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Global Diaspora Virtual Exchanges: Effective Strategies

Event date with timezone
Monday, 17-Apr-2023 15:00:00 - Monday, 17-Apr-2023 17:00:00 Europe/Brussels
Type of Event


In 2020, iDiaspora coordinated three global exchanges with members of the diaspora responding to the pandemic. Through these virtual dialogues, different actors involved in the development of diasporic initiatives in America, Europe, Africa, and Asia were able to learn and share relevant experience to better include their members when responding to the global health crisis. These events convened nearly 300 stakeholders including diaspora leaders, policymakers, academics, and social workers interested in learning more about how diasporas responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first global diaspora exchanges contributed to a better understanding of diaspora engagement on three different levels. First, as a result of these events, it was possible to identify the different ways that transnational communities responded to the global pandemic through prevention, protection, relief, and recovery interventions. Second, during these sessions, participants shared a set of good practices in diaspora engagement based on connections, partnerships, and self-empowerment. Finally, through these discussions, participants were able to identify synergies and concrete collaboration opportunities.  

In 2021, iDiaspora, GRFDT, CISAN and ADEPT co-organised the second Global Diaspora Exchanges to respond to the common challenges highlighted by stakeholders during the 2020 exchanges such as the lack of trust, difficulties regarding fundraising and the sustainability of initiatives in the long term. Building on these successful events and aiming to keep creating and developing the conditions for diasporas to fully contribute to sustainable development in all countries as stated in Objective 19 of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM). 

Bringing together, 255 participants facilitated by diaspora members and panel experts from the private sector, NGOs, donor community, diaspora groups as well as academia, the 2021 Global Diaspora Exchanges focused on the themes: Building Trust, Mobilizing Resources and Ensuring Sustainability. The exchanges explored the best practices across the regions and unpacked concerns and opportunities in supporting diaspora to reach their full potential. 

In 2022, IOM, co-hosted the first Global Diaspora Summit (GDS), in partnership with the Government of Ireland and other lead participating states. The GDS convened governments, diaspora organizations, and other relevant actors to develop a collaborative vision, through meaningful and structured dialogue, towards actively engaging with transnational communities as agents and accelerators of sustainable development. During the Global Diaspora Summit and latest events organised by members states, international organizations and diasporas themselves, it has been recognised that capacity building is crucial to maximizing diaspora engagement.  

In 2023, in response to the consultations held during the Global Diaspora Week 2022, organised by the Global Diaspora Confederation a request was made by diaspora organizations to keep supporting diaspora communities to boost their capacities for development. As a result, the 2023 Global Exchanges will focus on enhancing communication techniques, strategies and tools across the different phases of project management. By providing concrete strategies on how to enhance their communication skills, consider strategic techniques and implement new tools, stakeholders will be able to maximise the impact of their transnational initiatives. 

The Global Diaspora Virtual Exchanges led by IOM - iDiaspora, the Global Diaspora Confederation (GDC), GRFDT and the Migration Youth and Children Platform (MYCP) is a unique space where diasporas share best practices at the global level and collaborate with each other to empower themselves and other diaspora leaders and organizations as development actors.  


What are the key skills that a communicator needs to have when approaching donors and delivering a pitch? 
What skills and characteristics make diaspora communities unique communicators? 
Why are interpersonal skills relevant to deliver impactful messages? 
Which channels of communication are the most effective? 



  • Why is strategic communication relevant and how to define its success in the implementation of diaspora projects? 
  • What are the key techniques and considerations to beware of when strategically communicating and in what situations one technique does work more effectively on diaspora engagement than the others?
  • How can diasporas and partners build engagement by sharing the impact of their activities?
  • How can diasporas further align their goals with their communication strategy?



Session 2 – April 17



Hour CET

Welcoming Remarks

Monica Goracci - IOM

10 mins

15.00 – 15.10

Presentation of speakers

Paddy Siyanga GRFDT

10 mins

15.10 – 15.20

Guided discussion first 2 questions

Theresa R. Fianko - Digital Diaspora News

Vivian Nwakolobi-Ibeji -GDC

Jacklyne Achieng Kuhn -KWIG

20 mins

15.20 – 15.40

Interactive debate and Q&A  moderated by Paddy Siyanga over first 2 questions 


20 min

15.40 – 16.00

Guided discussion last 2 questions

Theresa R. Fianko - Digital Diaspora News

Vivian Nwakolobi-Ibeji - GDC

Jacklyne Achieng Kuhn -KWIG

20 min

16.00 - 16.20

Interactive debate and Q&A  moderated by Paddy Siyanga over last 2 questions 


20 min

16.20 – 16.40

Closing Remarks

Natalia Kossowska, European Regional Officer at MYCP

10 mins

16.40 – 16.50



10 min


Topic / Panel Areas

Opening Remarks: Monica Goracci - IOM 

Monica Goracci is currently the Director of the Department of Migration Management of IOM in Geneva.  

