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© JIC
MedGeneration fosters the creation of National Strategies
29/10/2015

In the framework of the MedGeneration project, two national seminars held on 18 and 21 September 2015 in Beirut and Amman, brought together public and private stakeholders to build a concrete services offer to facilitate the engagement of economic diasporas.

 

The two seminars gathered local and national stakeholders willing to participate in the design and implementation of a concrete and adapted strategy to engage diaspora in economic development through mobilisation, investment, coaching and mentoring schemes: top local executives and managers from investment promotion agencies, economic development agencies, Chamber of commerce, ministers, incubator and accelerator, entrepreneurship support networks. Through brainstorming and working sessions, the two seminars aimed to facilitate the definition of adapted actions, the choice of coherent tools and the design of shared strategy. Experiences and best practices were shared between participants in order to develop collective long-term actions on key priorities for the engagement of high-profile Diasporas. To reach those objectives, ANIMA and its local partners, the Jordan Investment Comission (JIC) for Jordan and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon (CCIA-BML) for Lebanon, implemented a four-step approach methodology for each seminar.


Share insights to build a collective framework

Those local seminars leveraged key insights collected from the MedGeneration Regional Seminar on Diaspora mobilisation organised in Lebanon on 16-17 September 2015, who gathered stakeholders from more than 10 countries actively engaged in Diaspora mobilisation, like Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, France, USA, UK and Morocco.


Define priorities

On the basis of these shared insights, a collective brainstorming session helped define 3 priorities on which to focus actions. For Lebanon, participants collectively insisted on improving the framework to attract Diaspora; working at a local and global level to build effective actions for and with Diaspora and understanding Diaspora profiles and expectations by collecting Data. For Jordan, participants shared the purpose of supporting Direct Investment and entrepreneurship; increasing export promotion and building a Jordanian Diaspora Database.

 

List objectives, players and actions for each priority

On each priority, teams were set up, combining different profiles of stakeholders. They worked in parallel on a step-by-step approach, from the identification of objectives to the listing of actions and support needed by the end of 2015. At each step, insights were presented to identify and organise synergies between the three defined priorities.


Identify synergies for a shared action plan

The stakeholders of the different working groups identified shared needs and synergies. For Lebanon, participants agreed to put in place a hub to coordinate actions between all stakeholders involved in Diaspora mobilisation. The CCIA-BML proposed to host this hub in partnership with privates initiatives such as Zoomal, Lebanon For Entrepreneurs (LFE) and Lebanese International Business Council (LIBC). Large communication campaigns to attract Diaspora profiles and build more connections may be launched. Such communication campaigns should especially highlight successful projects. Participants also shared the objective to develop an online platform to better communicate with Diaspora. This platform should be participative and collaborative, enable simple matchmaking and help understand Diaspora profiles and expectations.

 

For Jordan, participants agreed to build on the newly Database of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to develop a CRM approach. A CRM could target Jordanian nationals abroad, foreigners with Jordanian ascendants secondly, but also every “friend of Jordan” ready to get involved. This community platform could be use to send message to Diaspora members and maintain a regular link with them. It could also support the identification of people ready to influence, lobby and promote Jordan abroad, in the tourist sector but not only. Participants also shared the objective of promoting international roadshow to showcase innovation and increase export promotion. Moreover, the JIC will soon sign an agreement with the MOFA to work and collaborate more closely. The common strategy is to raise the involvement of Jordanian diplomatic network to engage Jordanian and friends of Jordan living abroad.

 

The participants of the two seminars shared key factors for success and follow-up actions. An action plan will be launched within one month to maintain the dynamic initiated during those workshops. To build on the momentum by the end of 2015, experts will be recruited to support local stakeholders in the implementation of those strategies, but also to provide technical assistance on a selection of the key actions listed in those workshops. Almost all participants in this seminar expressed their interest in being involved in an Open Steering Committee around MedGeneration.