The Diaspora as Carrier to the Home Country of ‘Soft Knowledge’ for Development

Evidence from Highly Skilled Filipino Migrants in New Zealand and Australia
  • Sheila Siar


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.


Host Country Home Country Knowledge Transfer Immigration Policy Skilled Migrant 
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Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Development Studies, Centre for Development StudiesUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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