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A Swiss Network of Scientific Diasporas to Enforce the Role of Highly Skilled Migrants as Partners in Development

Annual Call for Projects 2006


This research and action-oriented project, funded by the Geneva International Academic Network (GIAN), is centred around the current international debate on migration and development. The research team's objective is to provide a better understanding of the potential of highly skilled migrants as agents of development, by focusing on their participation in the production and circulation of knowledge. Considering knowledge as a core catalyst in the struggle against poverty, this project examines the potential of highly skilled migrants from developing countries living in Switzerland to favour development in their countries of origin through the practice of brain gain mechanisms that have been shown to offer promising possibilities for effective North-South and South-South cooperation. By creating sustainable strategic synergies among academic institutions, international organisations, the private sector and NGOs, this project intends to establish a Swiss Network of Scientific Diasporas for the circulation of knowledge. It is expected that the Network will serve as an innovative mechanism providing long-term structured support to highly skilled migrants within diaspora communities, linking them to their countries of origin in a systematic and institutional manner.
Data collection on diasporas, often with a focus on gender dimensions is one of the main objectives of migration and development studies. Accordingly, the increasing volume of highly skilled migrants from developing countries present in Switzerland has offered significant research opportunities for an examination of the professional activities of these migrants and a monitoring of the contributions they make to their countries of origin. However, the role of highly skilled migrants in the production and diffusion of knowledge that benefits their countries of origin has remained relatively unexplored or unappreciated until now. Nor has the participation of migrant women in furthering development been fully understood.
The research team will study cases of highly skilled Colombian, Indian and South...

The grant provided by the GIAN for this project totals SFr 224,402

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Project Team

Mr Guillermo Arbelaez , Principal Member, DePapaya.org .

Prof. Marie-Claire Caloz-Tschopp , Principal Member, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences (FPSE) , University of Geneva (Unige) .

Mr Marco Pecoraro , Principal Member, Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies (SFM) .

Dr. Carlos Andrés Peña , Principal Member, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) , Novartis Pharma AG .

Related Links

> Global Network of the Scientific Diasporas

> Diasporas Network

Related News

Related Conferences

A Swiss Network of Scientific Diasporas to Enforce the Role of Highly Skilled Migrants as Partners in Development – Conference and debate “Experiences from the Columbian Diaspora” – 23 June 2007, 10 am, Auditorium of the Beaumont Hospital, Lausanne
Further details about the programme available on www.acis.ch. For registration, please contact acis.ch@hotmail.com.
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Scientific Diasporas in Switzerland: Main Findings, Good Practices and Policy Implications - Final Workshop, International Labour Office (Geneva), 26 October 2007, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
The final workshop of the GIAN-supported research project "A Swiss Network of Scientific Diasporas to Enforce the Role...
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Research Output

Highly Skilled Migrants from Developing Countries in Switzerland and their Potential for the Development of their Countries of Origin
(available in German only)
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Highly Skilled Migration from Developing Countries
(available in English only)
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