The Hague-Engaging diaspora communities with their countries of origin is an important aspect of the global work of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In many countries affected by decades of out-migration there is a great need for skills, expertise and experience in a variety of sectors, such as agriculture, health and education.
On 2 June, IOM organized the international conference ‘Diaspora In Action’ in The Hague to take stock of the impact of knowledge transfer from the diaspora community in nine countries of origin. The event brought together leading national and international experts to share experiences and discuss the impact of the knowledge transfer.
Migrants and their descendants are connected to their country of residence, but also to their country of origin. By sharing their knowledge and expertise they can become humanitarian actors in crisis situations, entrepreneurs in business, trade and innovation, as well as international experts. This makes them powerful actors of social and economic development of their country of origin.
Over the past decade, IOM the Netherlands facilitated over 800 assignments for qualified migrants and their descendants living and working in the Netherlands or other EU countries via its programme ‘Temporary Return of Qualified Nationals’ (TRQN).
The programme offers a window for these diaspora professionals to contribute to the social and economic development of selected countries by facilitating temporary assignments. Through knowledge transfer, they also have an added value as catalysts for long term change. In this way diaspora engagement can help with effective capacity building of local organizations.
The TRQN project focusses on capacity building in sectors and areas identified in nine target countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Cape Verde, Georgia, Ghana, Iraq, Morocco, Somalia and Sudan.