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Event date with timezone
- Europe/Brussels
Type of Event

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), through its Statistics and Population Divisions, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are organizing the 3rd International Forum on Migration Statistics (IFMS 2023). The Forum will be held in Santiago, Chile, from 24 – 26 January 2023 as an in-person and hybrid event.
In preparation for the main event which will only take place in person for a limited number of participants, with options to join via the livestream in English, French, and Spanish, a series of virtual webinars open to all interested parties will be held beforehand. The first is planned to take place on 8 December 2022, and the second tentatively on 11 January 2023. In this regard, we would like to invite you to join us.
The webinars aim at starting to bring together the international statistical community on migration and fostering exchange with different stakeholders on key migration data developments in the lead-up to the main event in Santiago de Chile in January 2023. It will be an opportunity for you to connect with other users and producers of migration statistics from different disciplines and entities.

To participate in the first one focusing on Maximizing diaspora engagement through evidence-based policies: data, methodologies, and tools, you may register at the below link. More information and connection details will follow.

We look forward to discussing ways to improve the collection, analysis, and use of migration data worldwide to help address existing gaps and better inform policymaking.

Live interpretation will be provided in English, Spanish, and French.


PART 1 – The Diaspora Mapping Toolkit    

13.00 – 13.05   

Opening Remarks  
Elizabeth Warn, LMI Head, IOM  
Thomas Liebig, OECD   

13.05 – 13.20   

Presentation of the IOM Diaspora Mapping Toolkit   
Dr. Michaella Vanore – UNU Merit   

13.20 – 13.45   

Panel 1: Maximising data collection in diaspora mapping exercises   
Moderator: Larisa Lara (IOM)   

Nyaka Molefi, Director of Diaspora Directorate from Lesotho 
Dr. Andres Solimano Founder and Chairman CIGLOB
Sanjeev Joshipura, Executive Director of Indiaspora

13.45 – 14.00   


PART 2 – Contributions and Counting   

14.00 – 14.15   

Presentation of Contributions and Counting    
Leon Isaacs, DMA Global   

14.15 – 14.40       

Panel 2: Disaggregating Economic Data by Diaspora Status   
Moderator: Roberto Cancel (IOM)

Eric Guichard - Founder and CEO of Homestrings
Violina Donu- Deputy Head of the Diaspora Relations Bureau - Government Moldova
Dumitru Vicol - Financial markets specialist and Moldovan Diaspora Finance Expert

14.40 – 14.55


14.55 – 15.00

Closing Remarks
George Hegarty- Government of Ireland



Topic / Panel Areas

PART 1 – The diaspora mapping toolkit


Liz Warn

Liz has worked for the International Organization for Migration (IOM-UN) since 2001 and in June 2022, she became the Head of the Labour Mobility and Social Inclusion Division. 
Prior to taking up her duties in IOM’s HQ, she was Deputy Chief of Mission in Ukraine - one of the largest IOM missions. She was responsible for oversight for all IOM programming, engagement with UN agencies and IOM’s input into the UN Cooperation Framework. Prior to this, Liz served as the Senior Regional Immigration and Border Management Specialist for Southern East and Horn of Africa.  She was instrumental in advancing IOM’s work on trade and migration. Between 2001-2015, Liz was the Senior Regional Labour Migration and Migration and development Specialist, based in Argentina. She also initiated IOM’s regional work on migration, environment, and climate change.  
From 2006-2011 Liz was based in IOM’s Headquarters in Geneva as the Specialist for Labour Migration and Migration and Development in the Labour and Human Development Division. From 2001-2006, Liz worked with IOM in Albania, working on a diverse portfolio of issues including supporting the development of the first National migration policy, and was responsible for implementing IOM’s first programme to support the EU/Albania Readmission Agreement.  
Elizabeth has a BA in Politics from Sheffield University, an MA in International Relations and European Studies from Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, and an MSc in Development Management from the Open University in the UK. Liz is a dual British/Italian national and also speaks Italian and Spanish.

THOMAS LIEBIG - Senior Migration Specialist in the International Migration Division of the OECD

Thomas Liebig

Thomas Liebig is Senior Migration Specialist in the International Migration Division of the OECD in Paris. He is notably in charge of the work on the integration of immigrants and their children. Among other projects, he led in-depth country studies on integration in 15 OECD countries as well as international comparative work on the integration of children of immigrants, the integration of refugees, the socio-economic impact of naturalisation, discrimination against migrants, the labour market impact of free mobility, and the fiscal impact of immigration. He also led a number of country studies on the management of labour migration. He has also been in charge of an OECD-wide project that aims at identifying good practices for getting the most out of diversity for businesses and societies at large. Since 2018, he is member of the expert group for demographic projections of the German Federal Statistical Office and in February 2019, he was appointed member of the expert commission on integration capacity by the German federal government.
A German national, Thomas holds a doctorate and an MSc in Economics from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland). He also holds an MSc in International Affairs and, following studies at the ESADE (Barcelona, Spain), a CEMS Master in International Business Management. Prior to joining the International Migration Division in 2004, he worked for the OECD’s Economics Department in 2000 and for the Institute for Labour Economics and Labour Law at the University of St. Gallen from 2001-2004. Numerous publications and lectures on migration and integration issues.

