Appendix A: Methodology
1. Our methodological approach was based on two insights:
a. the diaspora should be considered as one stakeholder among many in the context of an overarching international relations strategy which is in the process of transition and change, and
b. that we should start by gathering data to see what works “out there”, as far as practicable without preconceptions, then filtering that through the lens of current practice in Scotland to identify a first cut of what lessons can be learned, then refining that analysis through more detailed case studies to learn detailed lessons to arrive at a final set of insights and recommendations.
2. We therefore took a “funnel” approach to data collection – start broad and focus down on the most useful learning for Scotland. The broad analysis was a literature review of official websites and academic material. A list of sources is at Appendix B. We looked at the following countries: Australia, Belgium (Flanders), Canada (Federal and Québec), China, Denmark, France, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, USA. The selected countries built on the countries included in the 2015 Scottish Government research, but we changed the sample slightly to include countries we knew from our recent research for the British Council had relevant diaspora engagement policies and remove others which were not so directly relevant to Scotland.
3. The original brief was to then carry out deep dives on a limited sample of the comparator countries. The assumption had been that lessons could be learned from countries with particularly successful diaspora engagement strategies. We suggested to the client that a more fruitful approach would be to look rather at a limited number of cross-cutting themes from the first analysis. This enabled us to focus on what mattered to countries (the drivers) and to identify what were the main challenges of diaspora engagement that would need to be addressed in the next phase of strategy development. In the event, this approach did, in fact, identify a limited number of countries for further consideration.