Skip to content

back to events listing

Migrant organisations and Irish development efforts: addressing challenges and opportunities for synergistic cooperation


CSSG webinar 18 June

When: June 18, 2-3.30pm webinar, Dublin time

Register: Register in advance. Click here to register.  

Both Irish charities engaged abroad and diaspora organisations in Ireland are committed, albeit via different means, to contribute to the development of the countries in the Global South while advocating against racism and discrimination. There are however unexplored prospects for synergistic linkages and cooperation between Irish and migrants’ civil society organisations.

To address the challenges and identify the opportunities for joining forces to address issues of common interests both in Ireland and internationally, this webinar convened by the DSAI Civil Society Study Group will create a forum for representatives of the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations Dóchas, the largest migrant community in Ireland’s cooperative platform Forum Polonia, and Africa Centre to discuss issues of common interest.

The invited speakers from civil society and an academic rapporteur, Dr Caroline Munyi (AkiDwA), will debate how they view the current working relations between Irish and immigrant organisations and the possibilities for future common undertakings.  The speakers will address the following questions:

  • Which factors determine the importance and urgency for greater collaboration between Irish charities and migrant organisations to challenge the public perception about international development and promote more inclusive society?
  • What is the role of diaspora organisations in the realisation of inclusive development both in their native countries and in Irish society? What are the challenges preventing them from engaging in closer cooperation with other, Irish and migrants’, civil society stakeholders?
  • What opportunities do they see for common initiatives that could impact the lives of vulnerable communities and individuals in the Global South and in Ireland, especially in our current pandemic times?


Agenda (Dublin time):

2:00-2:05pm: Introduction: dr hab. Galia Chimiak, Convenor of the DSA I Civil Society Study Group

2:05-2:20pm: Barnaba Dorda (Forum Polonia): Polish diaspora organisations in Ireland: good practices and venues for enhanced cooperation with other civic stakeholders

2:20-2:35pm: Mbemba Jabbi (Africa Centre): Africa Centre Ireland's Development Engagement: Partnerships Beyond Traditional

2:35-2:50pm: Suzanne Keating (Dóchas): Re-imagining the narrative of international development – a role for better partnerships

2:50-3:05pm: dr Caroline Munyi (AkiDwA): Rapporteur

3:03-3:30pm: General discussion


About the Speakers

Barnaba Dorda of Forum PoloniaBarnaba Filip Dorda was born in Poland and came to Ireland in 2005. He graduated Law from the Silesian University in Katowice and he holds a Professional Diploma in Employment Law from UCD. Barnaba is a co-founder and since 2017 the chair of Forum Polonia's Board of Directors. The established in 2008 platform of cooperation for Polish community organizations Forum Polonia is an organisation advocating for the Polish diaspora in Ireland and supporting its involvement in Irish society. Barnaba has been involved in encouraging Poles to participate in political life in Ireland. He is an employee of SIPTU’s Workers Rights Centre and represents union members at Workplace Relations Commission and Labour Court's hearings. He also organises migrant workers into the Union. Barnaba is a Board member of the Irish Network Against Racism. He lives with his family in north Dublin.

Mbemba Jabbi of Africa CentreMbemba Jabbi has double Masters in Rural Development, and in Management, a diaspora with dual citizenship, Gambian and Irish and have been involved in conducting research on diaspora and development in the past seven years. He has researched, and written materials on the role of the African diaspora in development by looking at Integration and Inclusion and how to incorporate southern perspectives in development education approaches and practice in Ireland with Africa Centre Ireland. Mr Jabbi is the Executive Director of Africa Solidarity Centre (Africa Centre Ireland) and has mobilised African Diaspora to inform Ireland’s new International Development Policy in 2018. In 2020, Mbemba led an African Centre Ireland project in the Gambia which mobilized 29 Gambian diaspora experts in a mentoring project where the experts were placed with government ministries, the private sector and with individuals to change policy and facilitate employment. Mbemba is also serving on the African Union Commission Joint Labour Migration Committee. He is convinced that the African Diaspora's approach to development in Africa should take an active role in development funding for job creation for the high number of unemployed youths on the African continent. Mbemba is a Global Goodwill Ambassador Humanitarian for the Stainable Development Goals (SDGs) and he was a recipient of the International Diversity Leadership award 2018.

Suzanne Keatinge of DochasSuzanne Keatinge joined Dóchas as Chief Executive Officer in February 2016. She is an experienced senior international development practitioner with over twenty years’ experience in the sector. Suzanne previously worked with Plan International Ireland as Head of Programmes. Prior to that she served as Trócaire’s Regional Manager for Asia, with a focus on governance, gender and humanitarian programming in Myanmar, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, India and Pakistan. She has also worked with the United Nations in Iran and Somalia. Suzanne holds a Master’s Degree in African Politics from SOAS University of London and a Master’s Degree in History from Cambridge University. She is married, with two children.

Caroline Munyi of AkiDwaDr Caroline Munyi is a gender, peace and development specialist. Caroline studied in Kenya, Uganda and Ireland. Caroline started her career in Kenya and worked on integrated rural development programmes with funding from Misereor (now Caritas Internationals) with communities in the remote Eastern Kenya. In Trinity College, she pursued a Master of Philosophy degree in International Peace Studies and a Ph.D. in the same area but specialised in the area of Masculinities and Violence. She has coordinated Female Genital Mutilation projects for AkiDwA and ActionAid Ireland. Currently Caroline is the Coordinator of AkiDwA’s Migrant Women Health Programme.  


Back to top