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Global Workshop on Migration of Talent and Diasporas of the Highly Skilled

Buenos Aires , Argentina

April 26-27, 2005


The workshop focused on the design of public policies to leverage expatriate skills abroad for the benefit of the countries of origin. It put a particular emphasis on facilitation of “brain circulation” rather than trying to reverse “brain drain”.


Globalization has increased the mobility of human capital and highly skills individuals as knowledge is becoming an integral part of the global economy. This increased mobility raises concerns in developing countries that see part of their scarce qualified human resource base leave in search of better economic possibilities abroad.


This mobility, however, also has potential benefits for the home countries.  Expatriates have played a critical role in accelerating technology exchange and foreign direct investment in the economies of India, China and Israel.  They have frequently taken the role of pioneer investors at a time when major capital markets regarded these economies as too risky. Thus, a new generation of Diaspora programs focuses on so called 'brain circulation networks' -- leveraging the talent abroad through a variety of networks rather than trying to reallocate the talent physically back home.


The workshop had two major objectives:

  • to discuss lessons of Diaspora initiatives, both successful and failed in a variety of countries: India, Colombia, South Africa, Scotland and others.
  • to focus more closely on design and future directions of on-going Diaspora initiatives (‘Redes de talento’) in Argentina, Chile and Mexico and other Latin American economies.

In particular, three types of Diaspora networks were highlighted: scientists and R&D personnel; business networks of innovative start-ups, and networks of professionals working for multinationals.      


This workshop was organized by the K4D Program and the World Bank Latin America Region in cooperation with the Argentinean Ministry of Labor. For more information on this event in Spanish, please visit


For the detailed agenda, please click here. (PDF, 35Kb)


For more information on Diaspora Mobilization, please visit our special section on the Diasporas of Highly Skilled and Migration of Talent.




arrowLeveraging National S&T and Business Talent Abroad. (Presentation) Yevgeny Kuznetsov, the World Bank. (PDF, 691Kb)


arrowMobilization of Diasporas for Knowledge Transfer.  (Paper) Yevgeny Kuznetsov, the World Bank. (PDF, 37Kb)


arrowThe Dynamics of Skilled Labor Migration: What Can Be Done About the Brain Drain?  (Paper) David Ellerman, University of California at Riverside. (PDF, 264Kb)


arrowDiasporas and Development.  (Paper) Richard Davone. (PDF, 70Kb)


arrowIndia’s Transformation to Knowledge-Based Economy – Evolving Role of the Indian Diaspora.  (Paper) Abhishek Pandey, Richard Devane and Yevgeny Kuznetsov, the World Bank, Alok Aggarwal, CEO, Everserves. (PDF, 284Kb)


arrowThe Role of Home Organizations in Home Countries: Globalscot and Scottish Enterprise.  (Paper) Mairi Macrae and Martin Wight, Scottish Enterprise. (PDF, 241Kb)


arrowDiaspora’s Contribution to Armenia’s Economic Development: What Drives the First Movers and How Their Efforts Could Be Scaled?  (Paper) Victoria Minoian and Lev Freinkman, the World Bank. (PDF, 170Kb)


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