Understanding the Romanian DiasporaBy Andra-Lucia Martinescu & Alina Balațchi-Lupascu
This report, Understanding the Romanian Diaspora, is part of a pioneering research initiative being conducted by The Diaspora Initiative and Romanian Women in the UK.
This report is the first of its kind: mapping the Romanian diaspora in the UK, particularly how diaspora associations contribute to, interact with and sometimes challenge both host and home country institutions, whilst also measuring the impact of diaspora initiatives overall. This analysis aims to improve public understanding about the issues faced by the Romanian diaspora, while providing ideas to help inform and inspire policy and decision-making for what has become a strategic constituency for both Romania and the UK. It also aims to encourage a more effective and sustained cooperation between Romanian diaspora organisations, strategically maximising their impact and relevance, while promoting best practice to all institutions and organisations. The new report builds on the findings of previous FPC briefings: Understanding the Romanian Diaspora, Understanding the Romanian Diaspora: A Strategically Important Network and Understanding the Romanian Diaspora: Diaspora mobilisation during COVID-19.
Key findings of the report for institutions in home and host countries:
– Know your target audience: Establish a bilateral working group that has the knowledge and ability to collect, interpret and transpose data into a coherent narrative, thus providing a departure point for more informed policy-making and diaspora engagement strategies.
– Engage the diaspora: Cultivate trust by addressing the core issues facing communities abroad, demonstrating willingness to listen, and upholding good governance norms and practices. Strengthen and support through policy instruments the diaspora’s organisational capacity, reprioritising/adjusting funding objectives based on a thorough assessment of community needs, capabilities and potential.
– Accountability, transparency and continuity: Engage in a systematic review of diaspora governance, thoroughly assessing which policies, initiatives and strategies succeeded or not. Acknowledging failures, vulnerabilities and risks through transparent institutional auditing is a step forward in conveying accountability to communities otherwise dissuaded from civic and political participation.
Key findings of the report for the diaspora:
– Trust and cooperate: Identify like-minded partners, pool resources and coordinate operational modes in order to effectively pursue more impactful, long-term oriented initiatives.
– Share: Engage in a process of sharing good practices, lessons learnt and expertise to access wider support networks, and coalitions of support around issues that impact the community as a whole.
– Strategic Vision: Adopt a strategic posture by cooperating to effect change, whether this implies devising self-sustaining funding mechanisms (crowdfunding, diaspora trusts, etc.), developing diaspora knowledge platforms, or pursuing more consistent advocacy in both home and host countries.
This report was launched with a webinar on Tuesday 10th November with the following speakers: H.E. Ambassador Mihalache, Presidential Advisor Sandra Pralong, Dr. Elisabeth Pop (Citizenship and Integration Officer at the Greater London Authority), Andra-Lucia Martinescu, (Co-founder and coordinator of The Diaspora Initiative), Alina Balațchi-Lupascu (Co-founder of Romanian Women in the UK), and Karen Buck MP (Shadow Social Security Minister). You can catch up with the audio from the event here and the video here.
The ‘Understanding the Romanian Diaspora’ project is being kindly supported by the Department for Romanians Abroad (DRP).