The Diaspora as Carrier to the Home Country of ‘Soft Knowledge’ for Development
I analyse the migration-development nexus in the context of the knowledge transfers to home countries by their skilled diaspora. A departure from the Indian and Chinese cases that mainly tackle the mainstream types of knowledge transfer such as scientific, technological and business knowledge, skilled migrants are also carriers of ‘soft knowledge' based on my study of highly skilled Filipinos in New Zealand and Australia. The study shows the transmission of cultural knowledge, skills in creative arts, capacity building skills, settlement and legal assistance, migration information and management tools from the diaspora to individuals and groups in the Philippines. Analysis indicates the usefulness of this type of knowledge transfer to the home country. It is influenced by the skilled diaspora’s willingness to transfer and share knowledge and how this matches the home country’s willingness to receive, use and value it. The presence of a learning culture between the diaspora’s organization in the host country and their collaborators in the home country also facilitates knowledge transfer. Skilled migrants are involved in various occupations encompassing science and technology, business and trade, cultural and creative arts and others, and accordingly, their knowledge transfers to the home country also go beyond the scientific or economic types. Thus, programmes to promote diaspora participation in home country development should endeavour to reach all types of expatriate professionals and not just the mainstream groups.
KeywordsHost Country Home Country Knowledge Transfer Immigration Policy Skilled Migrant
- Alayon, J. R. S. (2009). Migration, remittances and development: The Filipino New Zealand experience. Masteral thesis, AUT University, Auckland.Google Scholar
- Alburo, F. A., & Abella, D. I. (2002). Skilled labour migration from developing countries: Study on the Philippines (International migration papers 51). Geneva: International Labour Office.Google Scholar
- Birrel, B., Hawthorne, L., & Richardson, S. (2006). Evaluation of the general skilled migration categories. Canberra: Australian Government.Google Scholar
- Brown, M. (2003). The South African Network of Skills Abroad (SANSA): The South African experience of scientific diaspora networks. In R. Barre, V. Hernandez, J. B. M. Meyer, & D. Vinck (Eds.), Scientific diasporas: How can developing countries benefit from their expatriate scientists and engineers? Paris: Institut de Recherche pour le Développement.Google Scholar
- Hossain, L., & Wigand, R. T. (2004). ICT enabled virtual collaboration through trust. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 10(1), Article 8. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2004.tb00233.x.
- Inkpen, A. C. (1998). Learning and knowledge acquisition through international strategic alliances. The Academy of Management Executive (1993–2005), 12(4), 69–80.Google Scholar
- Kindleberger, C. P. (1965). Europe’s postwar growth: The role of labor supply. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Meyer, J.-B., & Brown, M. (1999). Scientific diasporas: A new approach to the brain drain. Paper presented at the world conference on science. Budapest, 26 June–1 July 1999.Google Scholar
- Niimi, Y., Ozden, C., & Schiff, M. (2008). Remittances and the brain drain: Skilled migrants do remit less (Discussion paper no. 3393). Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor.Google Scholar
- Spoonley, P. (2006). A contemporary political economy of labour migration in New Zealand. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, 97(1), 17–25.Google Scholar
- Zweig, D. (2006). Learning to compete: China’s efforts to encourage a “Reverse brain drain”. In C. Kuptsch & E. F. Pang (Eds.), Competing for global talent (pp. 187–213). Geneva/Singapore: International Institute for Labour Studies, International Labour Office and Wee Kim Wee Centre, Singapore Management University.Google Scholar