Europe and Central Asia Knowledge Brief

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This is a regular series of notes highlighting recent analyses, good practices, and lessons learned from the development work program of the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia Region.

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The ECA’s Diaspora Populations Can Aid Growth and Development

2012-04, Heleniak, Timothy, Canagarajah, Sudharshan

The diaspora populations from Europe and Central Asia (ECA) countries are large in both absolute and relative terms. Nearly 11 percent of the population in the region resides outside the country of birth (compared to 3.1 percent globally). The ECA diaspora populations are highly educated and skilled. Formulation of diaspora policies in the region is in its early stages; most ECA countries started developing diaspora policies and institutions only after the year 2000. ECA countries need to identify their diaspora goals, map diaspora geography and skills, create a relationship of trust between diasporas and governments of both origin and destination countries, and mobilize their diasporas to contribute to sustainable development.