E.g., 02/29/2024
E.g., 02/29/2024
Diaspora Engagement

Diaspora Engagement

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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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Haiti and Pakistan were an unlikely pair until 2010, when horrific natural disasters made it impossible for the world to ignore their devastation.

For many developing countries, migrants are considered valuable contributors to future development. As proof of their commitment, they have invested in diaspora institutions with responsibilities ranging from protecting migrants to encouraging investment. MPI's Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias analyzes 45 such institutions across 30 countries and breaks them down by type.

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The world's second most populous country also has a vast diapora spread across nearly every continent. Daniel Naujoks provides a broad overview of Indian migration flows and major populations worldwide, and discusses India's diaspora policies, refugees and asylum seekers from the region, and illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Tibetans have integrated into Asian and Western societies since 1959 with different types of outcomes. In Part II of our two-part series, Seonaigh MacPherson, Anne-Sophie Bentz, and Dawa Bhuti Ghoso examine integration experiences, the diaspora's political success, the gaps between those in Tibet and Tibetans abroad, and what lies ahead for the Tibetan diaspora.

Approximately 122,000 Tibetans, including those of Tibetan ancestry, live outside their homeland. Seonaigh MacPherson, Anne-Sophie Bentz, and Dawa Bhuti Ghoso provide an in-depth look at Tibetan history and Tibetans' migration to India and the West in this first of our two-part series on the Tibetan diaspora.

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Recent Activity

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.

Policy Briefs
September 2013

Diasporas can play an important role in the economic development of their countries of origin or ancestry. Beyond their well-known role as senders of remittances, diasporas also can promote trade and foreign direct investment, create businesses, spur entrepreneurship, and transfer new knowledge and skills. Policymakers increasingly recognize that an engaged diaspora can be an asset — or even a counterweight to the emigration of skilled and talented migrants.

Books
July, 2013

This edited volume develops a pragmatic approach to the engagement of highly skilled members of the diaspora for the benefit of their countries of origin. The book, edited by a World Bank senior economist, is based on empirical work in middle-income and high-income economies.

Articles

The region encompassing Central and Eastern Europe as well as the former Soviet Union is the source of a sizeable share of international migrants today, yet many of these countries' development efforts do not benefit from strong diaspora ties.

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The immigration debate in the United States often focuses on how many foreign born enter and reside in the country. Much less attention is paid to Americans who live abroad—a population estimated at anywhere from 2 million to 7 million. This article examines the challenges of enumerating this population and also explores top destinations for American expats, their livelihoods, and motivations for leaving the United States.
Articles

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.

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