The Future of Capacity Development Training

Over the last year, a truly innovative project redefining migration capacity development has been taking place in Malta - the Training Institute on Migration Capacity Partnership for the Mediterranean (MCP Med TI).

What is it?

Simply put, it is an answer to that deceptively straightforward question, “How can we make training better?”

Thanks to the visionary support of the EU through the Migration Partnership Facility (MPF), along with Malta, Austria and Denmark, the Training Institute was established with an initial external dimension focus on Southern Partner Countries, specifically Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. However, after only one year of operation, its impact is already going far beyond that, redefining and professionalising the capacity training sector.

The project’s overall objective of becoming “… a permanent and accredited regional training institute offering quality-assured, bespoke learning and coaching experiences that result in certification for migration actors” was always ambitious, requiring completely new ways of thinking and working. Fortunately, with its emphasis on continuous innovation, ICMPD has proved to be the ideal organisation to do that.

Quality, Partnership, Accessibility and Sustainability

Perhaps the Training Institute’s greatest achievement to date has been becoming a fully licenced EU Further Education Institution and Awarding Body. This means that courses can carry accredited qualifications and academic credits that are fully recognised and completely transferrable across Europe. Credits can also be freely combined with others at the same level issued by any other EU-licenced educational provider. Finally, frontline migration practitioners can evidence their learning outside their work environment. How far this has resonated across the industry is perhaps best shown by the European Agency for Asylum’s (EUAA) decision to now also pursue licencing.

Meeting the requirements set by the educational authorities meant significant revisions to, and often completely new, operational, organisational and regulatory processes. It is a testament not only to the support of the Maltese government and The Malta Further and Higher Education Authority (MFHEA) but also to the Training Institute’s staff that this was achieved within a record time.

But the innovations don’t stop there. A further unique feature of the project is its redefinition of stakeholder relationships. As the birthplace of the new Capacity Partnerships approach spearheaded by ICMPD in the Mediterranean, the Training Institute rejects the traditional migration cooperation dynamic in preference for one where all parties’ existing capacities, whether they be donors or partners, are recognised and employed collaboratively to produce solutions - ‘Joint leadership, Shared Responsibility’.

This means that the Training Institute’s members decide what, how, where and when training is done; the members are in control from the Governing Board to the classroom.

This reinterpretation of partnership extends further, however. Embracing collaboration and not competition, the Training Institute actively seeks to promote communities of practice, where other ICMPD actors, academic, commercial and state providers work together to advance the migration vocational education domain. EUAA and Frontex’s permanent membership of the Training Institute’s independent advisory group, as well as training collaborations with EUROMED Migration V (EMM5) and the Mieux+ initiative, are all evidence of this, with many more in the pipeline.

Recognising the limitations of many migration practitioners, the Training Institute has also been designed to make learning as Accessible as possible. The Training Institute can provide training on any migration theme. Available in English, Arabic or French, courses predominantly last from a few hours to a few days and take place in-person at the state-of-the-art Malta premises, within the partner countries themselves, or online via our custom-built digital Learning Management System wholly administered by the Training Institute.

Because the trainers are primarily from the Southern Partner countries, it further ensures that student experiences are wholly tailored to their cultural, regulatory and operational realities.

This learner-focused accessibility is even evident in the design of the Training Institute’s premises. Whether it be the high-tech classrooms, student laptops, free refreshments and food preparation facilities, dedicated break spaces, prayer room, library or research areas, a positive learning environment is ensured.

Of course, Sustainability, ensuring that the Training Institute can continue its support to professional training in the future, has also been a priority. And here again, the Training Institute has been pioneering new territory with its innovative financial model. Already with the mandate and mechanisms to offer services to other projects globally and recover costs from them, the next phase will be to extend this to external clients. This will represent a major milestone for ICMPD, simultaneously streamlining all access to quality migration training while reducing financial reliance on donors.

With eight courses already available and dozens of others under production, training being delivered, and qualifications being issued (40 and counting…), the Training Institute is no longer just a good idea; it’s fast becoming the industry standard.

If you’d like to learn more, please visit: Home - MCP Med TI (

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