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Skilled Diasporas: an imagined or real community?

By Manuel Orozco and Mariellen Jewers
April 30, 2010

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This paper provides a roadmap to understand the issues that shape what is referred to as skilled diasporas and their practices with development. The analysis problematizes the idea of the skilled diasporas as agents of knowledge transfer and offers practical policy strategies to link these groups to possible knowledge transfer mechanisms as development tool.  We argue that these skilled diasporas or migrant transnational communities are relatively small groups, constituting less than 20% of a migrant population whose skills may not be necessarily in correspondence with the development needs of home countries. To that effect, practical policy considerations are important to keep in place.