Conflict and Fragility

Policy briefs

Promoting diaspora investment in fragile settings: The case of Somalia

30 Aug 2023 - 09:00
Source: ©Reuters

This policy brief analyses the extent to which diaspora investment can support economic development and livelihoods, with a particular focus on fragile settings. Using the case study of Somalia, the brief explores some of the main advantages and risks associated with this tool. On the one hand, diaspora investment can channel finance into productive activities in the diaspora’s country of origin, supporting the creation of revenue streams, while also generating returns for diaspora investors. On the other hand, particularly in fragile settings, these investments can also undermine social cohesion and even increase the likelihood of violent conflict, especially if they are channelled along identity lines. On the basis of this analysis, the brief offers the following recommendations to donor governments interested in promoting diaspora investment in Somalia and beyond: (i) to ensure effectiveness, donors should gather comprehensive, in-depth data on the needs and preferences of both potential investors in the diaspora and investees in the country of origin; (ii) to avoid exacerbating tensions and conflict, donors should be as inclusive and transparent as possible in their engagement with stakeholders, most notably in the selection of beneficiaries; (iii) any efforts to promote diaspora investment in fragile settings should be grounded in a thorough understanding of the specific context in which they are implemented, in order to understand both the economic and political implications of such investment.

Read Policy Brief