This pilot assessment of diaspora governance in Romania has provided a testing ground, a methodological approach that can be replicated and applied to the study of other countries with diaspora infrastructures. The interactive graphs (slider above), generated from unique datasets compiled since 2018, are structured along three lines of inquiry: an overview of institutional budgets and expenditures, a detailed analysis of funding distribution, and a qualitative appraisal of how Romanians abroad or representatives of diaspora organisations experienced the process, from the initial application for funding to project management/implementation and the overall public interface with Romanian grant administrators. The overarching query in the interactive debate tool tackles the efficiency and relevance of the funding mechanism as operated by the Department for Romanians Abroad (Departamentul pentru Românii de Pretutindeni, DRP). This governmental body manages the distribution of grants for the diaspora, assisting with the funding applications and the implementation of projects. So far, there has been no meaningful public debate or transparency regarding the distribution of public funds in support of diaspora initiatives or projects.
These are just a few snippets of how Romanians abroad view the funding application process, most times, an alienating experience.