Det nye udviklingsmantra: Diaspora som udviklingsaktører: En undersøgelse af af Dansk Flygtningehjælp inddragelse af somaliske diasporaer i udviklingsprojekter

Le Lykke Nielsen & Christina Aggesen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This project investigates the role of diasporas as ‘agents of change’. It critically examines the dominating paradigm of co-development within the migration-development nexus, where diasporas are engaged in development activities in their former homeland. This is exercised through the use of a case study concerning Danish Refugee Council’s (DRC) diaspora programme, specifically concerned with the Somali diaspora. To understand the visions as well as the problems concerning the diaspora inclusion in development projects, we conduct an interview with Siv Behrendt-Møller from the diaspora programme of DRC. Additionally, we investigate the historical background of the Somali diaspora focusing on the post-colonial period. To obtain an understanding of the diaspora identity, as well as the possibilities and constraints this position entails, we scrutinise the various notions of the concept. Furthermore, we describe the discursive constructions and expectations surrounding the concept. In order to understand the engagement and commitment of the diaspora towards their former place of residence we include the perspective of ‘long-distance nationalism’. Within the analysis, the point of departure is to discuss the potential and problems arising when including diaspora in development projects. Amongst other topics, it is discussed whether the western development discourse is reproduced in the diaspora programme. Furthermore, the altruistic point of departure is challenged by the different political interests, embodied in development. Although knowledge about the effects ofdiaspora involvement is still absent, the actors seem to be praised as the new miracle in development studies. In this project we question this notion while highlighting the challenges arising from such cooperation. At first glance, the programme seems to reflect an approach where development is initiated with a ‘buttom-up’ strategy, concerned with local needs. However, when further investigated the paradigm is not as unambiguous as presented, while put into practice, the results prove to be diverse. Therefore, the project questions whether the involvement of diaspora constitutes a significantly different approach than conventional development strategies.

UddannelserKultur- og Sprogmødestudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato4 jun. 2013
VejledereBogdan Vasii-Gyrogy


  • Diaspora, udvikling