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        • My Diaspora Facebook Group
        • Afghanistan People Connect

          Find people from your country at home or abroad

          OTHER TOPICS

        • Searching for the Chinese Diaspora
        • Cuban Diaspora Cooking…
        • Puerto Ricans of the Diaspora
        • African Exports: Best Business Model For the Diaspora!
        • Building Diaspora using the internet: How Filipinos have used it effectively.

          About This Book
          The dramatic growth of the Internet in recent years has provided opportunities for a host of relationships and communities—forged across great distances and even time—that would have seemed unimaginable only a short while ago.
          In Building Diaspora, Emily Noelle Ignacio explores how Filipinos have used these subtle, cyber, but very real social connections to construct and reinforce a sense of national, ethnic, and racial identity with distant others. Through an extensive analysis of newsgroup debates, listserves, and website postings, she illustrates the significant ways that computer-mediated communication has contributed to solidifying what can credibly be called a Filipino diaspora. Lively cyber-discussions on topics including Eurocentrism, Orientalism, patriarchy, gender issues, language, and “mail-order-brides” have helped Filipinos better understand and articulate their postcolonial situation as well as their relationship with other national and ethnic communities around the world. Significant attention is given to the complicated history of Philippine-American relations, including the ways Filipinos are racialized as a result of their political and economic subjugation to U.S. interests.

          As Filipinos and many other ethnic groups continue to migrate globally, Building Diaspora makes an important contribution to our changing understanding of “homeland.” The author makes the powerful argument that while home is being further removed from geographic place, it is being increasingly territorialized in space.

          Learn more:

        • Road map for engaging diasporas

          Developing a road map for engaging diasporas in development.

          The handbook is divided into three major parts. Each part gives
          concrete examples of policies and programs that have been effective, and
          pulls out both useful lessons and common challenges associated with the
          topics at hand.

          Part One, in three chapters, outlines a strategy for diaspora
          engagement, beginning with an adaptable “road map” that lays out four
          major strategic elements: identifying the goals of diaspora engagement,
          mapping the location and characteristics of the diaspora, building trust
          between diasporas and government institutions, and mobilizing the
          diaspora to act as partners in the development of the country of origin.
          Chapter 2 focuses on capacity building, an essential component
          in every element of engagement strategy. The ability to design policies
          and implement programs effectively is fundamental to successful
          diaspora relations. For most governments, the two major problems in
          capacity building are inadequate funding and lack of technical know-how.
          Overcoming these challenges calls for innovation, whether expressed
          through the creation of new structures or the use of existing structures
          for new purposes relating to the diaspora. Creative partnerships between
          governments and the private sector, civil society organizations, other
          governments, and international organizations can also be effective in
          augmenting the capacity of government institutions. Good communication
          Developing a Road Map for Engaging Diasporas in Development
          A Handbook for Policymakers and Practitioners in Home and Host Countries
          with the diaspora, through such means as regular consultations or formal
          diaspora councils, also contributes to building the knowledge and technical
          skills of government institutions.
          Chapter 3 highlights the importance of rigorous monitoring and
          evaluation of policies and programs. Resources are often concentrated
          at the front end of programs, while neglecting the feedback loops that
          allow governments to understand whether resources are being used as
          directed and programs are working as intended. Evaluations are essential
          to determine whether adjustments are needed to keep policies on track.
          Baseline data should be collected at the start of a project to make beforeand-after comparisons possible. State-of-the-art evaluations are costly;
          aid donors can help a partner government to build a culture of evaluation,
          and to select an appropriate mix of qualitative and quantitative measures
          of effectiveness.

          Part Two of the handbook looks at the legal and institutional
          frameworks that governments have established to facilitate diaspora
          engagement. Chapter 4 describes and assesses the institutions that
          governments use to interact with diaspora populations. The survey
          administered to gather information for the handbook identified more
          than 400 governmental institutions in 56 countries that directly engage
          diasporas through their programs; 77 of them were created specifically
          to deal with diasporas on a formal basis. These institutions exist at
          various levels of government, from independent ministries to suboffices
          within other departments. Many are associated with other government
          portfolios, such as foreign relations, regional integration, trade, or labor.
          Over one-third of those surveyed have been established since 2005. Their
          purposes and effectiveness also vary widely.
          Chapter 5 examines the legislative and regulatory frameworks
          through which diasporas interact with their countries of origin. Six
          mechanisms that encourage diaspora engagement are presented:
          Flexible laws governing citizenship, residency, and visa access; political
          rights; property rights, tax incentives for investment; portable pension,
          insurance, and health care benefits; and formal recognition of diasporas
          as part of the nation and integral to national development.

