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Transnational Communities: Not Your Grandfather's Diaspora


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Presentation to the Boston Planning and Development Agency' Staff

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Transnational Communities: Not Your Grandfather's Diaspora

  1. 1. Transnational Communities- not your grandfather’s diaspora - Boston Planning and Development Agency Alvaro Lima, July 2017
  2. 2. AGENDA: I.What is Immigrant Transnationalism? II.Traditional versus Transnational Lenses III. Measuring Transnationalism IV. Some Implications of Transnationalism V. Innovation Portfolio
  3. 3.  Immigration flows have been understood mostly as a one way movement from sending countries to receiving countries  Traditionally immigration policies have been almost entirely focused on procedures and prohibitions governing admissions - who? how many? and what kind of immigrants should be admitted?
  4. 4.  There is a widespread belief that migration is caused by poverty, economic stagnation, and overpopulation in the countries of origin unrelated to receiving countries’ foreign policies, economic needs and broader international economic conditions  While overpopulation, poverty, and economic stagnation all create pressures for migration, there are systematic, structural relations between globalization and migration flows with worldwide evidence of a considerable patterning in the geography of migrations poverty stagnation overpopulation etc…
  5. 5. Country Total Population (millions) Population from Developing Countries (millions) Percent of Total Population Top Five Source Countries (percent of total) Top Five Source Countries United States Spain France UK Netherlands Portugal Japan 281.4 40.8 58.5 58.8 16.0 10.4 127 28.4 1.5 3.7 3.0 1.2 0.5 1.2 10.1 3.7 6.4 5.1 7.6 4.5 1.0 45.2 44.2 20.4 30.1 48.6 62.8 69.6 Mexico, Philippines, Puerto Rico, India, China Morocco, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Jamaica, South Africa Suriname, Turkey, Indonesia, Morocco, Netherlands Antilles Angola, Mozambique, Brazil, Cape Verde, Venezuela North Korea, South Korea, China, Brazil, Philippines Foreign-Born Population of Rich OECD Countries from Developing Countries Source: Let Their People Come, Lant Pritchett, 2006
  6. 6.  Immigrant integration policies (education, training, placement, ESOL, health care, entrepreneurship, citizenship, etc..) are skeletal, ad hoc, under-funded and dominated by the ideology of assimilation  As Nathan Glazer puts it, “the settlement, adaptation, and progress, or lack of it, of immigrants is largely, in the U.S. context, up to them” labor market language acquisition housing education etc…
  7. 7.  Re-integration policies for those returning are generally inexistent making the re-settlement process prone to failure feeding back emigration labor market housing education etc…
  8. 8. What is “Immigrant Transnationalism”? Regular, frequent engagement in economic, political and socio-cultural activities in both countries:
  9. 9. Drivers of Transnationalism:  Developments in the means of transportation and communications have changed the relations between people and places (costs)  International migrations have become crucial to the demographic future of many developed countries  Global political transformations and new international legal regimes weakened the state as the only legitimate source of rights  Fostered by global consumption, global production, and immigration, cultural hybridization are substituting folkloric romanticism and political nationalism enshrined as essences of national cultures 9
  10. 10. Traditional Lenses: immigration conceptualized as a bipolar relation between sending and receiving countries (moving from there to here) emigration is the result of individual search for economic opportunity, political freedom, etc. migrants are assumed to be the poorest of the poor immigrants occupy low-skilled jobs in agriculture, construction, and manufacturing Immigrants steadily shift their contextual focus, economic and social activities to receiving country immigration should not bring about significant change in the receiving society Transnational Lenses: immigration conceptualized as flows of cross- border economic, political and social-cultural activities (being here and there) emigration is the result of geopolitical interests, global linkages, and economic globalization migrants are not the poorest of the poor nor do they come from the poorest nations growth in the service and technology-based jobs create opportunities for low as well as high skilled migrants After the initial movement, migrants continue to maintain ties with their country of origin immigration creates hybrid societies with a richer cultural milieu Traditional versus Transnational Lenses 10
  11. 11. Measuring Transnationalism The Six Ts of Transnationalism
