MSAI-for-CDR model Migrant Savings and Alternative Investment for Community Development Reintegration


The model allows migrants to prepare for the future in the form of social entrepreneurship. To assure that the migrant can reintegrate in his/her home community when wishing to return home, MSAI-for-CDR empowers migrant communities to creates sustainable livelihood opportunities in their hometowns, by mobilising the resources and capacities of migrant workers and channelling them toward community development.


Combines the mobilization of remittances for development, with harnessing the entrepreneurial potential of migrants to act as savers and investors. The Executive Director May-An Villalba argues “A business can build a house, but a house cannot build a business".


6 step programme:
1. organize migrant community
2. identify prospective micro-enterprise project
3. forge community partnership
4. implement project
5. assess/measure performance and improve operations
6. reintegration of migrant:

• Local and international information campaigns
• Education facilitation: financial management savings, social entrepreneurship
• Organization of savings groups of migrant workers
• Technical assistance
• Credit services

OrganisationUnlad Kabayan
Organisation typeMigrant Organisation
  • Capital investment (Business/SME)
  • Philippines
  • South East Asia
Financial contributors



Partnering for financial resources
The choice of locality for business development was largely driven by allegiances of certain migrant savings groups to their home communities and Unlad Kabayan had little control over the geography of their activities – stretching the organization’s resources. Through partnerships they have overcome such overstretching of the budget.


Best practices engender trust
The level of trust in their partners determined the level of community development engagement of the Overseas Filipino Workers. The challenge for Unlad Kabayan is to convince migrants to channel a portion of their earnings to start micro-enterprises. “At the end of the day, earnings and remittances are the property of the migrant, and Unlad Kabayan respects that”. Through “shared experiences and sharing risks”, a shared commitment, transparency and credibility, a shared vision and trust became more solid as benefits started to be realized. It appeared that once 'best practices' could be shown to the migrants, they would be more convinced and trustworthy in the possibility for success of similar initiatives.