About this MIDEQ Share Out

Diaspora finance involves remittances, understood as inter-personal financial transfers between migrants and their countries of origin, and diaspora investment, defined as asset-producing financial instruments through which diasporas (migrants and their descendants) can invest in organisations in their country of origin. There is an extensive body of research and data on remittances sent by migrants, the annual flows of which are now larger in aggregate than either official development assistance (ODA) or foreign direct investment (FDI). But much less is known about diaspora investment, or about how remittances and diaspora investment can be effectively channelled to support development.

Join MIDEQ researcher Stephen Gelb and Simon McMahon and Sona Kalantaryan, from the European Commission, for a discussion on their technical report, Diaspora finance for development: from remittances to investment. The report was published by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s science and knowledge service.

The report identifies over 300 diaspora finance initiatives and highlights the broad diversity of diaspora finance mechanisms around the world. It also points out the lack of systematic international data on diaspora investment flows and quality evidence on the development outcomes of different diaspora finance initiatives.

The Share Out will begin with a presentation of the report followed by a discussion.

Date and Time

26 October 2021, 11:00 -12:30 BST (GMT+1)

Speaker Profiles:

Stephen Gelb is Principal Research Fellow and Lead on Private Sector Development at ODI. He has a PhD in economics, and thirty years of research and policy experience in South Africa, where he was an adviser to President Mbeki and the government on macroeconomic policy and public expenditure and on international investment and trade policy. He worked for a South African development finance institution, and established an independent policy research institute in Johannesburg.

His work has been shaped by a long-standing interest in businesses’ strategy and decision processes, and their economic and political effects. His current research focusses on corporate strategy and collective action; on economic resource flows linked to migration; on the renewal of political economy; and on enterprise and skills development in low-income countries.

Simon McMahon has a decade of experience at the interface between research and policy on international migration. He has a PhD from King’s College London (UK) and has published four books as author or editor and numerous articles on international migration. Today, he is based at the European Commission’s Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography where he leads projects related to the relationship between migration and development

Sona Kalantaryan is a Scientific Project Officer at the European Commission’s Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography (KCMD). She joined the KCMD in 2017 and since then has contributed to various projects under the external and internal dimensions of migration. She is currently leading the Partnerships for Knowledge on Migration in Africa (PKMA) project. The project aims at strengthening African policymakers’ overall response to the opportunities and challenges related to migration.

Prior to joining the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), Dr Kalantaryan was a Research Associate at the Migration Policy Centre, European University Institute. She worked at the International Training Centre of the ILO, DG ECFIN of the European Commission, University of Turin, Collegio Carlo Alberto, and Ministry of Economy and Development of the Republic of Armenia.

The event is chaired by Professor Kavita Datta. Professor Datta's research interests span migration, development, gender and finance, and has contributed to critical understandings of transnational migration, financialisation and migrants’ financial practices. Her current and recent projects have investigated the intersections between transnational migration and the shifting nature, politics and sensibility of work in global cities; migrants’ everyday remittance, debt, inheritance and charitable practices within the broader context of financial in/exclusion; the financialisation of remittance intermediaries/money transfer organisations and the increased significance of digital finance in migrants’ lives.


This is a free, public event: please share widely!

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