picture: CC-BY-NC 2.0, Glen Scott, Flickr

Chances of Migration and Innovation

With our focus on international networks and new approaches to development cooperation, the topic of migration has been integral to icebauhaus’  work since the beginning. To us, migrants with their multifaceted experiences, diverse skill-sets and strong motivations are key actors and catalysers in bringing about positive change, constructive dialogue and innovation on an international scale.

Through close cooperation with the CIM (Centre for International Migration and Development) Returning Experts Programme and the GIZ PMD (Programme Migration and Diaspora), we have over the years organised several joint activities that highlight the innovative and entrepreneurial potential of diaspora and migrants who return to their home in different countries of the global south after having acquired professional skills and cultural know-how in Europe.

Events: Ethio-German Konnect, The Green Connection and africa re:load

In 2011, 2012 and 2013 icebauhaus supported the conceptual development and coordination of the annual Ethio-German Konnect networking event organised by CIM in Addis Abeba. As part of these events we also organised thematic workshops on returning migrants’ role in education and using international networks for local innovation, together with Ethiopian returning experts and Ethiopian diaspora from Germany and entrepreneurs from other African countries. In that context we also supported the organisation of the first icecairo event in Egypt, “The Green Connection” together with GIZ and CIM, including Returning Experts from both Egypt and Ethiopia.

In 2013, icebauhaus participated in a panel-discussion on “innovation through international collaboration” at the annual conference of Ethiopian Diaspora-Organisation DÄSAV in Berlin and the same year, our own annual africa re:load conference in Weimar included a dedicated track on “Migration and Innovation”, curated and moderated in cooperation with the CIM program.

Digital and Information Services:  Progamme Migration and Diaspora

Between 2017-2018 icebauhaus supported the GIZ PMD programme in conceiving digital services to support migrants in Germany and those interested to migrate from Balkan and North-African countries. The aim was to apply a user-centred approach to develop online and mobile services that support migrants and potential migrants to make informed decisions and gain better access to available physical support services. Through a process of interviews with members of the intended user groups and collaborative workshop sessions with the distributed programme management team, we helped develop alternative solution modules for the future online support service.

Finally, in 2018-2019, we  e conducted two needs assessment consultancies for the GIZ Programme Migration and Diaspora to support their intention of better organising and formalising their alumni work, first by interviewing members of the management team and regional coordinators and then among alumni of their programmes in different countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Based on the insights from the interviews and a subsequent online survey, we developed recommendations for how best to support the programme’s alumni-work through dedicated ICT-services.