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Positive benefits from digital advice

Advisor Adrien Michel Diedhiou

Positive benefits from digital advice

Adrien Michel Diedhiou is an advisor at the Senegalese-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (CSAEM). He gives an interview to explain how his work at CSAEM has changed due to the corona pandemic.

Mr Diedhiou, CSAEM has also mainly switched to providing advice online. How is that changing the work you do?
We do indeed conduct a lot of our advisory and training sessions online now. Face-to-face conversations are only possible with an appointment. The increased use of digital channels does have some benefits though. It means we can keep our service going. Training is still the pathway to success in starting a new career, and we provide services that open up prospects for people. This involves taking their individual interests and opportunities into account.

Diedhiou in a consultation

How many people are you currently advising?
The digital options actually result in us being able to advise even more people than before the corona pandemic. Our five CSAEM advisors are currently holding around four or five face-to-face conversations per day. On top of that, they hold six or seven consultations via digital platforms or by phone.

Is digital communication suitable for building trust?
There is of course no comparison between face-to-face conversations and online advice sessions. Talking with returnees face-to-face makes it easier for us to identify their support needs. Though it's still possible to establish a good relationship even with virtual counselling. Many people seem to find it easier to speak when they’re sitting at a computer screen. Online conversations can also result in less stress.

How do you manage to keep in touch with your partner organisations?
We organised three digital meetings with our partner organisations in January 2021 to exchange ideas and coordinate our activities. I think it would be useful to continue arranging these online conversations even after the pandemic.

Many people seem to find it easier to speak when they’re sitting at a computer screen.
Adrien Michel Diedhiou