COMPASS' third year marks end of its first phase and the beginning of its next frontier

Since its launch in January 2021, the Cooperation on Migration and Partnerships to Achieve Sustainable Solutions programme, or COMPASS, has consistently promoted safe migration throughout its operations. Through its participatory and inclusive approach, COMPASS continues to ensure that migrants of all socio-economic backgrounds have access to protection-sensitive pathways and are empowered to contribute to sustainable development outcomes in their communities.

In 2023, the programme’s third year, COMPASS supported up to 38,862 migrants with specialized protection assistance, including humanitarian assistance, comprehensive assistance, and assistance with voluntary, dignified return and sustainable reintegration which resulted in a 94% satisfaction rate among those surveyed.

Together with their partners, IOM delivered a wide range of services including the provision of tailored and individualized protection assistance to migrants and their families as well as strengthening the capacity of protection actors. In line with these efforts IOM published the Case Management Guidelines which offers comprehensive guidance for non-clinical case managers and other stakeholders involved in migrant protection and assistance. These guidelines are intended to enhance the capacity of organizations and individuals by focusing specially on the case management process.

Participation and Engagement

COMPASS’s comprehensive approach to migration includes the direct involvement of local partners and the broader community, whether individually or as groups.

At the national level, COMPASS actively supported relevant migration coordination mechanisms by advocating for policy change and supporting capacity-building of local governments. Through several reports, workshops, and migration updates, IOM has provided local governments and stakeholders resources to better implement policies aimed at preventing irregular migration and assisting migrants in vulnerable situations.

Furthermore, community-based awareness raising was implemented through local partnerships, emphasizing the importance of ownership for the sustainability of COMPASS activities.

Below are some examples of COMPASS’s engagement with local communities and government actors in its 14 partner countries:

  • IOM Egypt and Threads of Hope collaboration concluded 3 embroidery training rounds, benefiting 83 migrant women from Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, and Eritrea. Participants also attended awareness sessions on nutrition, mental health, and positive parenting.
  • IOM trained 1014 peer educators, including students and teachers, from 16 schools and 2 youth centers to carry out awareness raising sessions on informed migration decisions and the risks of irregular migration. 
  • IOM Ethiopia also implemented community-based reintegration projects by setting up honeybee farming collectives, a charcoal briquette from khat waste production unit, and irrigation canals, to name a few.
  • IOM Lebanon organized 7 Migrant Sector meetings, addressing the impact of cross-border conflict in southern Lebanon and coordinating an emergency response inclusive of migrants. IOM collaborated with OCHA to streamline responses, translating information, coordinating with migrant organizations and embassies, revising response plans, and ensuring migrant inclusion in 2024 contingency plans.
  • IOM Libya hosted a talk show in Benghazi as part of the 16 Days of activism against Gender-Based Violence, featuring 6 migrants and 5 Scouts leaders.
  • In partnership with the Federal Ministry of Women's Affairs, meetings were held in Kano, Lagos, and Edo States to promote 2 vital policy documents -the Best Interest Procedure Guidelines and the Standard Operating Procedures. to secure state-level endorsement and adoption of these documents, ensuring the policies are tailored to state-specific needs.
  • IOM Mali played a key role in developing the country’s 2023-2027 National Action Plan on counter-trafficking, launched in October 2023 by the Minister of Justice, with participation from the Dutch Embassy, IOM, and UNODC.

Promoting Safe Migration Through Information

Information and awareness activities, both online and in person, continued into the third year of COMPASS, alongside data and research, with the continuous aim to share lessons learned and contribute to knowledge sharing at all levels.

IOM fosters community-based reintegration through the recycling of khat waste in Ethiopia

In Aweday, Ethiopia, a transformative initiative led by Positive Action for Development and supported by IOM is reshaping lives. Biftu, a once uncertain 19-year-old, found hope through this innovative job development program. Instead of opting for irregular migration, she became part of a community project recycling plastic and creating charcoal briquettes from khat straws, providing sustainable cooking fuel. With the support of the local government and training provided by the initiative, Biftu is now a skilled participant in the production process, earning enough to support her family. The project not only benefits returning migrants but also engages previously unemployed locals, illustrating the power of community-driven solutions.

"We are grateful for the support this initiative has given to returning migrants and young people without jobs, and we would like to thank IOM, the Dutch government, as well as the other partners,” expresses Dr. Efrah Wozir Abdulahi, the mayor of Aweday.

This initiative is one of many community-based reintegration initiatives being carried out in Ethiopia as part of COMPASS, empowering migrants to contribute to sustainable development in their communities.