About Institute for Diaspora Research & Engagement
Institute for Diaspora Research & Engagement Institute for Diaspora Research & Engagement The Institute for Diaspora Research & Engagement (IDRE), established in 2013, is constituted as a research institute at Simon Fraser University (SFU). The IDRE was created to promote interdisciplinary research and link that research with community engagement, capacity-building and education. Diaspora literally means a dispersal of peoples. The Institute’s working understanding of the concept includes “individuals and groups, with a history of migration, whose attachment to two or more locations within or across national boundaries is expressed through organized activities, connections and networks.” The Institute's core mandate is to combine leading interdisciplinary scholarly research on diaspora with community-based research, and engage in innovative, responsive programming and collaborative dialogue, and exchange and partnership with the wider community. These activities build on strong scholarly research on diaspora within and outside SFU, and on relationships and linkages forged with diasporic communities and others interested in diaspora outside the University over the past decade. The creation of the Institute for Diaspora Research & Engagement (IDRE) is in response to three related sets of events: 1. The IDRE builds on a history of successful engagement of diasporic communities by SFU since 2005. These include SFU’s India Advisory Council, the Afghanistan Dialogues, the Focus on Africa series of symposia, and most notably the Engaging Diaspora in Development (EDD) project, funded by CIDA, which ran from 2010 to 2011 in partnership with CUSO International and the BC Council for International Education. The IDRE is a direct response to the desire expressed by EDD project participants for SFU to continue supporting diaspora in their efforts to promote change in Canada and their places of attachment. For past EDD project reports, click here. 2. The growing interest in diaspora among researchers and students at SFU and at other academic institutions, as well as among leaders and practitioners in the public, private non-profit and private for profit sectors who seek to engage diaspora more effectively, also strongly influenced the Institute’s creation. 3. The IDRE also responds to SFU’s Strategic Vision “to be the leading engaged university defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement,” and SFU’s Strategic Research Plan that guides the University “in responding effectively to the changing environment in research opportunities … and promotes SFU's research strengths to government, community partners, and funding organizations.” The knowledge map below displays the answers EDD participants gave to the question "What will enable diaspora to contribute more effectively to development?"
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