Transnational Diaspora Options: How Developing Countries Could Benefit from their Emigrant Populations

Sami Mahroum, Cynthia Eldridge and Abdallah S. Daar

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Historically, the emigration of knowledge workers has been viewed as a loss for the source countries and a net gain for the receiving countries. Inadequate responses have included restrictive contracts and attempts at repatriation. However, the reasons why highly skilled knowledge workers emigrate are complex and vary between source countries. Health-care workers exemplify this: they have become part of an increasingly globalised labour market and of an expanding transnational health service system of providers, services, financial services and patients. In this paper we focus on how source countries might benefit from their diaspora by turning “brain drain” into “brain gain”. We explore various models and suggest some policy options that source countries may wish to adopt. We also examine various leadership models for action by communities, governments and international organisations.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Mahroum, S., Eldridge C. and Daar A. S. Transnational Diaspora Options: How Developing Countries Could Benefit from their Emigrant Populations. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2006, vol.8, no.1, pp. 25-42. UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574. www.unesco.org/shs/ijms/vol8/issue1/art2

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