at the centres during migrants’ visits.

Output IV: Families of labour migrants in the sending countries enhance their skills and knowledge to improve their livelihoods.

CARMP activities under output four aim to enhance skills and knowledge to improve livelihoods in Tajikistan. Within this output, the project will focus on enhancing the capacity of labour migrants’ families through self-help and self-reliance to contribute to increasing well-being and sustainable livelihoods.

CARMP supports to the members of families of labour migrants to organise in self-help groups to enhanced the economic self-reliance of those families; and,

CARMP also establishes partnership with civil society organizations, community activists and religious leaders to promote the rights of women within labour migrant families: mandatory observance of official registration of marriages (guaranteed property rights in case of divorce); measures for ensuring civic registration of women (a growing number of rural women do not have passports); measures for reducing domestic violence.

The following activities are conducted in Tajikistan:

Defining the villages/towns for mobilization.

In Tajikistan the project sites for this output are defined within two oblasts which have the highest number (compare to other regions of the country) of economic active population – Khatlon province 47.1% and Suhgd province 44.9%. In the latter, the identification of villages for project interventions will be conducted in close partnership with the ongoing UNDP/DFID Rural Growth Programme.

CARMP intends to reinforce the ongoing initiatives on local development by assisting labour migrants families’ economic self-reliance and thus contributing to the poverty reduction at local level.

Facilitate the process of formation of labour migrants families’ self help groups (SHG).

There is a wealth of experience on how to mobilize poor people for self-help initiatives. UN Women’s main partnership in Tajikistan - Association Women and Society holds a vast experience and expertise on self-help group mobilization and leads on this output.

The mobilization process includes several stages:

a series of meetings with the families of labour migrants during which the purpose of SHG is explained, including the opportunities provided by the membership in SHG;

self-selection of members is applied, i.e. group must be formed by members who are willing to work (based on mutual interest);

facilitation of the process of forming the group, electing group-governing body (leaders, treasures, etc.), establishing of group rules, etc; and,

village animators1 prepare a household profile of each member of SHG, which will form the baseline for family’s livelihoods level at the outset of the project.

Facilitate the process of strengthening the SHGs.

Once a group is formed, the village animators facilitate the process of establishing a leadership and management system, drafting the SHG codes, reflecting rights-based rules and procedures, and establishing good communication and cooperation between members of the SHG. To ensure positive group dynamics the animator provides training for SHGs (both jointly with other SHGs and on an individual basis) and continuous support to ensure group cohesion, solidarity and capacity to resolve members’ problems. The training programme is developed based on the capacity needs assessment of the members of SHGs. The families of labour migrants jointly learn how to start small scale economic activities; get access and master their knowledge and skills in business planning, book-keeping, savings. SHG members can jointly access to agricultural extension services and seeds programmes. Solidarity and mutual trust fostered within the group helps them to get access to non-collateral micro-credit schemes, etc.

Mapping of micro credit/business development/agricultural extension services /seed programmes.

One of major constraints preventing families of labour migrants from running sustainable economic activities is lack of awareness on existing opportunities to relevant programmes. To address this gap, CARMP conducts a mapping of services. In Tajikistan micro-credit agencies exist in every oblast. Based on the findings of the mapping CARMP defines the most suitable Micro Finance Initiative (MFI) for the families of labour migrants.

CARMP establishes a partnership with the selected MFI and at the same time works to establish a relationship with the National Bank, which is responsible for overall oversight and formulation of standards for MFI operations. The aim is to ensure that the MFIs are aware of the particular situation of migrants' families.

CARMP also conduct a mapping of existing business development /agricultural extension services. A formal arrangement is drafted between the project and the selected service provider to ensure that families of migrants are targeted by the different services.

Support to members of SHGs to get access to micro-credit and effectively manage their business.

SHGs are provided with information on how to access micro-credit schemes, business development programmes and agricultural extension services identified through the mapping. The members of SHGs receive information on the rules/procedures of the micro-credit scheme and prepare business plans for credit application. CARMP assists the SHGs in establishing good working relationships with micro-crediting officers, who provides support to the members of SHGs in the process of the preparation of business plans, and then during the monitoring of credit repayment. While CARMP provides information to SHGs on existing micro-crediting schemes and assists in linking SHGs to MFIs, it is planned that SHGs gradually take responsibility for maintaining good working relationships for subsequent and regular access to credit.

Facilitate SHG networking at district level for sharing experience and for sharing experience and for mutual assistance.

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1 Village animators can be selected from within the village and be paid the symbolic fee from the funds of NGOs, in certain cases the village animators can be the members of the NGO.