United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

iDiaspora

    Description
    Intro

    The iDiaspora platform is a global engagement and knowledge exchange hub for diaspora communities. The platform is a community driven digital space, designed to empower diaspora engagement and transnational communities in the 21st century. The platform allows users including diaspora leaders, organizations, practitioners, experts, businesses, and governments, to share their opinions, ideas, experiences and best practices in order to contribute to sustainable positive change and maximize the impact of diaspora as empowered development actors.

    Description

    The main objective of the iDiaspora platform is to empower diasporas through the promotion and recognition of their knowledge, skills, values, and networks. The 2030 Agenda and in particular Goal 17 calls for expanding partnerships for development. iDiaspora is an innovative digital space aiming to keep enhancing multi-stakeholder partnerships mobilizing and aiming to empower diasporas and their families as development actors. Knowledge and skills sharing are key elements to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs worldwide. iDiaspora aims to become a digital hub of resources and learning tools specializing in diaspora engagement and where migrant communities can learn and share knowledge about transnational education, health, entrepreneurship and development initiatives.

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    Considering objective 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals, iDiaspora aims to enhance, encourage, and promote effective public, private and civil society partnerships among key stakeholders working on diaspora engagement. The platform promotes the collaboration among diaspora leaders, international organizations, governments, and businesses to create sustainable development initiatives by mainstreaming best practices and expertise of global diaspora communities.

    Implementation methodologies

    iDiaspora is a digital platform sustained by IOM. The platform includes multiple functionalities where users can connect, learn and contribute by 1) sharing their experiences through blogs and videos, 2) sharing job opportunities and their projects, 3) organising events, 4) exchanging best practices and advice in forums, 5) taking online courses and trainings, 6) exploring the community and connecting with each other. In 2020, the platform organized global events where to enhance the collaboration among diasporas responding to the pandemic from the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe. Through the iDiaspora platform, transnational communities have been able to communicate more efficiently and reinforce their networks by building trust, sharing their best practices and supporting each other. Building on these events, for 2021, iDiaspora in planning to organize three new online exchanges to keep contributing to the empowerment of migrant communities by enhancing peer-to-peer support and capacity-building. In addition, iDiaspora in planning to launch a joint publication in partnership with an online magazine specializing in international migration. Finally, the team is planning to organize a global photographic competition to showcase the potential of diasporas as agents of development. The iDiaspora team is composed of two IOM staff members (only one of them working full-time on the project), a web-developer, and a group of young volunteers who support the core team with the creation and translation of new content. In addition, the iDiaspora Advisory Board is a group of seven diaspora engagement experts aiming to assist in the development needs of the platform, in the planning of future activities and in the outreach and engagement of new users.

    Results

    Since its launch in 2018, the platform has been visited around 420,000 times and has 548 members from all over the world including diaspora leaders, organizations, government officials and members of the civil society. Three key outcomes of the global exchanges organized in 2020 were a joint statement in solidarity with victims of xenophobia due to the pandemic, which collected more than 200 signatories among diaspora organizations around the world, the establishment of the Global Diaspora Confederation, the first diaspora-led civic society organization with a truly global perspective, and the publication of a report cataloguing more than 50 concrete examples on how diasporas have responded to the pandemic across the world, as well as best practices derived therefrom. The global and multidisciplinary approach of the platform aims to include actors from all over the world specializing in different areas of diaspora engagement to keep empowering transnational communities and showcasing the human, social and economic potential of migrants for host and home societies.

    Factors and Constraints

    The iDiaspora platform was initially launched in 2018 but in November 2020, a new version of the website was launched. The new version was designed taking into consideration feedback from users and partners. The new platform includes innovative functionalities to enhance the dialogue and connectivity among its users. The project is always interested in creating new partnerships to ensure its sustainability and expand its in-kind, human and financial resources.

    Sustainability and replicability

    The iDiaspora platform has been conceived as a one-stop-shop where stakeholders working on diaspora engagement can access resources, create partnerships, showcase their own initiatives and learn from their peers. The sustainability of the platform could be ensured by its users who are from all over the world but also by the diversity of diaspora resources including, human, financial entrepreneurial, social affective, and local. As a result, the platform has the potential to become the reference global hub for diaspora engagement and all its sub-themes including how diaspora contribute to reduction of social and economic inequalities and well as increasing access to opportunities in both their receiving and sending countries.

    COVID-19 Impact

    In response to the COVID-19 crisis, iDiaspora organized three virtual exchanges to create a space for collaboration where diaspora groups from around the world shared their best practices responding to the pandemic and showcased their work and contributions to humanitarian response and development. The multiple bottom-up initiatives shared during these events demonstrated the capacity of diasporas to navigate complex systems to support their communities transnationally. In order to engage more efficiently, diasporas have mainstreamed digital solutions and technologies into their responses. They have used digital platforms to create informative campaigns, to organize crowdfunding campaigns and to distribute humanitarian aid and personal protective equipment. iDiaspora has the potential to keep empowering migrant communities and accelerating SDGs in several countries by becoming a digital hub where diasporas learn, connect and contribute.

    Contact Name
    Larisa
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    Organization/entity
    IOM
    SDGs
    Geographical coverage

    Global

    Timeline
    08 October 2018 (start date)
    30 June 2022 (date of completion)
    More information
    Countries
    Switzerland
    Switzerland
    Partnership
    N/A
    Contact Information

    Larisa, Transnational Communities and Digital Communications Officer