Launching the MIGNEX End-User Board
The End-User Board (EUB) plays a key role in the impact strategy of MIGNEX. A visit to Brussels in early January saw us welcome our final two members.
In January, Anne Duquenne, MIGNEX’s Project Manager, and Jessica Hagen-Zanker, who leads on communication and impact, met with the Brussels-based members of the MIGNEX End-User Board - Graziella Rizza from the European Commission DG Migration and Home Affairs and Anna Schmidt from DG International Cooperation and Development. They had not been able to attend the kick-off meeting in Oslo a few months earlier. They were joined by Raffaella Greco Tonegutti, End-User Board Member from Belgium’s Development Agency, Enabel, and Cristina Marcuzzo, our Project Officer from the European Commission.
What is our End-User Board?
This meeting means our End-User Board (EUB) is now complete. The Board replaces a traditional academic advisory board and consists of six experienced practitioners in the fields of migration and development. The EUB work with the MIGNEX team throughout the project to ensure relevance and impact of the research, shaping the research and disseminating it within their organisations.
The other members are Richard Danziger from the International Organization of Migration West Africa, Jason Gagnon from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and Ingela Winter-Norberg, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. Within the MIGNEX team, Jessica Hagen-Zanker is responsible for liaisons with the EUB members.
What was discussed?
The discussions were lively, focusing on issues, such as which countries and policy issues are of particular interest to the Commission and when and how to engage with Commission policy-makers to maximize impact. While the EUB members would like inputs and insights from the beginning of the project and early stages of fieldwork, this can clash with academic instincts to not release any findings until they have been triangulated and nuanced. We hope to be able to bridge such gaps in MIGNEX through frequent conversations.
Over the next year we will continue to work closely with EUB members, including on the selection of Local Research Areas to ensure they are relevant to their work. We will also get their inputs into our upcoming Project Handbook Chapters and Background Papers, including the chapter on Impact Maximization.