          The six chapters of Part Three each examine a key programmatic
          area in which diasporas have played positive roles in development of
          the country of origin: remittances, direct investment, human capital
          transfer, philanthropy, capital market investment, and tourism. These
          chapters identify “menus” of policy options and extract lessons from the
          Developing a Road Map for Engaging Diasporas in Development
          A Handbook for Policymakers and Practitioners in Home and Host Countries
          experiences governments identified as relevant in their survey responses.
          The chapters also spotlight the challenges that policymakers have faced
          and continue to face as thinking and practice in these six areas continue
          to evolve.
          Chapter 6 points to two trends in remittance policy: a focus on
          strengthening the financial infrastructure that supports remittance
          transfer, and a renewed and more sophisticated emphasis on increasing
          the productivity of remittance flows through mechanisms such as
          securitization and links between remittances and related financial
          products. Transparency and competition in remittance markets have
          helped to bring down transfer costs in many corridors, but others remain
          expensive and offer limited options.
          Direct investment by diaspora entrepreneurs and venture capitalists
          in their countries of origin strengthens prospects for economic growth by
          fostering the formation and growth of businesses, supporting innovation
          and developing new sectors of the economy. Chapter 7 points to the
          importance of access to information, networks, training, financial capital,
          and public infrastructure as issues of public policy. If supported by policies
          that create an atmosphere conducive to entrepreneurship, collaboration
          between diaspora investors and local business owners can provide a
          powerful stimulus to development.
          Chapter 8 explores new policy directions relating to the transfer of
          human capital through diaspora connections. Members of the diaspora
          can help to fill gaps in expertise and skills that handicap developing
          countries in the knowledge economy. In recent years, governments and
          international organizations have turned away from “return of talent”
          programs premised on permanent return of diaspora members and
          toward policies to encourage circulation of highly skilled people between
          their countries of origin and destinations. Maintaining connections
          across borders through informal networks or organized programs allows
          countries of origin to expand their access to scientific and technical skills
          that might otherwise be lost to them through emigration. A delicate
          balance of incentives is required, however, to ensure that local talent
          gains from exposure to diaspora networks rather than feeling displaced
          by them.
          The role of private philanthropy in development is expanding, and
          diasporas are sources of social investment ranging from major contributions
          by wealthy individuals to the collective donations of middle-income and
          even relatively poor migrants. Chapter 9 points out that governments
          Developing a Road Map for Engaging Diasporas in Development
          A Handbook for Policymakers and Practitioners in Home and Host Countries
          have taken three broad approaches to encouraging philanthropic
          contributions from the diaspora: courting individual philanthropists,
          engaging philanthropic institutions established by diasporas, and
          encouraging donors to pool their funds through intermediary platforms.
          Several governments, both in countries of origin and countries of
          destination, have established programs that match diaspora donations
          with government funds.
          Chapter 10 turns to a relatively neglected dimension of financial
          flows from diasporas to countries of origin through capital market
          investments — bank deposits, stocks and bonds, loans, asset-backed
          securities, and derivatives. Diaspora investors may have valuable
          resources of cultural and linguistic knowledge, local networks, long time
          horizons, and different risk perceptions in comparison to other foreign
          investors. This chapter examines four particular vehicles that governments
          use to mobilize the wealth of diasporas: special deposit accounts for
          nonresidents, transnational loans, government-issued “diaspora bonds,”
          and securitization of future remittance flows.
          Chapter 11 examines the role of diasporas in one of the main sources
          of job creation and foreign exchange earnings in developing countries:
          tourism. Diasporas can play a unique and important role in opening
          international markets for new tourism destinations. Some governments
          encourage tourism by promoting return visits from diaspora members.
          Variations on this theme include promotion of medical tourism, business
          tourism, and heritage (or “roots”) tourism.

          Find out more:


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