The high-level roundtable placed us on the map. Organised in partnership with the Presidential Administration, the Diaspora Initiative launched its global mapping analysis of the Romanian diaspora, the first of its kind (Social Network Analysis). The report explored interactions (online & offline) between diaspora organisations in host countries & at transnational levels, examining rapports with institutions (in Romania and elsewhere) as well as the overall impact ( transnational / national / subnational) of diaspora initiatives. This knowledge base enabled us to elaborate a series of policy& strategic recommendations.


Our Collaboration

In Romania, the Presidential Administration has been our first institutional partner. At the roundtable, chaired by Professor Dana Diminescu from Telecom Paris Tech, we introduced the diaspora mapping concept for the first time, with a preliminary analysis of how Romanian communities interact, and assessing the impact of their initiatives globally. It was also the starting point for the many partnerships to come.


The roundtable organised at the Presidential Palace, gathered decision-makers, academics, experts and practitioners to discuss for the first time the importance of creating a knowledge base regarding the diaspora, and how this repository can further inform evidence-based policy-making. Our intention was to de-politicise the discourse about the diaspora, by bringing the inquiry closer to the day-to-day realities, grievances and aspirations of those abroad.

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

Before pursuing any meaningful strategy for diaspora engagement, some essential questions had to be asked: How many Romanians live, work and study abroad? How do they associate? What diaspora organisations / associations are out there and what is their scope? How do organisations and communities interact / cooperate? What is their rapport with institutions in Romania and abroad? What is the overall impact of diaspora initiatives? And ultimately, how can the Romanian diaspora, given its significant demographic presence become truly relevant and influential, transnationally? The roundtable provided us with an opportunity to flesh out our research and present a different approach to analysing and engaging the diaspora.



Our mapping analysis was the first of its kind. Why do we think it’s a necessary departure point for better, more informed decision-making? First and foremost, through our innovative methodology, we can now visualise how Romanians organise themselves abroad, how they connect and interact with other associations, as well as institutions. Secondly, we analyse the scope and impact of all diaspora initiatives. Our recommendations and insights (which can be consulted by reading the report, see the Useful Resources section. below) are based on the unique, publicly available data we have diligently collected, codified, organised, and interpreted over the years. For diaspora entities (formal associations, informal groups, Romanian schools, Orthodox parishes, businesses, platforms etc.) the networked visualisation allows them to explore connectivity, and scope for future opportunities: What other entities have similar projects? With whom can they cooperate and pool resources for more ambitious projects? For institutions, tailoring policies, strategies and decisions becomes an imperative: Are funding mechanisms responsive to diaspora needs and ambitions? Are institutions supporting impactful projects? Are funding criteria relevant and up to date? The diaspora, with its immense social, economic, and political capital can become truly impactful, if supported strategically. We are not there yet, but we propose an analytical tool that can help tailor a more ambitious future, an incubator for more impactful diaspora initiatives.



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