IDG conducted an assessment for USAID to understand the capacity and interest of the US Bangladeshi diaspora in being involved in the development activities of Bangladesh. The study was designed as a mixed-method investigation, including a desk study of existing research about the US Bangladeshi diaspora and its organizations, focus groups in target cities, interviews with diaspora leaders, and a pilot online survey.
IDG’s assessment helped identify the following trends in the US Bangladeshi community:
- The US Bangladeshi diaspora is relatively limited in size and is dispersed throughout the United States.
- The US Bangladeshi diaspora is an important source of remittance inflow for Bangladesh and remits US$10 billion or more each year to Bangladesh, comprising 13-15% of total remittances received.
- Significant numbers of US Bangladeshi diasporans are interested in helping anyone in need in Bangladesh as opposed to assisting specific individuals, groups, or organizations in the country.
- In all phases of this assessment, diaspora concerns about government corruption, safety/security, red tape, high taxation levels, policy unpredictability and uncertainty in Bangladesh were high.
- US Bangladeshi diasporans indicate that they believe a lack of frequent communication between USAID/Bangladesh and the US diaspora community and the lack of a point person to spearhead this communication are important obstacles to further US Bangladeshi diaspora engagement.
IDG’s assessment helped identify ways in which USAID could further develop its engagement with the US Bangladesh diaspora, develop diaspora philanthropic efforts, and support diaspora business investments to aid development efforts in Bangladesh.