Scientific diasporas as development partners

Skilled migrants from Colombia, India and South Africa in Switzerland: empirical evidence and policy responses- Preface by Jean-Baptiste Meyer

by Gabriela Tejada Guerrero (Volume editor) Jean-Claude Bolay (Volume editor)
©2010 Edited Collection XXXII, 513 Pages


Over the last two decades, globalisation has accelerated international migration flows, particularly of skilled labour. Yet increasing migration by skilled workers from developing countries («brain drain») has raised serious concerns internationally about the adverse development impact on their countries of origin. This book, however, highlights the positive aspects of skilled labour migration as scientific diasporas are playing a growing role in the transfer of technology, skills and knowledge («brain gain») to their home countries. This is a very significant development in a globalised world where science, technology and knowledge can trigger economic and social transformations. The book presents solid empirical evidence of the contributions scientific diasporas make to their countries of origin, based on primary surveys of skilled migrants from Colombia, India and South Africa employed in Switzerland, a major destination country. The findings lead to a better understanding of the motives for migration, the profile of the scientific diaspora communities in Switzerland, and the varied ways in which they help their home countries. The book makes a significant contribution to the international policy debate and dialogue on migration and development. In particular, it shows how to leverage the potential of scientific diasporas as agents of home country development, by identifying good practices and offering specific recommendations for the countries of origin and of destination.


XXXII, 513
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2011 (January)
Schweiz Migration Hochqualifizierter Beruf Herkunftsland Wirtschaftsentwicklung Entwicklungsländer Know-how-Transfer
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2010. XXXII, 513 pp., num. tables and graphs

Biographical notes

Gabriela Tejada Guerrero (Volume editor) Jean-Claude Bolay (Volume editor)

The Editors: Gabriela Tejada is a scientific collaborator at Cooperation@epfl at the EPFL, where she is responsible for ongoing research into scientific diasporas. She has a PhD in Political Sciences and has worked as a consultant for UNCTAD and UNDP. She took part in the Global Migration Perspective Series of the Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM) and was an international delegate at the 3rd Global Forum for Migration and Development. She has undertaken research into skilled migration and scientific diasporas, studying countries such as Colombia, South Africa, India, Mexico and Moldova. Jean-Claude Bolay is the Director of Cooperation@epfl at the EPFL and a Professor at the ENAC School. He has a PhD in Political Sciences and is a specialist in urban issues in Latin America, Asia and West Africa. He has been a scientific advisor to the Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research and has also directed postgraduate courses on development in Africa and India. He has vast experience of North-South scientific development cooperation and has been a member of the executive and advisory boards of a range of institutions including the NCCR North-South, the EADI, the KFPE, and the Swiss Centre for Scientific Research in Abidjan.


Title: Scientific diasporas as development partners