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The role of the diaspora in development: the case of Ethiopian and Bolivian immigrants in the United States

Elizabeth Chacko, George Washington University
Marie Price, George Washington University

In this study we examine the contributions of Ethiopian and Bolivian immigrants living in the Washington Metropolitan Area to the socio-economic development of their home countries and the impacts of national government policies in facilitating development linkages. For both Bolivians and Ethiopians, Washington is the primary area of settlement in the United States. We used a mixed-methods approach to obtain qualitative and quantitative data through focus group discussions, surveys and key informant interviews in Washington, Ethiopia and Bolivia. Factors that affect the immigrants’ ability to assist in home country development include: group characteristics of those who emigrated (elite, educated, poor, skilled/unskilled), the circumstances that led to their leaving the home country (better economic opportunities, war, natural disasters), their areas of origin (rural, urban), the socio-economic niches they carved out for themselves in the Washington area, and policies in their countries of origin regarding the diaspora’s rights and privileges.

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Presented in Session 221: Migration and codevelopment (2)