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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

Edited By Gabriela Tejada Guerrero and Jean-Claude Bolay

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.


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Chapter 8Colombian, Indian and South African Scientific Diasporas in Switzerland. Concluding Remarks and Implications for Policy and Research by Gabriela TEJADA, Ibrahima Amadou DIA and Francelle KWANKAM 487


487 Chapter 8 Colombian, Indian and South African Scientific Diasporas in Switzerland Concluding Remarks and Implications for Policy and Research Gabriela TEJADA, Ibrahima Amadou DIA and Francelle KWANKAM1 1. Introduction Engaging diaspora communities in home country development is one of the priority issues in the current international debate on migration and develop- ment. An analysis of diverse contributions made by scientific diasporas to their countries of origin is the main theme of the present volume, which looks at the case of Switzerland as a destination country for skilled migrants from Co- lombia, India and South Africa. The objective is to provide some insights and some guidelines for policies that can promote linkages between migration and development, specifically in terms of how to capitalise on scientific diasporas as a development resource based on primary information. Previous chapters have highlighted theoretical and conceptual issues related to diasporas, scien- tific cooperation between developing and developed countries and specific studies of scientific diaspora communities from Colombia, India and South Africa. This final chapter provides an overview of the main findings of the study followed by a summary of the three case studies. The final sections highlight relevant policy implications and areas for further research. 1 We have greatly benefited from the helpful comments and suggestions of Piyasiri Wickrama- sekara, Senior Migration Specialist at the International Labour Office (ILO). 488 2. Diasporas on the Current Migration and Development Agenda For more than a decade, globalization has accelerated the flows of international migration and the mobility...

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