This is one of three toolkits commissioned by the Danish Refugee Council’s Diaspora Programme to UNU-MERIT/Maastricht University as part of its Diaspora Dialogue in Europe programming. The Diaspora Programme is implemented by DRC’s Civil Society Engagement Unit. DRC engages civil society actors rooted in and/or with direct ties to the Global South, and therefore considers diaspora transnational civil society actors an integral part of the civil society they work with.
The toolkit series intends to offer practical guidance to diaspora actors in three main areas: (1) Diaspora Fundraising, (2) Community Outreach and (3) Networking and Alliances Building.
This toolkit provides practical guidance for building and connecting networks and alliances among diaspora organizations and other civil society actors.
Section 1 highlights the importance of networking and alliances building for diaspora organizations as well as the role of network culture and structure to keep alliances working in the long run.
Section 2 provides an overview of the different types of collaboration by outlining the advantages and disadvantages of the different forms of collaboration.
Section 3 offers some practical tools that can be used in the 1) planning, 2) initiating and 3) organizing of networks and alliances. These tools and methods not only help to integrate the collaborative work in your overall vision and to discover new allies and partners, but also provide practical guidance on how to deal with common challenges in organizing networks and alliances.
Section 4 summarizes the main obstacles networks face as well as some lessons learnt to provide practical recommendations for organizing networks and alliances within and beyond the diaspora civil society.
The toolkit is informed by lessons learnt and good practices of diaspora networking and alliances building arising from the discussions within trainings for diaspora actors. The trainings were part of the Danish Refugee Council’s Civil Society and Engagement Unit, which aims to support civil society actors in European countries to engage more broadly with the diaspora community in a dialogue on various aspects of what it means to be or become part of a diaspora, as well as its role in the country of residence and towards its country of origin.