TAP South American Tour

Entry 2 - Bogotá - TAP Relationship building

Bogotá  – December 4, 2022

Many of the people I met in Colombia have been working in international development have a broad depth and breath of experiences and are extremely helpful and knowledgeable.

We had an opportunity to meet the Canadian Ambassador to Colombia, her Excellency Marianick Tremblay, which revealed that TAP-EDM was in fact her brainchild! Our Project Director Chris provided a brief update on the project. And I had a chance to say Bonjour to this approachable and enthusiastic Canadian, in passing during one of my visits at the Embassy.

TAP Meetings in Bogotá.  My colleagues and I met with the two Colombian NGEs who had successfully pitched their projects to Global Affairs Canada in a call for proposals for technical assistance projects. In particular, the TAP team is managing the TAP project, titled Improving migrants and refugees’ data analysis in Colombia.

The first meeting was with the Departamento Nacional de Planeación (DNP). This government agency has recently developed a migration observatory with the help of the World Bank (more info: more info here in Spanish).

With the help of Canada and the TAP project, DNP is hoping to develop a detailed data analysis system to support better decision making for their migration program. Because of recent changes in government in Colombia, it was important to discuss and confirm the specific needs of the initiative. Through this in person meeting with the DNP team we were better able to outline what will later become the project profile, used to recruit the Canadian experts.

With my limited Spanish I certainly found it challenging to follow all the technical details of our discussions. it is important to underscore the complexity around the migration reality in Colombia. I learned how this new government has a more inclusive approach to welcoming and supporting migrants, mostly from Venezuela but also around the issues coming from other regions too, as many neighboring countries are imposing visa requirements to limit entry.

 Between January–September 2022, more than 150,000 people crossed into Panama from Colombia through the Darién Gap. Of this number, 71% were Venezuelans. Around 14,500 were children. (Source: 2022 )

The humanitarian needs are huge – from shelter, protection, health to education and childcare to finding employment or education. In addition to the socioeconomic issues, climate hazards, like increased rainfall, mudslides are adding to the aggravating factors. The DNP is looking to better collect, analyze and disseminate their data for improved policy planning and decision making.

The city of Bogota.

TAP FACTS - South American Tour

The project is currently mandated to implement 17 projects in LAC, Latin American Countries. Our TAIs (technical assistance initiatives), are based on very specific criteria requested by National Government Entities (NGEs) for technical support in their country. And  Alinea International, based in Calgary, implementing TAP, is also helping to manage the environmental impact of our initiatives, supporting the development of a TAP carbon emission and carbon offset calculator, and the development of a TAP sustainable travel and sustainable meeting guideline and checklist.  More on climate action here.

Entry 1 - Introduction on the TAP South American Tour

by Gabrielle Lepage

N.B. My publications are solely my own and do not represent the views of any other party.

Holà! Salut 👋! Hello!

As the Communications and Public Engagement Manager for the TAP team and project initiatives,  and participating in the TAP South American Tour with two of my colleagues, I was inspired to tackle a running blog; and what greater way to share what the Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) project is all about than through this trip. By the same token,  I will have the opportunity to showcase the great work of the many Canadians who are currently involved in 40+ projects around the world, in 32+ countries who must qualify for this funding. { More info on ODD eligible countries }.

Over the next two weeks, I will share some experiences regarding international cooperation and Canadian initiatives in particular; a snapshot on how Alinea deploys Canadian experts but particularly for this trip, how a project is initiated, the legwork in defining projects and assessing in-country needs.

This new TAP blog is an opportunity to share a few aha moments, personal experiences from my lens, some of the challenges I observed, my impressions and along the way, give you an overview of our TAP-EDM initiatives in Latin America Countries (LAC). And of course, this is a great way to immerse myself in Spanish once again!

Let’s go – vamosAs mentioned earlier, I am travelling with two TAP colleagues Alexandra Reano  (LA PM), Christopher Yeomans (PD) as well as our Global Affairs Canada project team lead (PTL), and funder, Minh-Tien Nguyen. Chris and Alex started the trip a few days earlier a tour of Quito, Ecuador – preparing the initial legwork on a new initiative supporting sustainable dialogue mechanism with indigenous communities.

[Along the way, I will share TAP lingo and project “TAP FACTS,” as you may have noticed, this project has an exceedingly large number of acronyms. Check them out our TAP Lexicon]

More soon! Saludos todas y todos!

My colleague Alex.