7 June Print


Diasporas and their role in generating change and fostering development in their countries of origin are in the global spotlight. It was not always thus, however: the international community has been slow in recognising the value of diasporas as agents of change, growth and development.

Even now, the focus tends to be mainly on the role of diasporas in sending back remittances which can contribute to lowering poverty and building human and financial capital for the poor.  It is important to note, however, that diasporas also play a pivotal role in transmitting skills, technology and know-how to their countries of origin.

Recognition of diasporas’ role in development has led to an increase in policies and programmes which attempt to leverage the resources, talents and know-how of migrants and their descendants.

The link between diasporas and development is also the subject of international conferences, including within the United Nations framework, and of numerous academic research and studies.

This focus on diasporas and their impact on growth and development is good news. More is needed, however, to fully map and understand the role of diasporas in generating positive change in their countries of origin. There is a pressing need to improve data on migration and remittances at the national and bilateral corridor level.  Further information is also needed on the myriad other ways in which diasporas use their skills and talents to boost development.

Download the full discussion paper here: EN
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