Thematic Working Group Diaspora and Migrants for Development


232 million migrants

International migrants make up 3.3 percent of the world’s population.

This constitutes the 5th largest country in the world.

China                                           1,364  million people

India                                            1,243  million people

United States                               317  million people

Indonesia                                     247  million people

International migrants               232  million people

International organizations, governments in both sending as receiving countries and civil society worldwide increasingly recognize the value that diaspora / migrant populations bring to development efforts in their countries of origin or ancestry. Remittances diaspora / migrant populations generate to developing countries are estimated at $404 billion in 2013, up 3.5 percent compared with 2012. Growth in remittance flows to developing countries is expected to accelerate to an annual average of 8.4 percent over the next three years, raising flows to $436 billion in 2014 and $516 billion in 2016. Besides remittances diaspora / migrants fulfil a key development role in their countries of origin as promoters of trade and foreign direct investment (FDI), of business development and entrepreneurship and in the field of skills and knowledge transfer.

 

Diaspora and migrants for development

Over the past 10 years the value of diaspora / migrant populations with regards to development efforts in their countries of origin or ancestry has been increasing and in  a number of countries projects and programs have been undertaken to enable diaspora / migrant populations better to contribute to development efforts in their country of origin. Governments, (inter)national organisations and civil society can and need to do much more to remove obstacles and create opportunities for diaspora / migrants for development.SAM_6077

The global thematic working group Diaspora and migrants for development  is seeking ways to magnify the human capital and financial resources that emigrants and their descendants contribute to development in their countries of origin, thuscreating an enabling environment for diaspora / migrants as change agents for development in countries of origin and – heritage. Vision and work of the thematic working group are based upon civil society’s recommendations from the Global Forum on Migration and Development (www.gfmd.org) and the 5-year 8 point Action Plan civil society proposed to governments during the UN High-level Dialogue on Migration and Development (HLD) in October 2013.
 

Definition of diaspora,migrant and development

SAM_6069The thematic working group upholds the following definition of “diaspora” (Van Hear): ‘Populations of migrant origin who are scattered among two or more destinations, between which there develop multifarious links involving flows and exchanges of people and resources; between the homeland and destination countries, and among destination countries’.

Realizing that At the international level, no universally accepted definition for "migrant" exists, the thematic working group upholds the following definition of “migrant” (UN):  individual who has resided in a foreign country for more than one year irrespective of the causes, voluntary or involuntary, and the means, regular or irregular, used to migrate’.

The thematic working group upholds the following definition of “development” (EU): "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
 

Vision

A strong, dynamic, effective multi-stakeholder network of expertise with regards to diaspora and migrants for development able to create sustainable and inclusive development in countries of origin and/or – heritage by engineering changes in policymaking and public opinion worldwide.
 

Core Values

Members of the thematic working group sign up to the following:

  • The thematic working group fosters the link between migration and development
  • The thematic working group upholds an open and broad definition of development
  • The thematic working group upholds equal partnership and ownership;
  • The thematic working believes in diaspora organisations and practitioners as agents of change for development;
  • The thematic working group believes in open and transparent communication, raising awareness, data collection, showcasing good practices, transfer of knowledge and capacity building at all levels as strategic instruments to remove obstacles and create opportunities for diaspora / migrants for development

 

Objective

The overall objective of this TW therefore is: Creating an enabling environment in countries of residence, - origin and – heritage for diaspora / migrants as change agents for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic and political development in the countries of origin and/or  - ancestry. Expected outcomes are:

  • Relevant policy recommendations;
  • Positive exposure for diaspora and migrants for development by showcasing best practices and stimulating evidence based research
  • Data collection
  • New partnerships in / between civil society – private sector – government organizations in / between countries of origin, - residence and – heritage.

 

Membership

Membership of the TW is open to:

  • All interested networks, parties, organizations and practitioners around the world who subscribe to the general objective of the thematic working group, the vision, the core values and to the the 5-year 8 point Action Plan.

 

The following  parties will especially be encouraged to become a member of the TW:SAM_6071

  • Diaspora organizations / migrants for development who facilitate or stimulate economic development of their country of origin and who initiate and implement activities and projects in their country of origin;
  • Diaspora organizations / migrants for development who work on a long term basis with at least one local partner organization in the country of origin;
  • Diaspora organizations / migrants for development with relevant capacity, communication channels, know-how and means or access to means in order to implement activities in the light of migration and development;
  • Diaspora organizations / migrants for development who are firmly embedded in the country of residence and have a broad network including government / government institutions, civil society and private sector;
  • Diaspora organizations / migrants for development who can translate results / findings of relevant activities, projects into policy recommendations / best practices and disseminate knowledge, expertise and relevant information

 

Activities

The following activities will be undertaken by thematic working group:

  • Building a sustainable and inclusive thematic working group

Building, enlarging and strengthening the TW through fostering links between existing diaspora networks and through mapping, identification, capacity building and outreach to civil society organizations and practitioners;

  • Information monitoring and sharing

Monitoring and sharing information on relevant local, national and global policies, issues and developments

  • Outreach and advocacy

Outreach and advocacy to governments and international organizations for recognition of diaspora/migrants’ role and ability as change agent or socio-economic and political development;

  • Improving the public image of diaspora / migrants’ populations

Mapping and showcasing good practices; initiating evidence-based research, building a civil society thematic database and initiating public – private partnerships (PPP) and pilot projects with regards to development;

  • Policy papers

Developing, drawing up and disseminating reports including findings, conclusions and recommendations for policy makers;

  • Research

Encouraging evidence-based research regarding transnational migrant entrepreneurship and diaspora/migrants for social development

  • Meetings / platforms

Organizing webinars and (other) on and offline thematic meetings / platforms
 

Priority 2014
  • Recognition of the role of and support for diaspora / migrants for development with regards to economic development (business development, entrepreneurship and job creation) will be at the forefront of the thematic working group’s activities in 2014.

 

Priority 2015
  • Recognition of the role of and support for diaspora / migrants for development with regards to social development will be at the forefront of the  thematic working group’s activities in 2015.

 

Contact

Ms. Connie Formson-Lorist,
Project Coordinator
Laan van Meerdervoort 70
2517 AN The Hague The Netherlands
The Netherlands
E: c.formson@diaspora-centre.org
T: +31 (0) 70 753 77 30
Skype: adpc-nl

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This project is funded by the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the Implementing Organisations and can in no way be take to reflect the views of the European Union.

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