The practice of migrant philanthropy has far outpaced research about it. Given the opportunities identified for diaspora philanthropy, a research agenda is more critical than ever. Mark Sidel who, by the time this article is published will have presented an overview paper to APPC’s conference on Diaspora Philanthropy in Hanoi (21-23 May), believes that ‘we must encourage research that links to the rapid pace and increasing sophistication of diaspora philanthropy practice in Asia’.
This should include, he argues, ‘the learning for action that has taken place through intermediary institutions in the Philippines, India, the United States and other countries’. This is one of several recommendations he makes in his paper, A Decade of Research and Practice of Diaspora Philanthropy in the Asia Pacific Region: The state of the field.
His other recommendations are: first, that the almost exclusive focus on India, the Philippines and China, with initial work done on Pakistan and Vietnam, needs to be redressed. Similarly, most of the research on source countries has been concentrated on the US. Research must also consider European countries like the UK, Germany and Russia, as well as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Third, existing research has so far produced broad-stroke pictures of national diaspora giving. We need a focus on cases and on specific localities and organizations to ascertain its scope and impact. Fourth, research is needed on the role of diasporas in responding to natural disasters and significant domestic conflicts and in reconstruction of affected areas. Fifth, we need to ask how conducive or inimical is the legal environment in receiving states to diaspora giving? Finally, a greater understanding of the impact of diaspora giving on social development, poverty and social justice is needed.
To download the overview paper: http://www.asiapacificphilanthropy.org.
Mark Sidel is a Professor of Law and Faculty Scholar at the University of Iowa. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for comments.