A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development


Harnessing remittances and diasporas for development was the topic of the latest Vi capacity development opportunity for core Nepalese member, Mid-western University (MWU). Held November 2-4, the workshop attracted 36 participants from MWU, civil society and mass media.

“Nepal ranks third in the world in terms of its dependence on remittances from nationals working abroad,” said Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku. “In view of the importance of the topic for the country, the Vi granted the request from Mid-Western University to organize this national professional development workshop for its students and lecturers, as well as other stakeholders.”

Funded by the Government of Finland, the training was delivered by Rolf Traeger, of UNCTAD’s Division on Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes. 

After introducing the types, causes and patterns of migration, Traeger reviewed trends and the impact migration can have on home and host countries.

“International migration generates financial flows in the form of remittances sent by emigrants to their home countries,” Traeger said. “These emerging diasporas can be harnessed in support of national development, but home countries may be left to grapple with brain drain -- the departure of qualified human capital.”

Traeger then outlined international policies for migration, and encouraged participants to consider policies that home countries can adopt in order to maximize the contribution of remittances and diasporas to their economic and social development.

Two group activities allowed participants to address the topic from the point of view of their country by engaging in discussions on the impact of migration on Nepal, and on Nepalese programmes and policies for migration.

”The group discussions made us think more critically and creatively,” said one of the participants.

Feedback from evaluation questionnaires indicates that the workshop met or exceeded participants’ expectations and that it substantially added to their knowledge of the topic. Participants also found their new knowledge useful in their studies, research, teaching and work with policymakers.

“I will use the skills in my field of research as well as to motivate my students and colleagues,” said one of the trainees.

“As I am in the legal profession and active politically, I will definitely utilize this knowledge in policy discussions,” concluded another.