Our objective: to consolidate diaspora engagement for development
Our activities
Consolidating knowledge through mapping and research on diaspora-
development policies, practices and priorities in partner countries and diaspora-led initiatives.
Capacity development activities for local, national and regional authorities in partner countries as well as diaspora organisations in Europe.
Exchanging ideas and building partnerships through dialogue.
Mobilising professionals from diaspora to support development projects
on digital, education, entrepreneurship, environment and health in their countries of heritage
Diaspora Consultations

These bring together Europe-based diaspora organisations to share ideas and best practices, generate recommendations for policy makers and build a pan-European network of diaspora development actors.

Between 2019 and 2022 there will be five consultations held to cover all European countries of residence with significant diaspora communities active in development. The first two consultations took part for southwest and western Europe in Lisbon and online respectively, the latter because of travel restrictions during the Covid-19 crisis.

EUDiF works with EU countries to identify suitable diaspora organisations and networks to participate, according to community size, organisation structure and activities.

Consultation reports are available in the library.

Regional Thematic Meetings

Between 2020 and 2022, six regional thematic meetings will take place in the regions with which DG DEVCO works: Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Gulf, Latin America and Caribbean, and the Pacific.
At these meetings, we bring representatives of relevant national and regional authorities together for peer-to-peer exchange on diaspora engagement for development and to identify priorities, partnerships and potential obstacles.

EU Global Diaspora Forum

Our annual forum brings all stakeholders together to discuss and celebrate progress on diaspora engagement for development. Each annual forum will have a thematic focus based on priorities identified during EUDiF research and dialogue activities.

The first edition is tentatively scheduled for autumn 2020.

EU Member States Coordination Meeting

EUDiF regularly liaises with and meets EU national authorities and development agencies and the EU institutions, organising meetings to present their respective work on diaspora engagement as host countries and to identify collaboration opportunities within Europe and beyond.


Diasporas have long been acknowledged as actors for development thanks to their unique transnational understanding, mobility and connection with their country of heritage. However, until now dialogue and collaboration between diaspora organisations, countries of origin, the EU and its Member States has been fragmented, often focusing on bilateral cooperation.

EUDiF has been created by the European Union in response to calls from diaspora for a coordinated, formalised way to contribute to development dialogue at European level and in recognition of the active contribution many diaspora communities make to development. This interest is mirrored by the growing number of countries of origin wishing to better engage their diaspora for development.

Through the EUDiF, we work to consolidate ongoing efforts and maximise the potential of diaspora for development.

The EU and diaspora engagement for development
European Commission’s first comprehensive approach to migration and development
In the European Commission Communication “Migration and Development: Some concrete orientations” diaspora groups were officially recognised as agents of development in their home countries.
From 2011...
Emphasising the key role of diaspora for development & practical support
Strategic EU policy frameworks, including the 2011 Global Approach to Migration and Mobility and the 2015 European Agenda on Migration, consolidate principles on diaspora engagement for development. In parallel, the EU contributes to diaspora-government cooperation for development, from technical support to create diaspora policies to backing diaspora organisations and platforms.
Recognition of the contribution of diaspora to implement the SDGs
The New European Consensus on Development states that successful implementation of the SDGs requires stronger partnerships beyond governments, including with diaspora.
Going global…
Recognising the potential impact of diaspora-development on a global scale, EUDiF is created to consolidate existing knowledge and support all actors in the diaspora-development ecosystem to maximise this potential.
Who do we work with?

EUDiF works with all actors in the diaspora-development ecosystem.
Our main stakeholders are diaspora organisations based in Europe, national authorities from partner countries and EU Member States.

EUDiF’s portfolio of activities includes those targeted to each group individually, and those which brings the groups together, allowing us to create safe spaces and exchange opportunities.

To learn more about what we do with each group and how to get involved with EUDiF, visit our collaboration page.

Frequently asked questions
How do you define diaspora?

The World Bank counts over 270 definitions of 'diaspora', but for EUDiF it refers to emigrants and descendants of emigrants who actively maintain links with their country of origin/heritage and are willing to contribute to its development.

How is EUDiF different to other initiatives?

The EUDiF is the first EU funded project with a truly global perspective on diaspora engagement. It works with all actors in the diaspora-development ecosystem to ascertain interests, needs and challenges in order to support and promote collaboration.
EUDiF actively seeks synergies and collaboration opportunities with existing diaspora-engagement projects and organisations.

Can you financially support our project/event/organisation?

EUDiF is not a grant-giving mechanism and so does not financially support activities. We offer capacity building support and/or diaspora-development expert support and organise dialogue activities, for which costs are covered by EUDiF.

How do you plan to sustain the project in the long term?

Although a fixed term pilot project running until the end of 2022, EUDiF is designed to make a long-term contribution to the diaspora-development ecosystem by gathering, generating and sharing knowledge which builds the business case for mainstreaming diaspora in development. EUDiF encourages other actors to work on consolidating diaspora-engagement for development in collaboration, in parallel and subsequently.

EUDiF aspires to empower its partners to work without external assistance by promoting collaborative design during the dialogue, capacity building and expert deployment activities in order to ensure ownership and to pave the way for further collaboration even after EUDiF finishes.

How does EUDiF fit with the Sustainable Development Goals?

As an EU-funded project, EUDiF supports the European Commission's drive to achieve the SDGs, the global framework for development.

Although there is no specific target on diaspora engagement in the SDGs, they recognise the positive effect of migrants on growth and sustainable developments as drivers of the global economy, particularly through remittances.

Mapping & research
What makes this mapping unique?

The EUDiF mapping is designed to consolidate existing research which is mostly country/theme-focused into a global overview of diaspora engagement. This is designed to collect the policies, practices and priorities on diaspora engagement around the world so as to create an open access knowledge hub on diaspora engagement.

The findings also feed into the project's other components and will be used, inter alia, to identify potential capacity building needs, to structure dialogue in the various meetings, and to highlight opportunities for diaspora expert deployment.

How and why were 100 countries picked?

The full mapping will cover 100 countries, with research conducted in two phases of 50. EUDiF will endeavour to add additional countries during the project, depending on resources.

A comprehensive methodology was used to select the 100 countries. We used a series of objective criteria to select the countries in order to include countries of all size, representing all levels of economic development and institutionalisation of diaspora engagement. The number of countries per region is proportional to the total number of countries in each region.

What does it mean if a country is not mapped?

EUDiF works with all countries in the regions in which DG DEVCO works (Africa; Asia; Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Gulf; Latin America and Caribbean; Pacific).
We will map a minimum of 100 countries among the partner countries and use this to build knowledge and support packs around regional and thematic priorities.

All partner countries are encouraged to apply for capacity building or the diaspora expertise programme and to attend regional thematic meetings, or email to speak bilaterally.

Who is invited to a diaspora consultation?

We invite a diaspora organisations based in Europe to these consultations, prioritising those focused on or interested in enhancing their contribution to development.

We try to invite a diverse mix of nationalities and profiles in so as to create new networking and peer-learning opportunities. We do this by considering diaspora size in country of destination, organisations' development activities and their capacity to contribute to EUDiF activities in a sustainable manner.

What topics are covered at Regional thematic meetings & who is invited?

Countries of origin of EU-based diaspora groups are invited to RTMs to exchange on the opportunities, challenges and experiences of diaspora engagement.

Through the meetings, we aim to establish peer networks and identify national, regional and thematic interests in diaspora engagement. EUDiF proposes themes based on the results of research and discussion with invitees.

What happens after the different EUDiF meetings?

The interlinking meetings create opportunities for the major players in the diaspora-development ecosystem to discuss among peers. EUDiF seeks to facilitate these discussions and to distill the knowledge generated to share with the wider development community. We then invite all stakeholders to discuss #diaspora4dev together at the Annual EU Global Diaspora Forum.

Recommendations generated during meetings are shared with the European Union and its Member States, diaspora organisations based in Europe, and partner countries.
As well as feeding the discussions for the Annual EU Global Diaspora Forum, the various meetings help shape EUDiF's capacity building activities and diaspora expertise mechanism.

Capacity development
What kinds of capacity development does EUDiF provide?

EUDiF takes a flexible approach to identify targeted activities, catering to diverse needs and priorities.
Our Capacity Development Lab offers support to diaspora organisations in the EU and local, national and regional authorities in partner countries, including joint activities for diaspora and authorities together.
More details and information on application procedures and eligibility for different categories of capacity building interventions will be shared at the end of September 2020.

Diaspora Professionals 4 Development
Why does EUDiF promote the expertise of professionals from diaspora?

Diaspora are powerful agents of sustainable development thanks to their unique transnational understanding, mobility and relationship with their country of heritage. There is often a will to support and contribute to their development practically.
At EUDiF we believe in mainstreaming diaspora expertise for sustainable development when said diaspora expertise can bring added value. With our diaspora expert pilot project we seek to complement existing initiatives and build the business case for hiring diaspora experts when appropriate in order to maximise the potential of transnational knowledge.

How and who can apply for diaspora professional support?

The Diaspora Professionals 4 Development pilot project will be open for registration in summer 2020.
Professionals from diaspora are invited to register to the EUDiF expert roster. Then national authorities will be invited to apply for short-term support for specific projects. Selection will be based on evaluation. Details regarding the procedures for application, eligibility and sectors will be shared soon.

The pilot project will focus on development projects in sectors where diaspora are suitable agents of change, based on previous experiences as well as findings of the EUDiF research and dialogue activities.

What is the diaspora youth internship?

The internship is an opportunity for young diasporans in Europe who are interested in a career in migration and development and/or international project management. Each spring and autumn, EUDiF welcomes an intern to join the team for five months. Participants gain hands-on experience in the implementation of an EU-funded project on diaspora engagement and EUDiF benefit from the knowledge and personal experience of the interns to support project activities.

The EUDiF Internship Programme relies on a win-win approach. Ultimately, the internship contributes to mainstreaming diaspora expertise into development projects and investing in the professional development of highly-skilled diaspora youth.

Internship opportunities are announced via EUDiF's website, newsletter and Twitter; application is via ICMPD's website.

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