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United Nations data shows that the size of global diaspora had reached 281 million in 2020, and it continues to grow. Diasporas have contributed significantly to the development of their native lands through remittance, technology and knowledge transfer, philanthropy, and diplomacy. Many countries have designed policies to engage the diaspora more deeply by providing concessional citizenship and visa regimes, and attractive investment opportunities. Yet, there is room for improvement in policies and programs to enhance these prospects.

Since the 2010s, the size and expanse of Nepali diaspora has grown dramatically, the numbers perhaps reaching 800,000 in 2022 in the more developed parts of the world. In addition, at any time, there are 2-3 million temporary migrants from Nepal working in foreign countries outside of India. With the enhanced level of education and experience, and growing economic prowess, the Nepali diaspora is in a strong position to become a significant partner in Nepal’s development efforts.

The diaspora’s potential contribution to Nepal’s development remains vastly underutilized for mainly two policy-related reasons. The Nepali government’s supporting policies, regulations, and programs to effectively engage the diaspora are inadequate. The diaspora groups have not been able to fully assess and chart out their capacities, and create proper institutional, and policy mechanisms to mobilize their resources.

This paper reviews some examples of diaspora in development, and the current situation of the Nepali diaspora, and provide recommendations for improving the strategies, policies, and programs both for the diaspora, and the Nepali government and similar developing countries.




Working Paper.