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.