Diaspora for Development (D4D) Project

Mainstreaming the Concept on Migration and Development into Relevant Policies, Plans and Actions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH): Diaspora for Development (D4D) project aims to strengthen the role of BiH Diaspora in development processes in BiH.

The official estimates show that about 2 million people of BiH origin (1st and 2nd generation) live in approximately 50 countries around the world. Most of them retain strong emotional, financial, and familial connection with their homeland. They are also well integrated in their host countries, with potential and willingness to contribute to the development of BiH. Diaspora could have a significant role in development, poverty reduction and economic growth in BiH.

However, the interaction with BiH Diaspora is sporadic and unstructured, and they are rarely included or consulted in the design of policies or decision-making processes. Diaspora is often perceived as “money senders”, given that remittances account for 14% of the country’s GDP. However, what is often not emphasized enough is the myriad of other forms through which diaspora provides the valuable contribution to economic development of their homeland, such as trade and investment, job creation, transfer of know-how and innovation, promotion of the country globally, etc. Effective diaspora engagement relies on two-way communication, with benefits achieved only when working jointly on common development goals. Although many of these potentials remain largely untapped, the diaspora is considered as one of the key players in the development of BiH.

Funding Support by

Delivery in previous fiscal year

What we do?

D4D project aims to increase socio-economic opportunities and perspectives for people in BiH, and to improve their livelihoods through increased diaspora engagement. This will be attained through implementation of three specific outcomes:

  1. BiH Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees and BiH Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with government institutions at different levels, use and further develop their instruments to actively connect, exchange, and engage with diaspora members and organizations.
  2. Local governments align their development strategies to the diaspora policy framework at higher government levels, provide more and better services to diaspora members, and encourage community initiatives to attract diaspora know-how and investment.
  3. Diaspora partners transfer know-how and skills and make joint investments with private sector actors in BIH, contributing positively to key economic indicators.

The Project contributes towards mobilizing and harvesting diaspora’s support toward BiH socio-economic development, including linking diaspora with BIH public, non-government, and private economic sectors.


Financial contributors



Government of Switzerland

$ 5,050,496


$ 461,513


$ 180,529

Total budget

$ 5,692,538


What are expected results?

Project partners will work to achieve the following results:

  • Diaspora Engagement Strategy, Action Plan and M&E framework elaborated and under implementation through a whole-of-government approach;
  • 35 institutions led by the BIH Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees engaged in a cross-governmental coordination mechanism, contributing to the Diaspora Engagement Strategy implementation and systematic collection and use of emigration data;
  • Carried out diaspora mapping in 10 selected destination countries;
  • Diaspora is organized in representation bodies in up to two pilot-countries, interacting with BIH diplomatic representations and authorities in host countries;
  • At least 1,000 diaspora members contribute to government–diaspora dialogue and identification of development solutions; 
  • At least 50 diaspora members engaged in professional know-how transfer to BIH institutions, contributing also to the implementation of the Diaspora Engagement Strategy;
  • Improved administrative and information services targeting diaspora and at least 15 local initiatives implemented, by connecting diaspora to their home communities and improving quality of life for more than 300 households;
  • Over 400 jobs created in BIH through diaspora engagement;
  • At least 30 BIH companies benefit from knowledge and skills transfer which translates into productive business connections with diaspora, introduction of new technologies, markets and jobs.


Sustainable Development Goals targeted by Diaspora for Development Project



Start date:


Estimated end date:


Focus Area:

Rural and Regional Development

Project Manager

Merima Avdagić



  • BiH Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees
  • Government of Switzerland and
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM) in BiH

Mapping Bosnian-Herzegovinian Diaspora

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