Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Marcia Gilbert-Roberts signs the Agreement transferring the management of the website and data within the framework of the Mapping Jamaica’s Diaspora Project to the Ministry, alongside Keisha Livermore, Head of Office for the International Organisation of Migration (IOM). The signing took place on Wednesday, May 10 at the Ministry’s Headquarters in New Kingston.
The Government of Jamaica has further strengthened its Diaspora engagement with yesterday’s (Wednesday, May 10) handover of the Mapping Jamaica’s Diaspora Project.
The Project, a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), was developed to identify the locations, skills, expertise and interests of Jamaicans living overseas.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Permanent Secretary in the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Marcia Gilbert-Roberts expressed gratitude to the IOM for its work on the Project, which began in December 2013, following its conceptualisation at the 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference held in June of that year.
The Ambassador said, “This [database] will enhance the work of the Diaspora Engagement Taskforce, which is now preparing a proposal for an institutional framework for promoting, coordinating and organising economic and social investment opportunities for our Diaspora.”
Ambassador Gilbert-Roberts also indicated that this is only one of several mechanisms being developed for a more robust and effective Diaspora engagement strategy. The Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference in July is an imminent activity in that regard.
IOM Head of Office, Keisha Livermore congratulated the Government on its sustained effort and strategy towards Diaspora engagement, as well as its recognition of Jamaica’s integral role in the well-being of Jamaicans who reside abroad.
The Project, which took the form of a survey, aimed to capture data for 3,500 Diaspora members. It netted 2321 individual respondents, and 30 Diaspora groups.
The IOM and the Foreign Ministry led the coordination of the project, with support from the Jamaica Diaspora Institute (JDI), the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).