Skip to main content

Developing a Framework for Diaspora's Engagement in Humanitarian Assistance

Daphne Henning
28 January 2021

Developing a Framework for Diaspora's Engagement in Humanitarian Assistance

This project is implemented by IOM in partnership with HRA and funded by USAID.

Diaspora organizations provide tremendous added value to humanitarian assistance. Historically, diasporas are key contributors to their countries of origin or heritage through remittances and other financial or in-kind contributions, but their involvement in humanitarian efforts mean so much more.

As seen during numerous man-made and natural disasters, diasporas are able to leverage their financial contributions, community connections, skills and local area knowledge to quickly address needs on the ground in their communities of origin. But what is less explored until now is how diasporas’ engagement could be strengthened through better coordination within the diasporas and with other humanitarian actors to bring further value to all aspects of humanitarian response, preparedness and recovery matters.

"Developing a Framework for Diaspora's Engagement in Humanitarian Assistance" is a project is implemented by IOM, in partnership with Haiti Renewal Alliance (HRA) and funded by USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). Its purpose is to enhance humanitarian efforts provided by diaspora and other actors, ultimately increasing the reach and effectiveness towards affected communities.

Seeking to build on several decades of work in diaspora engagement, this project aims to develop a framework to foster deeper coordination and cooperation between diaspora organizations and with institutional humanitarian actors, like international and national NGOs, UN agencies and governments.

The project is currently in formative stages. Virtual consultations were held in December 2020 and January 2021 with several diaspora organizations and institutional humanitarian actors in attendance. Additional consultations will take place through March with additional groups of actors, including one-on-one meetings for more in-depth analysis of the data being collected.

The project partners have launched a survey to gather input from stakeholders to collaboratively develop the framework. The survey is open through Friday, February 12 and is directed at diaspora organizations that work in humanitarian assistance. Responses on how to advance coordination, engagement, and humanitarian assistance are key to developing a framework to maximize diasporas' capacity for good.

For more information or to get involved with the project, contact or visit the project web page.