Presentation of the IOM Diaspora Mapping Toolkit   
Dr. Michaella Vanore – UNU Merit   

Michaella Vanore

Dr. Michaella Vanore is a research fellow at the United Nations University-MERIT and Maastricht University, where she has worked for the past 12 years as a researcher and lecturer with a focus on migration and development. In the course of her work at the School of Governance, Michaella has explored the many development impacts of diasporas on their countries of ancestral origin and residence, particularly by exploring the role of diasporas in supporting trade and private sector development. She had advised governments on developing diaspora engagement policies and programmes and has recently supported IOM in the development of a Diaspora Mapping Toolkit, a set of tools and procedures that can support commissioners and implementors of diaspora mappings to generate robust, comparable data using a variety of methods and tools. Beyond diaspora and development, Michaella’s research passions include understanding the role of kin migration on shaping the well-being of non-mobile children, on youth migration, and on youth-focused social protection.   

panel 1: Maximising data collection in diaspora mapping exercises


Larisa Lara

Larisa Lara is the Transnational Communities and Digital Communications Officer at IOM Geneva. She completed her PhD at the Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM) of the University of Liège and at the Research Unit of Migration and Society (URMIS) of the University of Paris. She holds an MSc in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford and an MA in Conflict, Security, and Development from King’s College London. Larisa has published multiple academic articles and policy papers specializing in transnationalism and diasporas engagement.

Nyaka Molefi, Director of Diaspora Directorate from Lesotho


Since July 2022 is the Director of Diaspora Affairs providing technical and strategic leadership to ensure the efficient functioning of the Diaspora Directorate of the government of Lesotho. He also leads the facilitation of a committed engagement of the Diaspora to the development of the country through coordination of the knowledge, capital, and skills between the Government of Lesotho and the Diaspora community. Molefi is seeking to build a collaborative culture to implement the Diaspora engagement and recommends necessary interventions by relevant Ministries/Agencies to the vulnerable Diaspora.
From 2010 to 2016 was Minister Counsellor Political and Trade Affairs where he engaged with the US Congress and Administration (USTR) for lobbying support and extension of AGOA and facilitate meetings for the Ministry of Trade and Industry with US businesses and other stakeholders of AGOA.
From 2017 to July was the Director of Consular Affairs where he coordinated and implemented the consular policies and operational plan; advised Basotho about visa requirements to foreign countries and share the Lesotho visa requirements with Foreign Diplomatic Missions accredited to Lesotho; advised Basotho who may wish to seek jobs in other countries about Human Trafficking trends and patterns.

andres Solimano- founder and Chairman of the International Center for Globalization and Development (CIGLOB)

Andres Solimano

Andrés Solimano holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is founder and Chairman of the International Center for Globalization and Development (CIGLOB). Formerly Dr. Solimano served as Country Director at the World Bank, Executive Director at the Inter-American Development Bank and Director of the Chile office of the Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO) and Director of project on International Mobility of Talent with the United Nations University-World Institute of Economic Research in Helsinki. Dr. Solimano is frequent guest to deliver invited lectures to main universities and public forum globally. His most recent books as sole author includes The Rise and Fall of the Privatized Pension System in Chile, Anthem Press (2021), A History of Big Recessions in the long 20th Century, Cambridge University Press (2020), Global Capitalism at Disarray, Inequality, Debt and Austerity Oxford University Press, (2017), Pensiones a la Chilena, Editorial Catalonia, (2017); Economic Elites, Crises and Democracy, Oxford University Press 2014, International Migration in the Age of Crisis and Globalization (2010), Cambridge University Press and other volumes. He is also editor of The International Mobility of Talent: Types, Causes and Development Impact (2008), Oxford University Press.



Sanjeev Joshipura serves as Indiaspora’s Executive Director since January 2018 and served as Director since July 2016. Immediately prior to that, he was active in the US-India corridor in a public policy and business capacity, via his own consulting firm.  A naturalized American citizen, he was born and raised in India and migrated to North America in 2000. In the corporate realm, Sanjeev has worked at Fortune 500 multinational organizations in different industries, in the areas of strategy, finance and project management. 

Since 2008, he has been actively engaged in public policy, American politics, and global government relations. He has managed a US Senate election campaign, worked as a staff member on Capitol Hill advising congressmen and senators on economics and international affairs, and been the Executive Director of an international financial services industry association. 

Sanjeev has a bachelor's in computer engineering from Pune University, India, an MBA from the University of Toronto, Canada, and a Certificate in Financial Risk Management from the Illinois Institute of Technology, USA. A passionate cricket fan, he is involved in cricket administration as a member of Cricket Ireland’s Commercial Advisory Group. He lives in the suburbs of Washington, DC with his wife and twin children.  

