Comprehensive Information and Orientation Programmes (CIOP)



Orientation and information programmes are a tool of both protection and empowerment. The ADD’s cooperation on CIOP dates from 2014, based on a proposal originated by the Government of the Philippines while it was Chair. The objective of the ADDs cooperation is to ensure that temporary labour migrants have a well-founded sense of their rights and responsibilities, and are emotionally and psychologically prepared for the changes that they encounter, for pre-employment (PEO), through pre-departure (PDO) to post arrival (PAO). Better prepared workers experience higher levels of wellbeing, and are significantly more productive, creating a win-win for both workers and employers. 

Effective CIOP programming requires high levels of collaboration and planning. Not only do processes need to be in place to manage modules for pre` employment, pre-departure, post-arrival, and return and reintegration, but significant numbers of stakeholders need to be assimilated into the system. For example, in Sri Lanka alone there are 800 licenced recruitment agents actively operating, each one with up to 80 subagents, meaning that for pre-employment training to be meaningful, it has to be undertaken by community-based organisations at the grassroots level. Best practices for states fostering CIOP initiatives include: providing a clear legal and administrative foundation, taking into account the cultural context of the specific migration corridor, and adapting the content of the training to the skill level of the worker and the employment sector that he/she will engage in. 

Many countries of origin in the ADD have CIOP programmes in operation for PEO, PDO and PAO, including centres in countries of destination being run in cooperation with the embassies. Moreover, new technology is having a significant impact in broadening the reach of CIOP training, through mobile and online platforms. But the crucial test for efficacy is translating information into knowledge on the part of the worker. The pairing of countries through the ADD to develop corridor-specific programmes is intended to help address this challenge by making the training more relevant to the corridor-specific issues that workers are likely to encounter. 

The current ADD CIOP cooperative initiative builds on the achievements of an earlier Phase I, which included – with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation– the mapping of national PDO training, and the development of a regional guide for PDO training in Colombo Process countries. A regional’ specific framework for PAO, developed by the Permanent Secretariat, was presented to the ADD Senior Officials Meeting in May 2016. Phase II builds on these foundations, through specific country pairings and the development of detailed modules. Participating pairs are the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh; the United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka; and the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines. 

Phase II is intended to operationalize and administer a coordinated management system for PEO, PDO and PAO services for foreign workers. Technical assistance is being provided by the IOM in developing the management system and tailoring the training material to the specific country contexts of the ADD member states. Over the course of the current second phase, three regional guides will be developed to cover the specific country pairings, on the basis of which tailored manuals will be created, and joint COO and COD training of trainers undertaken to ensure that participating members states have the necessary institutional capacity to implement the respective courses. 

The programme looks at specific key sectors, where there is a high incidence of COO nationalities working. The KSA-Bangladesh pairing is focused on drivers. The UAE-Philippines pairing is focused on domestic workers and the hospitality sector. The UAE-Sri Lanka pairing is focused on hospitality. The relevant ADD participating ministries, in cooperation with national-level agencies, are administering the programme. 


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International Organisation of Migration (IOM)

Ministries of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE)


  1. Sri Lanka and UAE
  2. Philippines and the UAE
  3. Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia 
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of Project

April 2012: 2ND ADD Ministerial Consultations, Manila: Agreement to develop tailored orientation programmes

November 2014: 3rd Ministerial Consultation in Kuwait: CIOP adopted as regional initiative

May 2016: Colombo Process 3rd Senior Officials Meeting: Approves development of PDO modules and programme management system

January 2017: ADD Senior Officials Meeting – Presentation of PAO framework pairing of interested countries

July 2017: Workshop Operationalising the Four Collaborative Programs approved by ADD Ministers

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