Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Handbook on Diaspora Engagement Provides Road Map for Leveraging the Role of Immigrants in Development Efforts Worldwide

Beyond the more than $400 billion in remittances transferred in 2010, 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. 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. A new handbook, Developing a Road Map for Engaging Diasporas in Development, authored by Migration Policy Institute (MPI) migration and development experts Kathleen Newland and Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias (who is also a research officer with the International Organization for Migration) offers practical advice to policymakers and practitioners and details the wide range of institutions that governments worldwide have established to work with diasporas.

The user-friendly guide, a project of MPI and IOM, offers a strategic road map for governments to build a constructive relationship with diasporas and examines the success and failure of policies, programs and initiatives undertaken to date. The handbook is based on in-depth interviews and consultations with government officials and non-governmental actors, and includes responses by 62 national governments to a two-part survey designed and administered for this project. "

The diaspora handbook's first five chapters focus on capacity building, the importance of rigorous monitoring and evaluation of policies and programs, the legal and institutional frameworks established to facilitate diaspora engagement and the legislative and regulatory frameworks by which diasporas engage with their countries of origin. The final six chapters examine the key areas in which diaspora members have played positive development roles: remittances, direct investment, human capital transfer, philanthropy, capital market investment and tourism - offering lessons and policy options for each.

The work builds upon diaspora engagement studies that MPI has engaged in for the better part of a decade, as well as the ongoing discussions that have taken place since 2007 at the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). For more on MPI's research on diaspora engagement, visit here.: . To learn about GFMD, visit here.


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