NEXUS Moldova is the first prototype of NEXUS Global.
The initiative started on December 15, 2012 and is implemented by a consortium led by IASCI and is funded by the European Union in the context of the “Thematic Programme of cooperation with third countries in the areas of Migration and Asylum” and co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
NEXUS Moldova brings together national and local as well as specialized international agency partners. Thereafter it connects governments, civil society and private sector players, and migrants in order to achieve maximum benefits for all stakeholders (http://nexusnet.md/rom/parteneri-si-donatori). In doing so, all partners specifically recognize that the ability of the national government to efficiently collaborate with local authorities, private companies and civil society actors is an essential link in a viable migration-development value chain – one where private sector interests meet priority public sector objectives and the interests of the migrants themselves. NEXUS Moldova provides that link and distributes those benefits.
The overall objective of NEXUS Moldova is to foster links between migration and development at the local level, by developing durable capacities and systematic collaboration among national and sub-national authorities, civil society and private-sector stakeholders. It does so by building integrated service delivery and public-private collaboration modalities for supporting efficient circular migration, including return and reintegration in four pilot regions of Moldova.
In brief, operationally NEXUS is a network of service centers (offline and online):
- dedicated to helping migrants around the globe to migrate smarter and return better
- built with partners, providing integrated services and products in every sector and at every level
- firmly embedded in communities of origin
- based on the solid foundation of scientific research and market feedback
And that is how by working together with its partners NEXUS promotes efficient circular migration and maximizes its development impact.
Key innovations of the initiative:
- Includes B2B elements that support the durability and self-financing of a social enterprise model over time. While NEXUS clients receive free consultations, service partners provide income streams to NEXUS through industry-standard fees for marketing, referral and consulting services.
- Metrics and measures are specifically designed and applied to reveal relevant performance indicators and thus to encourage service providers to engage in continuous and progressive fine-tuning and development of the services partners select to offer and test.
The NEXUS model is built on a decade of ground-breaking market analysis in the area of migration and development. The IASCI-designed research represents the core of a distinctive strategy of promoting evidence-based migrant-centric perspectives and attracting the participation of private sector service providers to reach a misunderstood and under-served market niche.
The 2014 baseline research done for NEXUS builds directly on past and ongoing national and international experiences of IASCI, with the same methodology applied previously in Albania (2005, 2009, 2010), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2009, 2010), Kosovo (2009), Moldova (2010), and Romania (2010). This repeated application of the methodology allows the data and markets to be efficiently compared in order to provide for a better understanding of the characteristics of Moldovan migration within its national, regional, and development contexts. (For past research, see Publications.)
In pursuit of offering ever-improving service to its clients, NEXUS actively solicits client evaluations and introduces social media tools and other response mechanisms in order to provide meaningful feedback to partners on the effectiveness and attractiveness (or otherwise) of their policies and services that make up the NEXUS portfolio.
NEXUS Moldova is grounded on a clear migrant-centric approach, insofar as it provides practical support to the individual needs of migrants during every phase of their circular migration experience from preparation to departure to period in migration to sustainable return. The core objective is to work with service providers/partners to help clients “migrate smarter and return better”.
For NEXUS and partners, being client-centered means:
- Commitment to clients’ success
- Engaging with clients throughout their migration cycle, from pre-departure to return and integration
- Client commitment throughout the NEXUS organization and its partners
- Engendering a migrant-centric culture in partner service provision
- Designing processes and policies from the client’s point of view (mainstreaming migration and development in partner approaches)
- Measuring what matters to clients (ie, listening to individual migrants to understand their personal migration goals and to support effective migration practices)
- Encouraging client innovation
Based on this, NEXUS works closely with private-sector market leaders to develop and test-market various migrant-centric services. Examples of private-sector products that might be integrated include related areas such as: savings plans and investment opportunities, remittance transfer schemes, private insurances and pensions, recruitment services, and e-learning and language training. It also includes mechanisms directly linking remittances with migration-relevant financial services and savings products to be made available in Moldova. These may include municipal and national ‘migrant-bonds’, loans for housing, health insurance, mutual investment funds, pensions and child education savings.
All migration is local.
Most Moldovans who leave home to achieve their personal goals actually plan to come back home. Yet this return intention is less to Moldova in the general sense, but specifically to their families, to their own communities and to their own projects. Reflecting this, it is at the local level – those places where future migrants are and current migrants long to return, and where the impact of migration, both good and bad, is highest – where NEXUS pays most of its attention and efforts.
At the heart of the NEXUS model, and in order to provide clients a holistic solution, is the NEXUS network of local service centers on the ground. The physical presence of the network of four centers (Chisinau, Cahul, Edinet and Ungheni) and their outreach activities – with their word-of-mouth and face-to-face approaches – help to create TRUST – an element that is in short supply in the migration chain. The centers also foster ENGAGEMENT at the town and village levels, and with regular local activities they become integrated into the local business community.
Complementing this field presence and word of mouth strategy, the online virtual service center www.NEXUSnet.md is available to provide clients access to the services they expect through an intuitive and user-friendly interface.
Intersectoral and horizontal/vertical approaches
In terms of policy and intervention coherence, because migration and development cover a broad range of issues that fall within the competence of different government bodies, both horizontally (inter-ministerial) and vertically (national to local), it is important to invest in the establishment and maintenance over time of structures that serve as dialogue and coordination frameworks. NEXUS Moldova is an example of such a horizontal and vertical communication structure. Moreover it is uniquely extended to the private sector to act as an evidence-based resource that represents the interest of both the private sector and the migrants themselves, carrying their voices to the local and national authorities in a systematic manner.
By steadily introducing sub-national and migrant-centric perspectives NEXUS Moldova paves the way for a more fundamental and pluralistic reassessment of underlying issues that drive outmigration, return migration, attachment, and the beneficial linkages those citizens living abroad can bring to Moldova and their communities of origin. Then, by consciously linking these actors to the national level, NEXUS Moldova helps Moldova develop coordinated capacities in the formulation of pro-development migration policies while avoiding heterogeneous approaches among territories within the same country.