[ About ]

Andra-Lucia Martinescu

Andra is pursuing a part-time doctorate in International Relations at University of Cambridge, focusing on the geopolitics of the Black Sea. She previously worked for the British Army, specialising in operational research, and think-tanks such as the Foreign Policy Centre, RUSI (Whitehall, London) and RAND Europe. Since 2018, and in a bid to change the outlook, Andra has dedicated herself to researching diaspora, civil society and good governance issues. She is particularly interested in social networks and their strategic capacity to effect change. She believes in societal transformation through civic participation and accountability. She also believes, quite strongly, in the civic identity and voluntary spirit of her fellow Romanians. Their astonishing capacity to mobilise for social justice truly inspired her to contribute.

Cătălina Moisescu

Este doctorand la Universitatea din Fribourg, Elveția. A coordonat programul Survey of International Organizations şi a fost asistentă de cercetare în cadrul American College Program. Între 2012 şi 2014 a fost asistent de cercetare la Institutul de Studii Europene și Internaționale din Luxemburg, fiind implicată în numeroase proiecte și conferințe internaționale, în colaborare cu Reprezentanța Comisiei Europene în Luxemburg și misiunile diplomatice acreditate. A fost responsabil relații publice al Ambasadei Africii de Sud în România în perioada 2009-2011 unde a contribuit activ la promovarea relațiilor culturale și economice dintre cele două țări. În 2011, ea a obținut bursa de excelență a guvernului elvețian. Andra și Cătălina au stat în aceeași bancă în liceu…se certau la fel de constructiv.

The D I A S P O R A I N I T I A T I V E


The Diaspora Initiative started as an academic collaboration, a space of exchange, independent of hierarchies and institutional constraints. At the same time, and commensurate with our mission, we seek to contribute towards evidence-based policy-making and good governance. 

First and foremost, it was the absence of a systematically organised and accessible knowledge repository about our diaspora that motivated us to emabrk on this mission. Impassioned political speeches and party platforms, strategies and programmes, institutions ideally placed to implement them, all these without a fundamental understanding of what the diaspora actually is and represents. 

How many Romanians live and work abroad, permanently or temporarily? How do Romanians associate? How are their interests represented? What is the scope of their initiatives? How are diaspora associations financed? What is their digital presence and visibility? How can those abroad contribute towards development, through their vast economic, social and knowledge capital ? And more importantly, what is the diaspora’s impact and can it be truly transnational?

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

These are but a few of the questions we seek to provide an answer to. Mapping the diaspora thus becomes a necessary step towards more informed and transparent policies, policies that ought to mirror the interests and aspirations of those abroad. 

Moreover, with regard to policy making, we aim to transform the traditional rapport between public institutions and the diaspora, replacing a rigid  patronage system with an ethical framework, anchored in meritocracy, competence and norms

Reforming the interaction between state and the diaspora ought to be premised on different types of communication, access to public resources, and an altogether different exchange with those who seek to represent us. This process should be based pn transparency and openness, including but not limited to monitoring and evaluating diaspora engagement policies and strategies. Good governance should also encompass and reflect the diaspora.  

From our mapping effort by creating a solid and rigorous knowledge basis regarding the diaspora , which is also aimed at informing policies, another scope would be to maximise the Romanian communities’ influence and relevance. By actually implementing the tenets of this vast research we seek to increase the diaspora’s transnational impact and influence across host countries, as well as in Romania. 

Maximising the organisational capacity of diaspora associations, generating coalitions of mutual support within host  countries, better and more diversified access to funding, and targeted cooperation amongst organisations, all these may prove transformative in the not so distant future – actuating a diaspora whose global voice and presence are to be reckoned with.





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