Terms of Reference
Return Policy Guide
Survey of Returnees
Survey of Diaspora
Draft Policy Paper
Policy Paper Review
Introduction, Objective, Process
The Present Situation
Overseas Representation & Relationships with Nationals Abroad
Diaspora Promotional and Investment Roles
A. Letter of Endorsement from the Prime Minister
B. Terms of Reference
C. Draft Work Programme
D. Survey of Nationals Abroad (Questionnaire)
E. Survey of Returned Nationals (Questionnaire)
F. Copy of Letter to Overseas Missions
G. Response to Survey of Nationals Abroad (Tabulations)
H. Response to Survey of Returned Nationals (Tabulations)
I. Verbatim Comments from Nationals Abroad
J. Verbatim Comments from Returned Nationals
K. Submission from Dominica Association - Vancouver, B.C.
L. Draft Development Programming Concept
M. Comparison of OECS Overseas Representation(Tourism Offices)
N. Tabular Summary of Diaspora Report Recommendations
Related Reference Papers
Diaspora Committee Site
Policy Paper Review & Comments
As with the Announcement and Invitation in the beginning of the study, all Dominicans, at home and abroad, are invited to submit comments on the Draft DA-Diaspora Policy Paper. These will be posted here with appropriate dates and credits.
November 20, 2005
Diaspora Policy - yet another avenue to move Dominica significantly forward
The Dominica Academy of Arts and Science (DAAS) was asked by Government to prepare a position paper on the Dominican Diaspora, that is, Dominicans abroad. The Paper was to investigate how best Dominicans abroad could aid Dominica’s economic development and how the Dominica Government could better support its people abroad. In October 2004, more than a year ago, DAAS presented Government with what is generally considered an excellent Diaspora Policy Paper. And we concur. In it is a list of recommendations (Part 5), half of which require little or no resources (see Appendix N), only administrative and/or organizational changes. Some would require Cabinet action. Implementation of these recommendations would encourage more Dominicans and their friends to visit and invest in Dominica. However, Government has done little about this report so far, and needs to move much more quickly to implement its recommendations.
When one reflects on what one has seen, heard or read, about places like Cancun and Acapulco, Paris and Rome, Florida, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Jamaican north coast, it is apparent that one point that might have been developed more adequately in the Diaspora Policy Paper, was the fact that the primary beneficiaries of an effective Diaspora Policy are the resident Dominicans themselves, as they move from a primarily export-agriculture economy to a people import (tourist) economy (including local and foreign investment in the tourist and other sectors.)
In the case of export agriculture, the system for handling product must be optimized. But in the second case, tourism, the system for handling people must be optimized. The Diaspora Policy Paper focuses on Diaspora people as visitors or investors, because the handling of our people is the most egregious aspect of our handling of visitors - tourists or investors. Correcting this will go a long way towards handling people optimally and handling tourist effectively. And when we can do this, there'll be more Diasporans, more tourists, and more investors; and the resident Dominicans will be the primary beneficiaries. As noted earlier, see Cancun, Paris or the Jamaican north coast.
An added and significant benefit to resident Dominicans, but one which is less tangible though potentially more dynamic in the long run, is the transmission of more new ideas for growth and development by the increased flow of visitors. The histories of ancient Rome, the Italian city states, England and France in the 18th and 19th centuries, the US in the 19th and 20th, and Japan in the 20th century, are testimony to this. Japan is a good example. With little natural resources, it languished when its borders were closed to foreign influence, but prospered when it opened its doors to foreign travelers and their new ideas. The US is another good example. It wasn’t only its natural resources that accounted for its development, several other countries had comparable or more resources. It was the infusion of new ideas by immigrants and visitors alike that fueled its growth. Similarly, with the infusion of new ideas and technologies by returning residents and visitors, encouraged by a more modern Diaspora policy, it is the resident Dominicans who will be the primary beneficiaries.
This is a perspective that perhaps the Diaspora Report didn't adequately develop, and might be partly responsible for the misguided interpretation of DAAS' motives in the Chronicle of May 13, 2005, and the sluggish Government response to the Report so far, since there is nothing partisan, subversive or anti-ethical in the Report. The Indians, Irish, Greeks, Jamaicans, and numerous other countries have recognized the potential in their Diasporas for their economic development. Perhaps we too will in the next several years !!!