E.g., 11/28/2023
E.g., 11/28/2023
Destination-Country Policies to Foster Diaspora Engagement in Development

It is now widely recognized that emigrants and their descendants contribute greatly to the development of their countries of origin or ancestry, not only with remittances but also by starting businesses, through exchanges of knowledge, and more. And many migrant-origin countries have invested in connecting with their diaspora and leveraging its contributions. Far less attention has gone, though, to how countries of destination with substantial official development assistance programs are supporting—or could support—their resident diasporas’ engagement in the development of countries of origin.

This report explores the diaspora engagement actions and policies of Western donor governments—including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United States—highlighting distinctive features. It considers a variety of modes of engagement, such as assistance with forming or strengthening diaspora organizations, grants for diaspora-led development projects, consultations, skills circulation initiatives, and support for entrepreneurship. The report also explores why more destination countries have not (consistently) operated diaspora-for-development programs, and offers lessons about effectiveness and sustainability.

Table of Contents 

1  Introduction

2  The Ebb and Flow of Interest in Diaspora Engagement

3  Two Approaches to Engaging Diasporas in Development

4  Diaspora Integration and Development Involvement

5  Working with Civil-Society Organizations: A First Step toward Diaspora Engagement

6  Modes of Supporting Diaspora Engagement in Destination Countries
A. Support to Form or Strengthen Diaspora Organizations
B. Grants to Diaspora Development Projects
C. Consultations with Diasporas
D. Skills Circulation
E. Support for Entrepreneurship

7  Outsourcing Diaspora Engagement

8  Contrasting Approaches to Diaspora Engagement in Selected Destination Countries

9  Conclusions and Recommendations