Diaspora Engagement Model for Development
Diaspora and Social Change
Related Country/Place of Origin
The Diaspora Engagement Model for Development provides a comprehensive Diaspora engagement strategy. It is based on good practices that have been successfully in the past for engaging the Diaspora for development in their countries of origin. Here, the benchmark for success is established with governments who have managed to cultivate valuable partnerships with the Diaspora in the context of wider national development efforts. The model presents a viable toolkit that will enable governments to improve their Diaspora engagement strategy in a systematic manner. It will also help governments harness the potential of migration for development by implementing projects and initiatives that aim to promote coherent and development-oriented migration policies. To realise this, governments can undertake necessary steps in the short-, medium-, and long-term for the adoption and implementation of the pillars of the model.
In essence, the model is a Diaspora engagement strategy for governments in countries of origin. It can be globally adopted as it provides governments with a step-by-step process for engaging the Diaspora in national development – at scale and anywhere. It is designed in a manner that facilitates tangible, realistic, and actionable results within the existing human resource capacities of any given country. The model presents a set of key pillars, lays out an action plan and provides several good practice cases, and offers a roadmap for a viable Diaspora engagement strategy. The case studies are selected so that interested parties can learn from the experiences and good practices of the forerunners in this field. More importantly, the model’s toolkit is intended to increase government policymakers’ understanding of how Diaspora engagement in local development works best and how it can be better organised and more effectively harnessed. However, many governments still do not yet have a comprehensive instrument that they can adopt to engage the Diaspora in their respective national development plans in a structured and effective manner. The key challenge in this regard is the absence of a reliable roadmap or a good practice blueprint for a Diaspora engagement model. To this end, developing a set of policies and a practical toolkit for governments will advance Diaspora efforts. Such a model will also enable governments to systematically scale-up development interventions by the Diaspora and achieve more productive engagement in the future.
The key advantage of having a Diaspora engagement model for development is that it ensures that development interventions undertaken by the Diaspora are structurally organised and formally facilitated. The lack of a comprehensive policy toolbox available to governments has gravely limited the contribution of the Diaspora to national development. The model mitigates this problem and seeks to maximise the considerable potential and benefits of Diaspora engagement in the country of origin. It also provides a blueprint for governments committed to integrating Diaspora-driven development into the national development agenda in the short-, medium-, and long-term. To adopt and implement the pillars of the model, governments can seek the support of donor institutions operating in their respective countries. There are several agencies and institutions running migration/Diaspora-oriented programmes such as the 6 International Organisation for Migration (IOM); International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD); the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Programme Migration & Diaspora (PMD); and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) among others. Also, some donor countries’ embassies support migration/Diasporaoriented projects. Government officials can reach out to these agencies and institutions for capacity development training, funding for Diaspora-related activities and for technical assistance in diverse areas regarding migration.