21 March 2014

A public seminar organised by ECRE, in collaboration with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and the Maastricht University (UNU/MERIT), examined this week the role of refugee diasporas in development cooperation and their impact both in countries of origin and destination.

The recognition of diasporas as ‘agents of change’ has gained significant momentum over the past two decades, resulting in increased engagement policies and practices between diasporas and state governments, international agencies and NGOs. Participants discussed the role and potential of refugee diasporas in development, as well as the relationships between diaspora organisations and other development actors (institutional or non-governmental).

The seminar brought together representatives of the European Commission, international organisations such as IOM and UNHCR, diaspora organisations, NGOs both as partners and donors, academics and researchers. It was organised under the DomAid project which aims to promote dialogue and advocacy between European NGOs involved in migration and refugee protection-related projects in third countries and the EU institutions.

This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 21 March 2014
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