Every such as food, healthcare, education, and shelter.


Every
countries diaspora differs due to diverse cultures that entail different values
and traditions which in turn affect how different diaspora communities
contribute towards developing their original countries. This essay discusses
the influence of culture on Diaspora’s engagement in development through three main
areas of focus:

·      
Diaspora
engagement in development of countries of origin

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·      
Multiculturalism
and development

·      
How
gender effects remittances

–       
Feminisation
case of Filipino women

Diasporas
have become more recognised as a migrant community that withhold the capability
to help economically develop their original countries. This became more
prevalent after the World Bank published their 2003 “global financial report” (Ratha, 2003) and presented how remittances
from diaspora far exceed official development assistance. In LEDC’s (Less
Economically Developed Countries) Diaspora remittances make up 5.4% of their
GDP’s (Gross Domestic Products) whereas the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) contributes
2.7% of LEDC’s GDP (Bjuggren, 2010). Remittance from diaspora has proven to
be more stable and reliable compared to other means of income such as capital
flow. Capital flow fluctuates in accordance with the economic cycle resulting
in an increase in capital flow during positive economic cycles and a decline
during negative economic cycles which has a direct effect on individuals in
developing countries that rely on this as their source of income. On the other
hand, remittances do no not react as harshly within different economic cycles
and continue to progressively rise despite the economic cycle at hand (see
figure1). An example of this, is during the Asian financial crisis of
1998-2001, components such as FDI and official flows were unstable as they
declined, whereas, remittances continued to steadily rise despite the financial
crisis (Ratha, 2003).This can be due to
the fact that most remittances that are intended to be sent to family in less
developing countries interestingly increase during economic struggles as
opposed to decreasing. The reasoning for this is that some diaspora hold strong
loyalties to family within their homeland and send remittances to cover
essentials such as food, healthcare, education, and shelter. Cash remittances
have the most instant and direct impact on tackling poverty at a family and
communal level as funds can reach families instantaneously as opposed to
waiting on the state to calculate and send through funds that may not cover the
costs of essentials. An example of where diaspora remittances had an immediate
positive affect towards alleviating poverty is in Tajikistan. The collapse of
the former Soviet Union left the country in a very unstable economic state and
resulted in 50% of households relying on remittances from family Diaspora as
their only source of income (Newland, Beyond Remittances, 2004). This a key point
that highlights Diasporas as valued agents of poverty development.

Although
remittances have greatly helped developing countries over the years, it could
be a strain on the diaspora and lead to increased poverty. Some of the people
in diaspora may not earn an adequate amount to enable them to send a sufficient
amount of money to their family in developing countries, however, the cultural
values and family loyalties that are linked with remitting can made donors
accept unsatisfactory pay and working conditions to pursue and earning of any
amount of money in order to remit. For example, in the case of 1980-1990
Somalia, 1billion out of a population of 6.4 billion people migrated as
refugees during the Somali civil war. These refugees may have migrated in order
to seek asylum without the intention of remitting, however, can often proceed
to remit due to altruistic traditions and family ties (Lindley,
2007).
This can increase poverty of the diaspora due to that fact that rather than
spending time to study or obtain training to achieve a better job and higher
income, they may accept a more impoverished life in order to remit.

Not only
are workers remittances used to help aid direct family in developing countries,
some remittance is also used to invest in the diaspora’s homeland. These
remittances can be used to invest in housing, education and health in
diaspora’s ancestry countries to greatly help excel development within those
fields. $40billon of remittances to Africa in 2010 were mostly used to invest
in buying land, new business start-ups, and building houses (Cummins, 2011). Another way Diaspora actively engages
in the development of their countries of origin is through volunteering. Diaspora
worldwide are able to volunteer and provide aid both through international
volunteer programmes and outside of them independently. There have been
instances where Chinese diaspora physicians have travelled to china to provide
training to Chinese doctors free of charge. Other cases are relevant such as Ethiopian
diaspora professors spending their summers conducting teaching courses within
Ethiopia also free of charge (Terrazas, 2010). Skilled diaspora
investing time to volunteer and share their knowledge pro bono in their country
of origin creates a significant positive impact on the lives of those in LEDC’s
(Less Economically Developed Countries). Consequently, this counters the
effects of ‘brain drain’ and increases the ‘brain circulation’ of knowledge
which creates better prospects for those individuals that otherwise wouldn’t
have been able to afford education or training. This can ultimately boost the
countries development by having locally skilled workers. These altruistic acts
are driven by having strong links within the community enabling them to have a
deep understanding of their needs by communicating with the locals through
family or community ties. Diaspora can have easy access to and from their
original country and their traditional and linguistic retention helps the
process run efficiently. As a result, independent diaspora volunteering is successfully
conducted. However, the implications to this are that not all diaspora
volunteers are highly skilled or have strong links within the community to be
able to offer sufficient help independently. Diaspora that are not first
generation may struggle with linguistic or cultural adaptation in their
ancestry country and cause an unorganised and counterproductive outcome (Terrazas,
2010). 

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