Consultancy for Digital Transformation in the Immigration Sector in Belize

Website Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)


Background of this search:

We work to improve lives in Latin America and the Caribbean. Through financial and technical support for countries working to reduce poverty and inequality, we help improve health and education, and advance infrastructure. Our aim is to achieve development in a sustainable, climate-friendly way. With a history dating back to 1959, today we are the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean. We provide loans, grants, and technical assistance; and we conduct extensive research. We maintain a strong commitment to achieving measurable results and the highest standards of increased integrity, transparency, and accountability.

Belize has received the largest foreign population in relation to its population, accounting to 15 percent of the total or 55,000 (UN 2019; IOM 2021). A flow of migrants in recent decades, mainly from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, has turned Belize into a host nation for its displaced neighbors (IOM 2013). Compared to native families, migrant families are socioeconomically disadvantaged, and their education levels are lower (IDB 2020). This translates into educational and other integration challenges for migrant children and their families in Belize.

Acknowledging the contributions of migrants to Belize, and in support of these populations, the Government of Belize has been working on its migration policy to ensure that the incoming migrants could complement the Belizean labor force, expanding and tailoring existing vocational and training institutions to respond to the needs of the market, including training of migrants. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration (MFA) in collaboration with UN agencies is working on strengthening its capacity to provide services to migrants through the digitization of migration documents and the enhancement of asylum requests processing capabilities (Belize Immigration, 2021). However, the Ministry’s capacities need to be further strengthened, particularly their technical infrastructure, data management systems, and standards on digital issues in order to provide the most efficient and high-quality service to its vulnerable migrant population. In technical meetings with the IT Team of the MFA’s Immigration Department different needs and challenges – including the harmonization of immigration systems, collaboration with other countries for background checks, mass regularization of immigrants, and streamlined application processes, among others – were identified for the effective provision of digital services to migrant and refugee populations.

Of the different challenges and needs identified, an important one highlighted was limited experience and knowledge on how to maximize digital immigration efforts to provide quality and streamlined services to the migrant population. The increased migration flows to some countries in the world, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, pushed countries such as Chile, Canada, and New Zealand to develop streamlined and user-friendly online migration services, which include best practices that can be shared with other migrant recipient countries around the world.

The team’s mission:

The Social Sector (SCL) is a multidisciplinary team convinced that investing in people is the way to improve lives and overcome the development challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean. Jointly with the countries in the region, the Social Sector formulates public policy solutions to reduce poverty and improve the delivery of education, labor, social protection, and health services. The objective is to advance a more productive region, with equal opportunities for men and women, and greater inclusion of the most vulnerable groups, including migrants.

The Migration Unit team supports migration receiving countries, countries of destination and migration in transit and the host communities through lending operations; regional, sub-regional and national dialogues; regional cooperation to generate public goods; capacity building and training; and applied research.

Belize is about to undergo an amnesty period, where migrants and asylum seekers can apply for permanent residency. This is the third regularization process of this nature in Belize, the first being in 1984 and the second in 1999 where 8,000 and 11,000 people were regularized, respectively. With an estimate of 55,000 migrants in the country, plus 4,000 asylum seekers, this regularization process comes to be crucial for the socioeconomic inclusion of the migrant and refugee population. The process is expected to begin in July, finalize in November, and the permanent residency issuances will be issued by January 2023.

Against this background and the upcoming regularization process, the IDB is looking to contract an individual consultant that will support the Ministry of Immigration in strengthening its digital migration system. To do so, the consultant is expected to: 1) carry out an assessment of Belize’s institutional capacity to provide migration services as well as to identify gaps in the current digital migration system, including technical infrastructure, data analysis, and information processing; and 2) conduct an in-depth study on best practices worldwide on the implementation of digital migration systems.

What you’ll do:

The consultancy’s objective is to enhance the Immigration Department’s data analytic capabilities and provision of migration services by assessing the Ministry of Immigration’s services and gaps in data analysis. To achieve this, a diagnosis to evaluate the Ministry’s current capacities and data gaps will be conducted followed by recommendations on how to strengthen the migration services offer and close the digital gaps based on best practices, as well as a roadmap for their implementation that can be adapted to Belize’s reality.

