The contribution of migrants to national economies through diaspora giving is rapidly increasing. According to the World Bank, remittances amount to $US233 billion a year, exceeding total official development aid and falling close behind foreign direct investment. Other indicators of the growth of diaspora giving include the formation of foundations dedicated to the ‘transmission’ of charitable giving by migrants to their home countries, such as the Ayala Foundation USA (Philippines), the American India Foundation (India) and the Asia Foundation’s Give2Asia.
Despite its growing significance, the development of diaspora philanthropy, or charitable giving by migrants to their communities of origin, has not been closely studied. Reports tend to dwell on the anecdotal evidence rather than on the quantitative documenting and measuring of the impact of diaspora giving.
In the hope of shedding more light on this rapidly growing phenomenon, diaspora philanthropy has been chosen as the central theme of APPC’s upcoming biannual conference later this year. The move follows APPC’s convening of a programme subcommittee on the issue (reported in Alliance in December 2006).
The conference will explore the dimensions of diaspora giving in the region, particularly in countries with notable percentages of migrant workers like China, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan. Through the conference, APPC hopes to uncover more comprehensive data on diaspora philanthropy and so to provide greater guidance for those who seek to improve the environment for this form of charitable giving, ultimately facilitating effective giving by migrants. It will also lead to the production of a best practice casebook on effective giving by migrant communities.
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