In 2020, iDiaspora coordinated three global exchanges with members of the diaspora responding to the pandemic. Through these virtual dialogues, different actors involved in the development of diasporic initiatives in America, Europe, Africa, and Asia were able to learn and share relevant experience to better include their members when responding to the global health crisis.
These events convened nearly 300 stakeholders including diaspora leaders, policymakers, academics and social workers interested in learning more about how diasporas responded to the COVID-19. These three global events contributed to the better understanding of diaspora engagement on three different levels. First, as a result of these events, it was possible to identify the different ways that transnational communities responded to the global pandemic through prevention, protection, relief, and recovery interventions. Second, during these sessions, participants shared a set of good practices in diaspora engagement based on connections, partnerships, and self-empowerment. Finally, through these discussions, participants were able to identify synergies and concrete collaboration opportunities. A key example was the foundation of the Global Diaspora Confederation, the world’s largest diaspora-led civic society organization to bring together diaspora organizations from across the world.
Although there are relevant global actors and important initiatives emerging to accelerate diaspora’s contributions to their homelands and hostlands, there are common challenges faced by stakeholders such as the lack of trust, difficulties regarding fundraising and the sustainability of initiatives in the long-term, preventing diasporas to reach their full potential and the establishment of more collaborative and successful environments for diaspora global engagement.
The 2021 Global Exchanges aim to gather experts on these topics to provide information on how to overcome common challenges faced by stakeholders engaging in transnational initiatives. By providing concrete strategies on how to build trustworthy relationships, find resources and funding and develop long-term strategies, stakeholders will be able to boost their transnational initiatives.
General Objectives of the Three 2021 Global Exchanges:
- Continue contributing to the self-mobilization and empowerment of diasporas by providing a space for sharing, coordination, and collaboration between different diaspora communities around the world.
- Analyze and provide insights to self-identified common challenges such as trust, fundraising and sustainability.
- Identify key lessons and best practices on the three key topics that will help global diasporas facing similar challenges to overcome them.
The event is open to all diaspora communities with a focus on facilitating exchange between global diaspora communities. All participants will then be invited to register through iDiaspora and will have the opportunity to share their experiences and submit inputs and initiatives during the plenary discussion.