This policy brief is the result of multiple consultations Shabaka undertook between June and July 2021 on diaspora engagement in Sudan; specifically, a series of three roundtable discussions exploring a roadmap for effective diaspora engagement. It is an independent initiative set up by Shabaka to facilitate more robust diaspora engagement with the Government of Sudan during this critical transitional period.
These roundtable discussions involved 12 Sudanese experts on diaspora engagement from various fields – including academia, NGOs, and other skilled professionals– active and committed to drawing a skeleton policy briefing targeted at the Government of Sudan.
Thus, this brief presents both the ideas and recommendations directly raised in these discussions and outlines Shabaka’s analysis of cross-cutting considerations and recommendations. Key recommendations are delineated below, including the first steps the Government of Sudan and other key stakeholders can take to ensure the effective development of a cross-governmental diaspora policy and action plan.
Policy and legislative frameworks
- Development of a cross-governmental diaspora policy and action plan as a priority. This includes a review of current policies, to ensure it aligns with relevant national, regional and international frameworks, such as the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development2 and the African Union’s Agenda 20633.
- Conduct a needs assessment of existing structures for diaspora engagement to identify capacity needs and support resource allocation to deliver on any subsequent policy and action plan.
- Establish independent, centralised coordination for engagement with, and the delivery of, services to the diaspora.
- Recognise the diversity of the Sudanese diaspora and ensure that policies and programmes address the needs and nuances of diverse diaspora individuals and communities using more disaggregated quantitative and qualitative data.
Outreach and Communication
- Scale-up centralised multilingual communications, such as regularly updated websites available in languages commonly used in the diaspora, to facilitate engagement of second and subsequent generation diaspora and strengthen its ties to Sudan
- Use evidence-based engagement and improved data collection to develop services and structures for diaspora engagement, as there is a lack of disaggregated data regarding active available diaspora networks.
- Through policymakers’ active engagement with Sudanese migrant and diaspora communities in key settlement countries, governments can create ‘triple wins for migrants, countries of origin, and destination countries’ (Kofi Anan, 2006). Diaspora engagement benefits both origin and settlement countries, as harnessing different perspectives and exchanging knowledge and skills creates space for more credible ideas and solutions.
- Ensure the focus of diaspora engagement extends beyond their financial contributions, i.e. the Sudanese diaspora are also engaged in promoting social cohesion, peacebuilding, culture, and the histories of Sudan.
- Ensure cross-generational engagement with Sudanese diaspora, extending engagement beyond the first generation to second and subsequent generations.
Read the full policy brief: