The ENIGMMA (“Enhancing Georgia’s Migration Management”) project began in 2013, with funding from the EU. The overall objective of the programme, which is implemented jointly by a number of organisations including the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), is to enhance the capacities of Georgian authorities in the area of integrated border management and migration in line with relevant EU-Georgia agreements, in particular the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan. One of the aims of the project was to learn how best to disseminate information on migration and visa issues to the public, and to recognise the importance of the journalists and media that act as a conduit for such information. The ENIGMMA and Georgian teams looked at issues such as existing negative attitudes and current relationships with key media outlets, and gathered information to pinpoint targets, goals, key messages and possible pitfalls. The outcomes were a report containing strategy recommendations, along with advice on the delivery of campaign materials and evaluation forms, and a training video on migration issues for journalists.
The programme also provided a week-long International Summer School on Migration in 2015. This offered research-oriented, multidisciplinary and innovative academic courses on issues related to the migration situation and policy in Georgia, including the role of media on migration studies and vice versa. Due to its great success, the school was repeated in 2016. In both areas – the information campaigns and the summer school – ICMPD was able to rely on the professional advice of the Oxford’s Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, and in particular on the skills of Rob McNeil from The Migration Observatory. Rob had run one of his past consultancy projects through Oxford University Innovation and was therefore aware of the benefits that such contractual and administrative arrangements could provide. Instead of managing negotiations and paperwork he was able to concentrate on preparing the syllabus for the summer school and filming training videos – tasks undoubtedly more rewarding and closer to his specialist interests.
OUI has managed negotiations and contracts for my consulting and teaching in Georgia and Azerbaijan over the last two years, bringing numerous benefits: the peace of mind of the legal protection; the time saved by OUI managing contracts; the good daily rates they negotiated, to name but a few. By working with OUI, I know my interests are being protected. My department has also benefitted: when a client wanted me to take on more consulting work than my contract allows, OUI easily ensured I was able to take on the remaining work on behalf of the department instead – generating extra income for both myself and the University. The team have always been charming, helpful, and great to work with.
– Rob McNeil, Head of Media and Communications, The Migration Observatory, COMPAS