E.g., 01/17/2021
E.g., 01/17/2021

Diaspora Engagement

Diaspora Engagement

Governments at both ends of the migration cycle increasingly recognize the value that diaspora populations bring to development efforts and are seeking ways to magnify the human capital and financial resources that emigrants and their descendants contribute to development in their countries of origin. Beyond the remittances they generate, diaspora members fulfill a key development role in their countries of origin: as major direct investors in critical and emerging industries, generous philanthropists and first movers in the growth of important sectors such as tourism, and in the development of human capital.

 

Recent Activity

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El Salvador's lengthy civil war crushed diasporas' opportunities for political or civic engagement in this small, densely-populated Central American nation. However, hometown associations—diaspora organizations that contribute to the development needs of their members' hometowns—represent a modern-day venue for civil society participation. This article explores how diasporas are contributing to development in more ways than just cash flows and projects by transforming the governance landscape.

Immigration and international development policy conversations have become entangled in the U.S. context, not necessarily to the benefit of either debate. This article explores how a contemporary understanding and decoupling of the issues can contribute to more effective policymaking.

With the goal of building and sustaining economic growth in mind, some countries have intensified their efforts to court investments from their nationals and co-ethnics abroad, recognizing that diaspora entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to spot opportunities in their countries of origin and capitalize on them.

Diaspora entrepreneurs have several advantages over other entrepreneurs or investors because they have social, political, and economic connections in two or more countries. Kathleen Newland and Hiroyuki Tanaka discuss the conditions and commitments on the part of countries of origin that can help attract and support diaspora entrepreneurs.

Development practitioners have long been aware of the change-making potential of diasporas, but only recently have begun to design programs that convert their latent talent and enthusiasm into results. This article by Tedla W. Giorgis and Aaron Terrazas examines the Ethiopian Diaspora Volunteer Program (EDVP) as a powerful example of how diasporas, donors, and developing countries work together to build from individual strengths and address common challenges facing the developing world.

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Recent Activity

Commentaries
January 2015

In a personal tribute published in the Migration Information Source, MPI's online journal, MPI President Emeritus Demetrios G. Papademetriou reflects on the life and career of Graeme Hugo, a world-renowned scholar and Director of the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre at the University of Adelaide, who died in January 2015.

Articles

With a range of policies in 2014, China sought to address changing large-scale migration patterns within the country and beyond. This year included promises to reform the hukou registration system and thus enable an estimated 100 million internal migrants to access social services in the cities where they live, schemes to entice the return of emigrant professionals, and crackdowns on corrupt officials who send their families and money abroad.

Fact Sheets
July 2014

MPI has produced profiles of 15 diaspora communities in the United States, gathering in one place key demographic data and analysis on diasporas from Bangladesh, Colombia, El Salvador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The profiles examine population size, educational attainment, household income, employment patterns, geographic distribution, and remittance volume.

Reports
May 2014
This report examines the complexity of immigrant integration governance in EU Member States, and offers detailed mapping of the origin-country institutions that are increasingly involved in integration-related activities. It explores how EU institutions can maximize opportunities for cooperation between origin and destination countries on integration governance.
Commentaries
October 2013
As hundreds of migrants were drowning in the Mediterranean, the United Nations General Assembly was hours from gathering for only the second time in its history to address international migration. The juxtaposition threw a question into sharp relief: does the world body have any impact on the world’s migrants?
Articles

The recent special session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, labeled the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD), was the UN's second-ever discussion devoted solely to international migration. This article examines the implications and outcomes of the HLD, identifies some of the issues that garnered widespread support, and assesses whether the international community is inching toward greater multilateral engagement on migration.

Policy Briefs
October 2013
This policy brief, which concludes a nine-brief series examining what is known about the linkages between migration and development, suggests that the policy framework on migration and development remains relatively weak, and few development agencies have made it a priority to promote the positive impact of international migration.
Audio
September 17, 2013

Diaspora engagement has become a key and accepted component in the arsenal of development strategies. The question of how to effectively and efficiently harness the force of a country’s diaspora through government intervention and policy remains one that many governments and international organizations must grapple with. Diaspora interventions tend to be organic and outside the confines of government and institutional structures.

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