This is the question that APPC will submit to conference participants on 21-23 May in Hanoi, Vietnam. The question provides the conference theme and underlines and draws on the amount of research that has been done recently about how generous the Diaspora is in giving back to countries of origin, in material terms as well as through knowledge transfers and volunteerism. There is also evidence that charitable giving by the Diaspora is shifting to more strategic giving that is sustained and directed to achieving social change.
The conference will look at the evidence for this, aided by new country researches covering Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam. The Conference Committee, headed by Priya Viswanath, has assembled speakers and participants from those closely involved in diaspora philanthropy from government, academia and the non-profit sector. By the end of the conference, we hope to understand better the question posed. If it seems that diaspora philanthropy can be an agent of change in the region, we also hope to be able to determine how it can do this. Initial action plans for each country will be drawn up at the conference to find ways to provide critical support for diaspora philanthropy.
‘We have been so excited about this conference,’ notes Rory Tolentino, APPC Chief Executive, ‘because of the innovations in giving that the Diaspora has created. We hope to learn more about what they are doing and what kind of support they need to uncover the potential of their giving spirit.’
APPC will release the conference programme closer to the date on its website. While the conference is by invitation only, the Committee may accept requests to attend from those who feel they have meaningful contributions to make and are willing to meet their own costs. Those interested should contact firstname.lastname@example.org