Missing Ingredients in Diaspora Engagement in Development: Destination-Country Policies and Integration

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The role of diasporas in the development of their countries of origin is now an accepted part of migration and development analysis. However, policy recommendations have centered mostly on how origin countries engage their diasporas in development efforts. More than 110 origin countries have created specialized units devoted to facilitating diaspora contributions to development.

While research and recommendations on country-of-origin policies have advanced in both quantity and quality, two important pieces have been left out of diaspora-and-development discussions: 1) the importance of integration to the capacity of diaspora communities to contribute to development and 2) the ways in which official development cooperation programs in destination countries support diaspora organizations and involve diasporas in official development cooperation. There is also a growing realization of the connection between the development roles of diasporas and their integration in the countries where they have settled.

This webinar examines what roles diasporas play in the development cooperation programs of countries of destination, as well as the potential challenges and opportunities for policy design. Speakers, from government, civil society, and the diaspora community, explore how integration in destination countries influences diasporas’ ability to contribute to development in their homelands. The discussion includes examples from the diaspora engagement actions and policies of western donor governments and lessons about effectiveness and sustainability, including from Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and United States. The event includes a special focus on Norway, where policy development is looking into how to strengthen civil-society engagement in the field of integration, and exploring the connections to diasporas engagement in development cooperation.

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