Diasporas and Development

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Barbara Jean Merz, Lincoln C. Chen, Peter F. Geithner
Global Equity Initiative, Asia Center, Harvard University, 2007 - Business & Economics - 274 pages
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Just as trade, finance, information, and technologies are moving rapidly across borders, so too have labor markets and transnational migrant communities. Migrants are sending large quantities of money back to their countries of origin in the form of philanthropy, remittances, and commercial investments. They are also sharing knowledge and skills learned or developed abroad. Is greater global equity an inevitable consequence of such diaspora philanthropy, or can this giving actually aggravate inequity? Diasporas and Development examines the positive--and sometimes negative--impacts of diaspora engagement in Africa, Asia, Central America, and the Caribbean.

How can the equity impact of this global giving be maximized? Might creative intermediary mechanisms or public policies help channel diaspora philanthropy in positive directions? They also explore motivations for the dark sides of diaspora engagement such as support for extremist organizations, organized crime, ethnic violence, and even civil war. Diasporas and Development aims to deepen the understanding of the promise and pitfalls of diaspora philanthropy and how it might help bridge the distances between societies in an unequal world.

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About the author (2007)

Barbara J. Merz directs the Philanthropy Program of the Harvard University Global Equity Initiative.

Lincoln C. Chen is the President of theChina Medical Board.

Peter F. Geithner is Advisor to the Harvard University Global Equity Initiative and the former Director of Asia Programs at the Ford Foundation.

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