Nyaka Molefi, Director of Diaspora Directorate from Lesotho (Pending bio)

part 2 – Contributions and Counting

Leon issacs- Joint-Chief Executive Officer - dma global

Leon Issacs

Leon is recognised as a global authority in the remittances and money transfer industry as well as a seasoned expert and business leader. As one of the co-founders of DMA he has helped lead the company since 2007. He specialises on all elements in connection with remittances, payments, financial inclusion and diaspora investment.
Leon was also Managing Director of the International Association of Money Transfer Networks, an international trade association between 2008 and 2013 where he interacted with numerous regulators and stakeholders to represent the industry. 
He is an observer to the G20 Consultative Committee of the Private-Public Sector Partnership on Remittances and has a number of honorary roles within the industry.  Leon has spoken at, and chaired, numerous international conferences on remittances including at the World Bank, the United Nations and the G8.  He was a steering group member of the UK Government's Remittances Task Force, form its inception in 2005 until the completion of its work early in 2010. 

PANEL 2 - Panel 2: Maximising data collection in diaspora mapping exercises   

ModeratOR: Roberto Cancel - IOM   

Roberto Cancel

Roberto Gil Cancel Comas es Especialista Regional Senior en Movilidad Laboral y Desarrollo Humano para América del Sur en la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones. Ha estado trabajando en el empoderamiento de los inmigrantes y miembros de varios grupos de la diáspora durante más de una década. Tiene un maáster en estudios sobre culturas y desarrollo de la Katholieke Universiteit Leuven y, como migrante y parte de la diáspora puertorriqueña, ha acumulado una experiencia diversa que abarca desde el este de Asia hasta Europa y desde el norte de África hasta las Américas.

Violina Donu, Deputy Head of the Diaspora Relations Bureau - government of moldova

Violina Vodu

Violina Donu is the Deputy Head of the Diaspora Relations Bureau, State Chancellery of Republic of Moldova. She is working on: monitoring diaspora dynamics and establishing partnership relations with diaspora associations; cooperation with specialized national and institutions abroad to develop studies and analysis of the phenomenon of migration and human mobility; monitoring actions implemented by national and local public authorities in the field of diaspora state policy; coordinating the implementation of governmental diaspora programmes. She is experienced in international project coordination to develop diaspora entrepreneurship. She holds a Master degree in Political Sciences and she is currently carrying a PhD on "Diaspora state policy of the Republic of Moldova”.

Dumitru Vicol - Financial Markets specialist and moldovan diaspora finance expert

Dumitru Vicol

Dumitru is working in financial markets covering emerging markets from macro-financial research perspective. He worked in major financial institutions in Paris, London and now Abu Dhabi. Dumitru has been an active member of diaspora specialising in the development of financial instruments that could attract migrants saving in Moldova.

Eric Guichard- Founder & CEO of Homestrings, Inc

Eric Guichard

Eric Guichard is the founder & CEO of Homestrings, Inc., a Diaspora investment advisory platform. Homestrings advises public, private and multilateral organizations on how to mobilize diaspora capital for investment into public and private projects.
Prior to Homestrings Eric was the Founder and Chairman of GRAVITAS Capital, an institutional asset management company he created in 1996. Eric is a graduate of the University of Dakar, in Senegal; of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh; and the Harvard Business School, where he earned his MBA (World Bank Scholar and Harvard Fellowship award). He serves on several non-profit boards, including The African Development Bank’s Steering Committee on Diaspora Investments; The International Organization on Migration Advisory Board on Diaspora Investments; the University of Maryland's Center for Financial Policy – an academic think tank on policy reform; and RemitFund, a Diaspora philanthropy platform.
In 2013 Eric received the "Entrepreneur of the Year Award" from London-based African Diaspora Awards for successfully launching In 2014, Homestrings Ltd received the "African Financier of the Year" Award from the Association of African-Owned Enterprises, UK.
Eric has published research at the Asian Development Bank: “Bangladesh Diaspora Bond Feasibility Study (2016)”, and “Sri Lanka Diaspora Bond Feasibility Study (2016)” under the Bank’s Promoting Remittances for Development Finance program. He has also published in the American Diplomatic Journal “Global Migrant Remittances – A New Development Finance Paradigm? Implementation Successes, Failures and US Foreign Policy Implications” (2018). 

closing remarks
George Hegarty - Migration Advisor (Development), Department of Foreign Affairs, Government of Ireland

George Hegarty

George’s academic background is in communications. He studied in Dublin City University and the Université de Nantes and did his MA dissertation on news coverage of Ireland in the French press. Before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs, he worked as a teacher and as a freelance translator.

He has served in the Irish Embassies in Beijing and Maputo, as well as in the British-Irish Intergovernmental Secretariat in Belfast, and has been working on migration and development since 2014, as part of his wider role in Irish Aid’s Multilateral Unit.

George was responsible for intra-governmental coordination and liaison with Ireland’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York during the negotiations of both the New York Declaration and the Global Compact for Migration. He also manages Ireland’s donor relationship with IOM and represents Ireland in the governance structures of the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey.