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Diaspora Impact Investing 2.0

Alexander Dixon's picture

The Diaspora Investment Alliance (formerly the Rockefeller Foundation-Aspen Institute Diaspora Program), a program of the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., has undertaken a diaspora outreach series over the past year to investigate willingness and barriers to investing and/or donating back home. A major finding was that both willingness and barriers to doing so are high among diasporas. Consequently, if effective and efficient avenues to facilitate diaspora impact investing or donating were readily available, many individuals would use them. The starting point is thus an understanding of the reasons why migrants may decide not to invest in origin country development, even when they have both the desire and capacity to do so. Here are some of the major barriers to origin country investment and philanthropy expressed by diaspora communities.

Lack of Information and Transparency
Diasporans often do not have sufficient information on impact investment or donation options to make informed decisions. When it comes to investments, the costs of sourcing and vetting deals are often prohibitive for individual investors, particularly in markets with a lack of credit bureaus. On the donation side, there is an abundance of options – for instance, there are over 3,000 certified NGOs in the Philippines and over 7,000 registered NGOs in Kenya – yet there are no third party ratings (e.g., Charity Navigator) of these agencies.

What can the cost of Big Macs tell us about the relative attractiveness of sending remittances?

Christian Eigen-Zucchi's picture
Why do migrants send international remittances? They do so mainly because in caring about the well-being of their family and friends, they wish to convey purchasing power for a basket of goods and services. This is the same as individuals choosing among different goods and services to buy and consume (for themselves and for others), only that it crosses international borders.

A $100 Billion Idea – Tapping Migrants for Financing Development

Dilip Ratha's picture

In observance of the International Migrants Day, Dec 18

2015 is shaping up to be the year of Financing for Development. Besides official aid and private capital flows – the former expected to run flat, and the latter to remain volatile/cyclical, a few under-exploited financing options are directly connected to international migration.

As much as $100 billion, actually more, could be raised annually via:

The power of words: Would you want to be an expat or an immigrant?

Kirsten Schuettler's picture
In observance of the International Migrants Day, Dec 18

Today is International Migrants Day. Who comes to your mind when you read this? Would you think of  a football player playing for a club in another country? Or of a German working at the European Commission in Brussels?  Even though they live outside their country of birth and are thus migrants per definition, we do not think of them as migrants. Just like a British pensioner living in Spain or a Swiss working for a company in the US, these people are often rather referred to as ‘expats.’ 

Lower Migration’s Costs and Raise Migration’s Benefits

Manolo Abella's picture
In observance of the International Migrants Day, Dec 18

Every year up to 10 million workers leave one country to work in another. Most are legal guest workers, and many arrive in debt to recruiters and other agents who place them in foreign jobs. If 10 million workers pay $1,000 in fees, the business of international labor migration is worth a $10 billion a year, including a large share that flows to agents in destination countries. Cutting migration costs in half would save migrants $5 billion a year.