Influencing from a distance: Are diaspora members effective as “credible messengers” in migration information campaigns?

Policy Brief

Published May 2022

Extract

Migration information campaigns have become a popular policy mechanism amongst donors and implementers to deter irregular migration. With the increasing number of information campaigns introduced in countries of origin, attention is also being focused towards the design of these campaigns, including considerations on engaging people that can act as “credible messengers” or “key influencers” to convey the content of the campaign. It is in this line that campaign funders and designers are exploring the potential of involving diaspora members as messengers in information campaigns. Backed by a dedicated research study on diaspora engagement in information campaigns under the PARIM project, this policy brief questions the assumptions behind engaging diaspora members as “credible messengers”. One major assumption is that since potential migrants rely on friends and family abroad for their migration process, following the same principle, they would be more receptive to information received through diaspora members in campaigns. However, this policy brief argues that diaspora members engaged in campaigns are imperfect proxies for potential migrants’ friends and family abroad. With this caveat, it presents certain considerations to take into account when designing a migration information campaign that involves diaspora members as messengers.

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Engaging Diasporas in Information Campaigns on Migration

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