Episode 14: Invaluable insights from providing technical assistance to 20 governments in the field of migration


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Hello, you're listening to the Migration & Diaspora Podcast, with me your host, Loksan Harley. It's January 2021 so a very happy new year to you and let's hope this year is much better than 2020; I mean, it really has to be, right. For those of you subscribed already to this podcast's mailing list, I hope you enjoyed the new year update that I sent you last week and I'd really like to hear back from you and how I can support your migration and diaspora goals in 2021, so feel free to get in touch.

Today I have my sister, Odette Bolly, on the show to talk us through her experiences providing technical assistance to governments across Africa in the field of migration. Odette, originally from Senegal, is currently working as a Programme Manager at the International Organization for Migration's (IOM) Uganda country office, leading their Labour Mobility and Human Development (LHD) work. Odette has worked for several country offices for IOM since joining the organisation in 2015. In particular, she led the delivery of over 20 technical assistance projects across Africa for the ACP-EU Migration Action programme, which is when I was fortunate to work with her myself. Before joining IOM, Odette worked for Oxfam and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, so she knows the United Nations system very well.

Given her vast experience designing and delivering technical assistance to governments across the African continent, Odette was the ideal person to talk to about how to do technical assistance well. We discuss what forms technical assistance can take, how to assess government needs for technical assistance, and the key ingredients to high-impact technical assistance. Stay tuned to find out how Odette "pre-cooks" (her own words!) technical assistance, as well as her key pieces of advice for people and organisations in the process of designing technical assistance. I especially appreciated the way in which Odette speaks with such candour and honesty, giving us some fantastic insights into what it's like to work with governments.

Given that a lot my own work has been supporting governments, I thought I'd write a short article about my own "lessons learned" from providing technical assistance in the field of migration, which I'll link to in the show notes. Check it out if you want to go deeper into the topic.

As a very important disclaimer, please note that the views expressed in this podcast episode are our own personal reflections and do not represent the views of IOM. Feel free to get in touch at loksanharley.com/podcast if you have any further questions.

Without further ado, thanks for tuning in and we hope you enjoy our interview.

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