Ong’ayo, A.O. 2014. Diaspora engagement in a constricted political space: The case of Ethiopian diaspora organisations in the Netherlands. (Discussion Paper 168). Maastricht: ECDPM.
Participation of diaspora organisations in constricted political spaces is greatly influenced by the strategies they use, ability to adapt and creatively navigate the constantly shifting political and policy environments. They rely on capacities gained from migration experiences, status and degree of integration and participation in the country of residence. The political and policy environment in the countries residence provide diaspora organisations with political opportunity structures that enable diasporas to mobilise the resources and capacities needed for contributing to development in both the country of residence and origin. This derives from partnerships with government bodies NGOs and communities. The political and policy environment in the country of origin determines whether diaspora organizations can return and contribute to local development. The creation of institutions is a positive step, but political will and the government’s attitude to the diasporas is crucial for the enhancement of institutional’ capacities and effective diaspora engagement. The benefits of transnational diaspora activities can be harnessed much more through bilateral relations with countries of origin that are underpinned by principles of complementarity, coherence and win-win. This derives from recognition of the added value of transnational citizenships, and scaling up the inclusion of diaspora organisations in policy dialogue.
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Antony Otieno Ong’ayo