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Leveraging Diaspora for Policy Development

Building trust, creating institutional mechanisms

“Increasingly countries are coming to realise that their Diasporas are no longer ‘lost actors’ but ‘national assets’. Technology and communications mean that people are connecting globally more than ever and it is now more important what you do than where you are. Key to developing the potential of Diasporas is to be able to answer the following questions – who are they, where are they and what are they doing? To develop this ‘Diaspora Capital’ organisations need to be established who understand this potential and can put in place programmes and projects to develop it. Germin in Kosovo is a really good example of such an organisation who are perfectly placed to turn brain drain into brain gain and brain exchange. Made up of talented and passionate professionals who have researched the potential and identified key Kosovans overseas they have put in place the building blocks and structures to convert sentiment and goodwill into practical projects which will benefit their homeland. Germin have identified global best practice in Diaspora engagement and can become one of the leaders in this field.”Kingsley Aikins, Diaspora Matters

Countries across the globe are exploring the potential of their Diaspora to contribute back to their homeland. In the case of Kosovo, Diaspora has always been a big contributor to the economy through remittances (15% of GDP in 2017). Kosovo Diaspora also continues to foster close ties with the country and leverage on opportunities to engage with homeland. Thus, providing effective ways to engage Diaspora is central to optimizing the value of the diaspora in terms of addressing their needs and opportunities to stay connected to homeland. But despite the fact that Kosovo has made some progress in recognizing the importance of the Diaspora, evidenced by the establishment of the Ministry of Diaspora in May 2011, little has been done in terms of inclusion of diaspora community in policy-drafting processes. Specifically, enabling mechanisms which would include Diaspora voices into the legislative and institutional framework are still lagging behind. This means that the input and perspective of one of Kosovo’s biggest social groups (800,000 according to IOM) is not represented in policymaking.

The goal of this initiative is to streamline the Kosovo Diaspora input in policy-making and policy-drafting processes, specifically for the Draft Law on Diaspora and Diaspora Strategy 2019-2023, due to be adopted later on this year. Through this project, Germin aims to advocate for the advancement of Diaspora voices through direct engagement of the latter in policy-making processes and feedback while making use of the new technologies in our disposal; and leverage the skills and knowledge when it comes to enhancing inclusive processes of policy and legislation development.