She had been Chief of Mission of IOM in Germany for almost four years, after having headed the Donor Relations Division at IOM Headquarters in Geneva for six years.  

She joined IOM in 1999 in Kosovo after having worked for almost three years in WHO Headquarters in the Division of Violence and Injury Prevention. In 2002 she moved to Rome, first working on an EU-funded integration project and subsequently taking over the functions of Regional Programme Development officer covering the Mediterranean. She also undertook several missions to the Balkans during her time in Rome. In December 2004 she moved to Portugal where she served as Chief of Mission for IOM until 2010.  

She holds a University degree in neurological and psychomotor rehabilitation in children from the University of Rome La Sapienza and has worked in hospitals in Italy and in Ethiopia prior to joining WHO in 1996. 


Paddy Siyanga Knudsen - GRFDT Forum

Paddy is a Zambian national with over 17 years of professional experience as a Development Economist and Migration governance expert. She holds a Master in Financial Economics from SOAS and BSC Development & Economics from the London School of Economics.  Her work covers development cooperation, regional integration and migration governance. Her experience includes supporting governments, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), bilateral development partners, EU  institutions, Civil society as well as UN agencies in research, programme formulation, implementation as well as monitoring and evaluation.  On migration governance, she has worked with IOM, UNESCO, EU, civil society and disapora organizations in Zambia, Tanzania, China as well as on assignments covering West, East and Southern Africa. Her areas of interest in migration governance include labour migration, migration and development as well as diaspora engagement. She is also one of Vice Presidents of the Global Research Forum on Diaspora & Transnationalism. 


Theresa R. Fianko, Founder and Managing Editor of Diaspora Digital News

 Theresa R. Fianko is an Integrated Marketing Communications and Media Professional. She is the Founder & Managing Editor of global social impact broadcasting platform - Diaspora Digital News. Her media journey started in Dubai; and she is committed to the cause of balanced, informative, sustainable and ethical journalism. Theresa is a co-author of “Empowering Global Diasporas in the Digital Era”; in addition to authoring a free e-book for MSME’s in crisis at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also represented and spoken at global events such as the Global Diaspora Summit 2022, African Women in Media Conference 2022, and Future Forum 2021. 

Vivian Nwakolobi-Ibeji, Global Diaspora Confederation 

Vivian Nwakolobi-Ibeji is Coordinator at the Global Diaspora Confederation (GDC). She began at GDC since its beginning in 2020 and has been supporting in many teams such as Development, News, Secretary, and most recently the Overarching Team. As a key member of the Confederation, Vivian has helped organize the Global Diaspora Week, set up the Global Diaspora Humanitarian Hub, and also other emergency responses and manages GDC Global Secretariat’s communication. 

Vivian's experience in strategic communication and stakeholder engagement has gained her a place as a lead coordinator to develop one of GDC's seven impact activities - GDCoordination for all diaspora organizations. With an unceasing passion for GDC's cause for the global diaspora, she carries out all the above commitments voluntarily. As a trained biochemist, Vivian implemented programs and interventions at Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and Medicines San Frontiers before joining GDC. She is from Nigeria and enjoys traveling & spending quality time with family. 

Jacklyne Achieng Kuhn, co-founder of Kenyan Women in Germany (KWIG) 

By profession, she is a nurse having obtained a bachelor's in health management. She founded Kenyan Women in Germany e.V  (KWIG e.V) to create a community for Kenyan women building lives in Germany after moving from their home country and provides them with social, economic, emotional and professional support. The organisation now has over 2 000 members and also caters for men and other nationalities.  Mrs. Kuhn is the mother of 2 young adults and is married. 

Closing Remarks 

Natalia Kossowska, European Regional Officer at Migration Youth &Children Platform

Natalia is currently in the last semester of her International Relations and Sociology degree at Amsterdam University College. From September on, she will proceed with a Master's degree in Migration, Ethnic Relations, and Multiculturalism at Utrecht University. Natalia is also a Europe Regional Officer with the Migration Youth & Children Platform, focusing on policy and awareness advocacy for migrant rights, protection, and livelihoods. This year, she is closely involved with UNICEF as a Peer Mentor for Youth on the Move Fellowship, a program for passionate and talented young refugees who face obstacles in accessing traditional internships. Despite her young age, Natalia has years of experience working for community organization, youth civic engagement, and working with grassroots NGOs. 

Target Audience

The event is open to all diaspora communities looking forward to enhancing their skills in strategic communication.
All participants are invited to register on and connect with other diaspora leaders and groups and stay updated on upcoming events.