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Migration & Development: Diaspora Engagement
October 14, 2021
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Migration & Development: Diaspora Engagement

The diaspora plays an important role in achieving development outcomes. Its engagement can help strengthen the link between migration and sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) targets acknowledge their role and consider diaspora engagement as instrumental to the development process.

It is now widely recognized that migrants and diasporas have a core role to play to contribute to development in their countries of origin. What is less clear, however, is how to concretely promote their contributions to development. Over the years, a myriad of initiatives have emerged to engage diaspora and harness the potential of these development actors. Usually with mixed results and always with a certain impression that there is a “continual untapped potential” and that these actors are difficult to “capture”.

As regions experiencing high emigration and strongly relying on resources provided by their diaspora, countries in the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, and South Caucasus do not escape this phenomenon. There is an increasing focus on diaspora engagement by the governments and their partners.

This Learning Brief provides an overview of these issues in these regions and lays out several good practices and lessons learned on diaspora engagement.

Developed as part of RECONOMY, an initiative aiming at acting as a regional facilitator by fostering partnership and knowledge sharing, the goals of this tool are manifold: take stock of the existing knowledge and experience, share the learning, stimulate the reflection, and promote exchange and partnership.

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Régis Blanc

Régis Blanc joined Helvetas in 2020 as Migration Advisor. Régis has started his career in the field of migration in 2011 and includes multi-country experience in Africa, Latin America and South Asia. His thematic expertise comprises migration and development, labour migration, fair recruitment and protection from a humanitarian aid perspective. Régis mainly worked for the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC), both at field and at Headquarters level, and for the Labour Migration Branch of the International Labour Organization (ILO). He notably supported the development of the migration issue from a development perspective for SDC in West Africa. He previously also worked at a more local level in the area of migrants’ integration and asylum rights in Switzerland.


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