Diaspora Engagement

Speeches Shim

Diaspora Engagement at USAID
Diaspora Engagement at USAID
Bobby Neptune for USAID


Diasporas Drive Development 

With roots around the world, diasporans are uniquely positioned to amplify and sustain global growth.  Today, more than 62 million Americans – one-fifth of the country – are first or second generation diasporans, making the United States home to more global diaspora members than any other country. As these populations grow, so does their potential for impact as they transfer resources, knowledge, and ideas back to their home countries.

The backbone of diaspora contributions to development come in the form of remittances – the financial resources sent back to their countries of origin. In 2015, diasporans invested $440 billion in low- and middle-income countries through remittances, an amount that far exceeds U.S. official development assistance.

Partnering with Diasporas 

Recognizing the critical role diasporans play in addressing development challenges, USAID builds partnerships to leverage:

  • Entrepreneurship and Investment: Diasporans have long been among the most influential thought leaders and idea pioneers worldwide.

  • Volunteerism and Post-Disaster Response: Diasporans are often the first to volunteer in disaster-affected countries.

  • Business Networks and Market Linkages: Diasporans use their unique insights to establish entrepreneurial enterprises, bringing jobs, competition, innovation, and skills to their communities.

  • Mentorship and Skills Transfer: Diaspora networks are reversing “brain drain” into a “brain gain” by transferring skills and knowledge between countries.

Our Diaspora Partnerships 

  • The African Diaspora Marketplace, a partnership with Western Union focused on providing funding and mentorship entrepreneurs.

  • MicroMentor, a free, easy-to-use social network that connects entrepreneurs and volunteer mentors to solve problems and build businesses together.

  • The India Investment Initiative (III) and Raíces, two investment platforms that empower Indian and Latin American diasporas to fund enterprises in their home countries while earning both a social and financial return.

  • Homestrings, an online investment and social media platform that channels diasporan capital into equity for transformative investments in development and technical assistance to growing diaspora-run businesses.

Frontier Partnerships

As part of the U.S. Global Development Lab’s commitment to push the envelope when it comes to impactful development, USAID’s Frontier Partnerships team tests and incubates new approaches to partnerships for transformational development – by engaging new partners in new ways and in traditionally under-addressed technical areas. Previously, we have pioneered approaches to advancing LGBTI human rights and inclusion and leveraging technology to improve the lives of women and girls, and then helped transition and institutionalize those initiatives within the Agency.  Our ongoing partnerships include:

Engage With Us

Learn more about diaspora engagement at USAID and get involved:

  • The Global Innovation Exchange is an online marketplace for innovations, funding, insights, resources, and conversations. Here you can connect with diaspora communities and USAID through the Diaspora Microsite.  

  • The Global Development Alliance (GDA) is USAID’s premier model for public-private partnerships. USAID partners with the private sector to achieve development objectives and advance core business interests.

Additonal Tools and Resources  

Contact us: diasporas@usaid.gov