Diaspora Mapping and Engagement: Synthesis Report

Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible Relacionados y Objetivos del Pacto Mundial sobre Migración

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
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GCM 16
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This report captures the main results, lessons learned, and knowledge gained from diaspora mapping exercises conducted in Ecuador, Jamaica, Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal, Philippines, Republic of Moldova, Senegal and Serbia.  

The IOM-UNDP Global Programme on Making Migration Work for Sustainable Development works with 11 countries to engage with and encourage the participation of diaspora members and their communities as well as relevant private sector actors in line with multi-stakeholder, “whole-of-society” approaches called for in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The first step in fostering diaspora engagement was a comprehensive mapping of countries’ diaspora members and/or organizations, their motivations, if and how they contribute to their country of origin’s development and how countries might be able to continue to empower and partner with their diaspora in the future.  

Building on these mappings and to improve future similar activities in other countries, a knowledge exchange event was held to share good practices and lessons learned with a view to utilizing mappings to lead to diaspora engagement plans and activities. This report takes stock of the available tools and methodologies that exist and specific country examples which showed common important features for successful mapping and engagement processes. Some key elements that were discussed include: 

  1. Mappings serve as a method to identify the heterogeneous needs of diaspora prior to empowerment activities. Mapping the skills, knowledge and professional competencies of a nation’s diaspora is the first step in leveraging the expertise of the diaspora to support communities’ long-term needs but also short-term crises, such as the vital support that many diaspora members gave for sustainable reintegration assistance in responding to COVID-19.  

  2. Mutual trust, capacity building and non-financial remittances are core elements of diaspora engagement strategies:

    • Building mutual trust is a key starting point in developing diaspora mapping exercises to foster engagement among stakeholders, through the establishment of cultural rather than political relationships among diaspora members while developing strategic communications to facilitate the institutionalization of diaspora engagement;

    • Empowerment and capacity building of diaspora are essential elements of diaspora engagement and can be carried out through training, advocacy campaigns and celebration of the diaspora at a local level to engage the diaspora in local development planning;

    • Channelling remittances is a key element for diaspora engagement, but non-financial contributions such as social solidarity and social remittances were also outlined as vital diaspora contributions.  

  3. Awareness-raising on specific issues to facilitate investment into areas of policy focus and the use of dedicated diaspora online portals are key methods to increase diaspora engagement.  

Check out the full Diaspora Mapping and Engagement: Synthesis Report to learn more about each country's experience, all the tips and tricks shared, and to access more tools on diaspora mapping and engagement.