Press release – In May 2022, the Migration and Sustainable Development in The Gambia project (MSDG) announced a call for grant applications to the Diaspora Development Fund (DDF), with deadline of 22 June 2022.
MSDG is pleased to announce that 59 grant applications were received, of which 19 (32%) were from women, 40 (68%) from men. The age distribution was: 13 applicants aged 18 to 35, classified as youths; 23 applicants aged 36 to 45; 12 applicants aged 46 to 55; and 11 applicants aged over 56.
The applications came from nine countries, namely: The Gambia (23); United Kingdom (15); United States of America (12); Norway (3); Sweden (2); and 1 each from China, Kenya, Spain and Taiwan.
In addition to working with partners and networks to publicise the DDF scheme, MSDG held two online consultation and engagement sessions. These interactive sessions explained the features, eligibility criteria, and application and assessment process for the DDF grants. The DDF event on 8 May 2022 was held in conjunction with consultations on the updating of the Gambian Diaspora Strategy and National Development Plan. It was livestreamed and it attracted 4,000 viewers on the Eye Africa TV platforms alone, and about 150 people logged-in directly. The interactive event on 22 May 2022 focused on the technicalities of the DDF application form and assessment process, attended by potential applicants. Over 300 people logged-in from 10 countries around the world.
The MSDG Project’s DDF Awards Panel held its initial meeting on 25 June 2022 and welcomed the high number of applications and the age diversity of the applicants. It noted the absence of applications from some countries with high numbers of Gambian migrants and diaspora such as Germany and Italy. MSDG will continue to use outreach engagement to seek regional, gender and age balance in all its activities.
The DDF grant application assessment will be completed in mid-August 2022. The Diaspora Development Fund is part of the ‘Migration and Sustainable Development in The Gambia project (MSDG), initiated by GK Partners in 2017. MSDG is a diaspora led technical cooperation programme co-financed by GK Partners and the government of Switzerland, and implemented in partnership with the Government of The Gambia. In 2022/23, MSDG will be awarding DDF grants of €5,000 each to 55 diaspora development practitioners, totalling €275,000, equivalent to D16.5 million. DDF was piloted in 2020/21 whereby total grants of €74,890 were awarded to 10 MSDG Fellows. The Fellows used the funds to leverage and generate a further €710,280. As a result, the pilot DDF contributed €785,170 equivalent to D50 million to Gambian socioeconomic development.