Comprehensive Information and Orientation Programmes (CIOP)



Every year, temporary contractual workers from South and South-East Asian countries make the decision to pursue foreign employment in the Gulf region. Roughly 72% of foreign workers stationed in the Gulf are nationals of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Under the patronage of the ADD, the Comprehensive Information and Orientation Programme (CIOP), spearheaded by the Government of the Philippines, centres on the premise that accurate and tailored orientation programmes for temporary contractual workers are powerful tools that benefit all stakeholders involved in labour migration. It acts to establish coherence between information delivered by countries of origin and destination, accounting for the entire migration journey.

These programmes aim to:

  • Enable aspiring workers to make well-informed decisions
  • Support the development of realistic expectations regarding overseas employment
  • Equip current temporary contractual workers with key information that enables them to recognize and avoid illegal and exploitative recruitment practices
  • Understand their rights and obligations, develop a grounding in the socio-cultural norms and practices belonging to the countries of destination
  • Be fully aware of services and resources available

Information streamlined across countries of origin and destination will lead to more knowledgeable and better prepared foreign workers, with strengthened capacities to effectively navigate work and life abroad. This, in turn, contributes to higher level of wellbeing and productivity, benefitting all stakeholders involved.

Through a multi-phased process, with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Government of the UAE, three orientations, harmonized across the labour migration process, form the heart of CIOP. These interventions are as follows:   

  • Pre-Employment Orientation (PEO): Equips prospective foreign workers and key family members with accurate and tailored information to enable them to make an informed decision on whether or not foreign employment is a realistic and adequate option.
  • Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO): Supports outgoing temporary contractual workers in preparing for their journey, adjustment period, life and work in the country of destination, along with providing guidance on ways to get access to support channels and grievance mechanisms.
  • Post-Arrival Orientation (PAO): Provides temporary contractual workers with further information regarding local labour laws, socio-cultural norms and practices, workplace expectations and good conduct.

To establish a regional model for streamlined orientation, a wide-ranging exercise has taken place, with support from the International Organization for Migration, across select ADD countries of origin and destination, to understand existing information programmes, their associated delivery methods, institutional architecture, content as well as identify common challenges. Based on these findings, a set of regional guides were put forth, containing an array of recommendations, best practices, proposed modules along with components of an effective management system.

As a result of this process of collaboration and consultations with various stakeholders, six CIOP knowledge products were developed and launched at the ADD 5th Ministerial Consultation on 17 October 2019 as follows:

These CIOP Background Reports and CIOP Regional Guides and Management Systems, act as key resources to ADD Member States in strengthening and further harmonizing information delivery initiatives that address information gaps of temporary contractual workers.

Using these resources, CIOP PEO, PDO and PAO modules will be piloted across three specific country corridors and sectors. During a dedicated workshop on the side-lines of the ADD Senior Officials Meeting in January 2017, the following country pairing and target occupations were decided and are as follows:

  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, focusing on drivers;
  • The United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka, focusing on hospitality workers;
  • The United Arab Emirates and the Philippines, focusing on hospitality workers;

The pilot phase will involve developing pair-specific and accurate PEO, PDO and PAO curricula as well as train national master trainers in order to equip all participating ADD Member States with the institutional capacity to operationalize and administer harmonized orientation. Delivering PEO, PDO and PAO sessions across these corridors will enable a thorough analysis elaborating on how harmonized orientation impacts the capacities of temporary contractual workers to effectively navigate work and life abroad.  



See More See Less


CIOP benefits a range of different stakeholders, including temporary contractual workers, employers, recruiters, governments and economies of countries of origin and destination, as well as different communities. As a direct result of project implementation, the following entities are considered immediate stakeholders:

  • Temporary contractual workers and their networks
  • Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
  • Governments of Bangladesh, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates
  • International Organization for Migration
  • Other ADD Member States
  • Employers in ADD countries of destination


See More See Less


of Project

Project Status: In-process

  • November 2019: 2nd CIOP Executive Committee Meeting, UAE
  • October 2019: ADD 5th Ministerial Consultation, UAE: Launch of CIOP knowledge products
  • October 2019: 3rd ADD Senior Officials Meeting
  • September 2019: Completion of CIOP PAO component
  • May 2019: Completion of CIOP PEO component
  • April 2019: 2nd ADD Senior Officials Meeting
  • March 2019: 1st CIOP Executive Committee Meeting, UAE
  • February 2019: 1st CIOP Advisory Committee Meeting
  • December 2018: Activation of CIOP Phase II Plus
  • May 2018: Activation of CIOP Phase II
  • July 2017: ADD Special Technical Workshop: Workshop operationalising the four collaborative programmes approved by ADD ministers
  • January 2017: 1st ADD Senior Officials Meeting, Sri Lanka: Presentation of PAO framework, pairing of interested countries
  • November 2015: Colombo Process 3rd Senior Officials Meeting, Sri Lanka: Approves development of PDO modules and programme management system
  • November 2014: 3rd Ministerial Consultation, Kuwait: Resolution made on the initiative of the Philippines to adopted as regional initiative
  • April 2012: 2nd ADD Ministerial Consultation, the Philippines: Agreement to develop tailored orientation programmes
See More See Less