BP and partners contribute to enhancement of institutional capacity

• Major contribution to effective migration management • Support for development of technical and human resources in migration services • Continued commitment to supporting effective governance

BP and its co-venturers in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Shah Deniz, and South Caucasus Pipeline projects – SOCAR, TPAO, PETRONAS, Chevron, LUKOIL, NICO, Equinor, INPEX, ExxonMobil, SGC, ITOCHU, ONGC, TOTAL, Eni – today announced the successful completion of the “Supporting effective migration management” project which started in 2015. 

This project was a part of the larger scale programme on “Consolidation of Migration and Border Management Capacities in Azerbaijan”, financed by the European Union with co-funding from the United States Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The project aimed to transfer international best practices to the country to help efficient implementation of the government’s migration strategies, policies and legislation through capacity-building and technical assistance.

The specific objectives of the project included assisting in the development and establishment of an effective mechanism for the management of the new visa regime and strengthening the legal and institutional capacity for effective migration management, including improved organizational performance and efficiency and upgraded inter-agency cooperation.

Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli, BP’s Vice President, Communications, External Affairs, Strategy and Region: “Throughout the four-year implementation of the project we cooperated closely with all parties involved – both co-funders and beneficiaries, to ensure the efficiency of the project activities. We are very pleased to bring this important project to a successful end achieving sustainable outcomes that will benefit both the government and different migrant groups. As Azerbaijan’s long-term business partners BP and its co-venturers will continue their efforts to help the country enhance its institutional capacities, build on the effective governance and, as part of these, develop its technical and human resources.” 

The beneficiaries of the project are the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population, the State Border Service and other relevant state agencies. 

The total contribution of BP and its co-venturers was 664,913 EURO allocated in six phases within the four years of the project duration (2015-2018).

The main achievements of the project have included:

•	The assessment report on Azerbaijan’s visa issuance mechanism aimed at assisting in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Azerbaijani visa management system handed over to the government;
•	The first Consular Reference Manual for Consular Officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs developed in the delivery of consular services in the overseas missions and at the Ministry level and capacity-building trainings delivered for Consular Officers;
•	A comprehensive needs assessment of the current institutional and operational migration management frameworks vis-a-vis the EU acquis and international standards made available;
•	Assessment of the Labour Market Information System to produce accurate and timely information for a better management of labour migration completed;
•	Assessment of the existing workflow of the State Migration Service (SMS) e-services and assessment of the existing IT infrastructure of the SMS conducted in order to modernize the e-governance and e-services for migrants/foreigners;
•	The first e-service developed and launched to simplify the process of payment of state duties and administrative fines imposed on foreigners and stateless persons by the SMS through the ASANPAY payment system.
•	Eight new software to enable collection and processing of information while using up-to-date web-based technologies; improvement of  e-services by introducing new features such as, online submission of documents, e-signature and online status tracking of applications and their inclusion in the e-government portal, in line with the best practices; establishment of a system of e-document circulation within the SMS portal to provide easier and more convenient access to information and services to foreigners and nationals;
•	A fully equipped modern English language laboratory for the SMS staff to help improve technical and human resources capacities of migration authorities to contribute to the functioning of an effective migration management mechanism in Azerbaijan. English language trainings provided to 28 SMS staff members based on the English Language Course Manual developed as part of the project;  
•	The first curriculum on International Migration Law (IML) was developed for SMS staff based on the international and EU instruments, trainings organized for migration practitioners.  
                                                                    
Notes to Editors

Over the past 27 years BP ant its co-venturers have supported a large number of major social investment projects. These have included educational programmes, building skills and capabilities in local communities, improving access to social infrastructure in communities, supporting local enterprises through provision of access to finance and training, support for cultural legacy and sport, as well as technical assistance to public institutions.

In the first quarter of 2019, BP and its co-venturers spent more than 1.3 million AZN in Azerbaijan on their social investment projects.

For more information about BP and co-venturers’ social investment projects please visit BP Azerbaijan site at www.bp.com/caspian.

Further information: Tamam Bayatly at BP’s Press Office in Baku. 
Telephone: (+994 12) 525 5895