The individual consultant(s) will carry out the following activities:

  • Work Plan: Create a Work Plan for the consultancy. The plan must include a description of the objectives, the activities to be carried out under the consultancy, methodology, expected results, and a timeline for the consultancy’s main activities.
  • Baseline analysis: The consultant will make an inventory and analysis of available data in its different forms (digital, and not), data analytic capacities, and immigration service provision. Based on this, the main gaps in terms of digitalization of data, analytic capacity, and service provision will be identified
  • Data collection and research. The consultant will gather all necessary information and data for the study through primary sources, including interviews with MFA and Ministry of Immigration (senior management) personnel, as well as through secondary data on best practices worldwide on digitalization for similar institutions, particularly in the Caribbean and Central American Region.
  • Study and recommendations. The consultant will carry out an analysis of the data collected using the methodology presented in the work plan. This information will be used to elaborate actionable recommendations and a roadmap for their implementation that includes items such as: key stakeholders, cost alternatives, maintenance and sustainability, interoperability, etc.
  • Presentation of study and assessment results. The results of the study and assessment will be shared to the IDB team, MFA, Ministry of Immigration officials, and to relevant institutions during official presentation.
  • Coordination. The consultant must work closely with the IDB, the MFA, and Ministry of Immigration throughout the implementation of the activities. Periodic meetings to discuss the progress of the consultancy are required.

Deliverables and Payments timeline:

The consultant will deliver the following products to the IDB:

  • Work plan (2 weeks after the signing of the contract)
  • Baseline assessment (Month 2)
  • Progress report on data collection (Month 4)
  • Study on best practices and roadmap for implementation (Month 5)
  • Presentation of the study including a PowerPoint presentation (Month 6)

Payment terms will be based on project milestones or deliverables. The Bank does not expect to make advance payments under consulting contracts unless a significant amount of travel is required. The Bank wishes to receive the most competitive cost proposal for the services described herein.

The IDB Official Exchange Rate indicated in the RFP will be applied for necessary conversions of local currency payments.

Payment Schedule
Deliverable %
Product 1. Approval of the Work Plan 20%
Product 2. Baseline assessment 25%
Product 3. Approval of study on best practices and roadmap 35%
Product 4. Approval of PowerPoint presentation and delivery of presentation of the study and assessment 20%
TOTAL 100%

What you’ll need:

  • Citizenship: You are a citizen of one of our 48-member countries.
  • Consanguinity: You have no family members (up to fourth degree of consanguinity and second degree of affinity, including spouse) working at the IDB Group.
  • Education: Master’s degree, or equivalent, in data analytics, social sciences or related fields.
  • Experience: 7 years of experience in digital transformation and data analytics. At least 5 years of experience with migration issues in the region.
  • Languages: English.

Opportunity Summary:

  • Type of contract and modality: Products and External Services Consultant, lump sum.
  • Length of contract: 6 months.
  • Location: Consultant´s location.
  • Responsible person: Operations Sr Specialist SCL/MIG.
  • Requirements:You must be a citizen of one of the IDB’s 48 member countries and have no family members currently working at the IDB Group.

Our culture:

Our people are committed and passionate about improving lives in Latin-America and the Caribbean, and they get to do what they love in a diverse, collaborative and stimulating work environment. We are the first Latin American and Caribbean development institution to be awarded the EDGE certification, recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality. As an employee you can be part of internal resource groups that connect our diverse community around common interests.

Because we are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, we embrace all diversity and encourage women, the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, afro-descendants, and indigenous people to apply.

About us:

At the IDB, we’re committed to improving lives. Since 1959, we’ve been a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. We do more than lending though. We partner with our 48-member countries to provide Latin America and the Caribbean with cutting-edge research about relevant development issues, policy advice to inform their decisions, and technical assistance to improve on the planning and execution of projects. For this, we need people who not only have the right skills, but also are passionate about improving lives.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and its implications for our Region, the IDB Group is reviewing its hiring needs and re-prioritizing its areas of talent acquisition. We encourage candidates to continue to apply to the active postings, yet current job openings may be subject to further decisions in terms of timing of the processes, or other actions, in accordance with business needs. Final hiring decisions may also be conditioned to the candidate’s ability to timely relocate to the post of duty at the moment of starting service.

Our team in Human Resources carefully reviews all applications.



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