Migrants from Niger in Algeria, in the city of Boufarik, in 2014 | Credit: AFP PHOTO/FAROUK BATICHE
Migrants from Niger in Algeria, in the city of Boufarik, in 2014 | Credit: AFP PHOTO/FAROUK BATICHE

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched iDiaspora, an online platform to facilitate contact and collaboration between migrant communities around the world.

A new website called iDiaspora, launched by the UN migration agency International Organization for Migration (IOM), aims to help transnational communities to connect and self-mobilize in the fields of local development, political planning, and humanitarian aid. 

The site (https://idiaspora.org/) launched on October 8. It was initially conceptualized as a tool to collect input on transnational communities as part of the consultation phase of the 2017 Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) in New York. It immediately became evident to IOM that there was a need to take the project beyond this. Since then, a small team both inside and outside IOM has been working on developing iDiaspora. 

Diasporas have 'driven change in the world' 

"Transnational communities, diasporas, expatriates, migrants - independent of the labels applied, individuals who live far from the places they call home have historically driven social and economic change throughout the world. In the last decade, stakeholders and developing governments have consistently recognized and promoted the important role played by the communities of the diaspora," IOM said in a statement. 

Recognizing that such a platform must be based on the actual needs of transnational communities throughout the world, the iDiaspora team adopted a participatory approach in its development. It instituted a consulting committee with experts from the private sector, the academic sector, web design, and members of the diasporas. 

The participants brought forth a series of ideas, perspectives and initiatives for the website's development. 

A continuing project 

Based on input from a series of initial consultations at the end of 2017, the website was transformed from a simple series of forums into an interactive hub for transnational communities and those who want to work with them. As more users began testing the website, feedback was gathered. 

The official website launch on October 8 marked "the start of a new path of collaboration", said IOM. "The hope is to continue to build the platform with the community of users throughout the world so they it can truly be a global platform for transnational communities and a new tool for a new age of involvement," IOM said.

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