  12. 12. $875 $398 $331 $218 $- $100 $200 $300 $400 $500 $600 $700 $800 $900 Brazil Ecuador México Guatemala Guyana Dominican R. Colombia Nicaragua El Salvador Honduras Cuba Monthly Remittance by Nationality $278 $274 $192 $188 $185 $177 $113 ABOVE AVERAGE BELOW AVERAGE AVERAGE = $294 45.4% 20.5% 17.8% 5.1% 4.9% 3.7% 1.6% 0.8% 0.2% 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% 35.0% 40.0% 45.0% 50.0% Foods and spices Videos, DVDs, CDs Clothing Newspapers/magazines Books Alcohol Cigarettes Craft Items Others Purchasing of Nostalgic Products Among Brazilians 37.6% 28.9% 26.0% 5.5% 1.6% 0.3% 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% 35.0% 40.0% Does not have / NR Checking account Savings account Credit card Investment account Foreign currency savings Financial Accounts in Country of Origin - Brazil MEASURING TRANSNATIONALIS M
  13. 13. 46.6% 36.80% 27.0% 22.7% 20.0% 15.3% 14.0% 10.3% 9.1% 5.7% 3.7% 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% 35.0% 40.0% 45.0% 50.0% Guyana Brazil Ecuador Honduras Colombia Nicaragua Dominican R. México Cuba El Salvador Guatemala Help Beyond Remittances AVERAGE = 19.2% ABOVE AVERAGE BELOW AVERAGE 13 26.3% 12.4% 10.0% 6.7% 5.0% 4.0% 3.5% 3.3% 2.8% 2.4% 0.0% 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% Guyana Brazil Ecuador Honduras Colom bia Nicaragua Mexico Dom inican R. Guatem ala El Salvador Cuba Support of Hometown Associations AVERAGE = 6.7% ABOVE AVERAGE BELOW AVERAGE MEASURING TRANSNATIONALISM
  15. 15. 15 Some General Implications of Transnationalism  Portability becomes crucial for transnational migrants – education and certification processes; investment and retirement schemes, health insurance, etc.;  The concept of “community,” “society,” as well as “the local,” must be redefined as space of flows (relationships), pluri-local and nation-state-boarder spanning, instead of bounded geographic places – geographic and social container spaces;  Transnational immigrant entrepreneurs’ contributions to the economy have to be recognized as such and not as just “ethnic;”  Nation-state ideals of identity in both sending and receiving countries are challenged by transnational practices – double citizenship.  States must re-conceive immigration and adapt their policies and practices to accommodate transnational realities;
  16. 16. Implications of Transnational Entrepreneurship: There is a remarkable disparity between the dynamism of transnational enterprises and governmental misunderstanding or ignorance of the phenomenon Transnational entrepreneurs have played an important role in facilitating international trade, investment, and “diaspora tourism”  Transnational entrepreneurship is a promising form of integration Transnational integration and transnational entrepreneurship are highly relevant to modern workings of global and gateway cities Transnational integration and transnational entrepreneurship provide opportunities for business, social entrepreneurs, and governments
  17. 17. 1st Generation Innovation Portfolio: Transnational Portal – Transnational Index Diaspora Financial Services Transnational Healthcare System
  18. 18. 18 Designing a Transnational Portal
  19. 19. Designing a Transnational Index 19
  20. 20. Designing Transnational Capital 20 PARTNER BANK IN BRAZIL PARTNER BANK IN U.S. REMITTANCES BANK CONTRIBUTION ( % REMITTANCE FEE ) BRAZILIAN REMITTERS BRAZILIAN COMMUNITY FUND ( SOCIAL BROKER)  matching funds from foundations and corporations;  “in kind” contributions such as tuition abatement etc... SOCIAL INVESTORS CONTRIBUTIONS  Strategic intent (move Brazilians up in the financial value chain);  Business plan (to capture a significant share of the remittances sent home by Brazilians);  Conveniently located branches;  Appropriate products;  Competitive prices. Close the “Trust Gap” Close the “Information Gap” Close the “Educational Gap”  Close the “Product Gap”  Market the Program & Fund REMITTANCES REMITTANCES WORKS WITH COMMUNITY AND PARTNER BANKS TO:  Strategic intent (move Brazilians up in the financial value chain);  Business plan (to capture a significant share of the remittances sent home by Brazilians);  Conveniently located branches;  Appropriate products;  Competitive prices.  Strategic intent (move Brazilians up in the financial value chain);  Grass roots marketing & relationship development;  Disseminate and implement informational & educational programs;  Define mission, goals & policies;  Identify, select & fund projects. BRAZILIAN COMMUNITY INVESTS IN COMMUNITY PROJETCS BRAZILIAN RECEIVERS more remittances, more contributions more contributions, more investments DIASPORA CAPITAL SERVICES when senders become customers FUND ADMINISTRATOR  Professionally managed by a Foundation or other institution (for example, a donor advised fund). Earmarked $
  21. 21. Projeto Remessas - Remittances
  22. 22. CA’s Holistic Health Management Manage the WHOLE person  Utilizing clinical devices  Utilizing athletic devices  Utilizing social devices …together Devices, Software, Databases, People…together. 22 Designing a Transnational Healthcare System