JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is reporting a “positive response,” to its online Mapping Jamaica Diaspora Project.
  • The State Minister said he is anticipating that the data base will capture some 100,000 persons. “The fact is, if we don’t hit the target by June next year, it is not a loss or a failure, but certainly it means that we will have to continue the process of encouraging people to sign up,” he said.
  • Programme Assistant at the IOM, Rukiya Brown is appealing to Jamaicans to encourage their relatives abroad to log on to the website: www.mapjadiaspora.iom.int and fill out the survey.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is reporting a “positive response,” to its online Mapping Jamaica Diaspora Project.

Funded by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the survey aims to capture the location, interest and skills of persons, which will result in the establishment of a database to support the Government’s policy direction and its interaction with members of the Diaspora.

Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, held today (August 20), at the agency’s head office in Kingston, State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, said response to the survey has been positive.

“We are early in the period, there is sign on, but we want to now accelerate the response to the project,” he said, noting that a promotional campaign has been rolled out to get more persons to sign up.

The State Minister said he is anticipating that the data base will capture some 100,000 persons. “The fact is, if we don’t hit the target by June next year, it is not a loss or a failure, but certainly it means that we will have to continue the process of encouraging people to sign up,” he said.

At the same time, the Minister appealed to Jamaicans living overseas to participate in the project, noting that it will serve as an important tool for “serious Diaspora engagement.”

He said members of the Diaspora have been assured that that the information shared on the site will be kept “strictly confidential,” while adding that there is no need for persons to be concerned about the information provided.

Mr. Brown explained that the project will allow the Government to strengthen its engagement with members of the Diaspora. “We would know for certain where their interests lie, where they are located and we are also interested in capturing the many organisations that are associated with the Diaspora movement, and indeed that are organising activities here in Jamaica,” he said.

He noted that last year, over 300 medical missions, involving Diaspora professionals, medical doctors, nurses and other medical technicians, travelled to Jamaica to offer their services to various communities.

The State Minister pointed out that there is no significant data on the value of the Diaspora contributions, outside of the cash transfers, and that the information collected and analysed would enable the Government, “to have a better understanding of the extent to which the Diaspora contributes to economic development.”

Programme Assistant at the IOM, Rukiya Brown, said members of the Diaspora from outside the traditional locations have been responding to the survey. “We have received responses from Malawi, Monserrat, Australia, China, Japan and South Africa,” she informed.

At the same time, Miss Brown is appealing to Jamaicans to encourage their relatives abroad to log on to the website: www.mapjadiaspora.iom.int and fill out the survey.

“We do recognise that Jamaicans here have the ability to encourage their family and friends to take the survey,” she said.