Team photo
June 19, 2024
Celebrating 5 years – our story so far 

June 2024 sees five years of the EU Global Diaspora Facility and the start of a second phase. What started as a pilot project to address fragmented knowledge, dialogue and action, will now continue its work to support an informed, inclusive and impactful diaspora-development ecosystem. 

In the beginning 

Diaspora engagement for development was not a new topic in 2019 when we started the EU Global Diaspora Facility; diasporas have long been acknowledged as actors of development, especially with regards to the huge financial contributions made via remittances. And yet there were significant knowledge gaps on what was happening and who were the key actors on government and diaspora side. The desire to change this drove the creation of the EU Global Diaspora Facility. 

EUDiF started with three big dreams: First, to generate and centralise knowledge on the wealth of activity in diaspora engagement. Second, to explore and test innovative ideas with impact potential in the different contexts of our partner regions. Third, to provide more structured ways for global diasporas to participate in policy making and development action.  

These three strands of work were designed to work in sync, feeding into and off each other in a continuous cycle of knowledge, reflection and action, all the while allowing us to promote and celebrate the enormous potential of diaspora engagement for global sustainable development. 

Living the dream 

Five years later, those big dreams have become reality… 

The project has built a dynamic open-access knowledge hub on diaspora engagement with a wealth of resources designed to help the entire ecosystem – practitioners and policymakers, students and researchers, diaspora and governments. With over 220 publications presenting and analysing diaspora engagement be location, theme, practice and stakeholder, our knowledge hub is cherished by the team and enjoyed by many partners.  

Innovation and impact are nebulous concepts to define, but they are present through the 16 actions implemented through the Capacity Development Lab and Diaspora Professionals 4 Development mechanism. Each action was co-designed with government and diaspora partners to test something new or different for the context in a low-risk, high-gain and even higher learning environment. Together we have worked in 18 partner countries on topics ranging from education to climate action, network-development to crowdfunding and lending, and used a wide variety of methods to transfer skills and knowledge. 

Through closed-door and public dialogues we have facilitated a wealth of discussion and exchange between over 4000 of the hyper-diverse actors of the precious diaspora-development ecosystem. The results of these discussions feed EUDiF’s work and far beyond, contributing to discussions on migration and development at EU and global level. 

 Through all this work EUDiF has learned to be adaptable and reactive whilst always prioritising the human side of work. We thank all who have contributed to our activities, from the government and diaspora partners to the experts involved (mostly self-identifying diaspora), our brilliant internship alumni and the varied participants across hundreds of activities, and last but not least: the EUDiF team past and present.  

Dreaming big 

“Diaspora engagement” occurs around the world across all sectors, public and private. It can be driven by the diaspora, by governments of countries of heritage and of residence, as well as by other actors such as academia, international organisations and broader civil society. It is vast, requires a combination of process and people-centred thinking and benefits from a rich and diverse ecosystem to bring new ideas and ways of collaborating.  

EUDiF is one actor in that ecosystem and this month we are thrilled to start our second phase thanks to renewed support from the European Union. No longer a pilot project, EUDiF will build on the strong foundations laid in the first phase and expand its offering in the coming months, including new research, capacity development for government institutions and grants for diaspora organisations, and closer collaboration with youth diaspora.  

If diaspora engagement for development is an anthology, then EUDiF is one of many stories and the first phase is just a chapter. Thank you to all partners and friends for being part of the first chapter, we look forward to dreaming and achieving an even bigger story together in the coming years. 

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