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Reimagining diaspora diplomacy during the COVID-19 crisis in India

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-23, 10:50 authored by Rahul M Jindal, Lyndsay S Baines, Deena Mehjabeen

Diasporas are organized groups motivated by common cultural, ideological, political and religious values and common concerns for their countries of origin. Diaspora diplomacy has gained prominence worldwide, particularly in India, spurred by harrowing images of deaths and devastation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A new generation of diaspora professionals modeled as social entrepreneurs uses collaborative and non-profit models to establish relationships with their counterparts to facilitate medical services and research. Teleradiology and telepsychiatry facilitate communication between diaspora members and their counterparts. We propose a common telehealth platform to standardize advice given by the Indian diaspora in the Global North as protocols change rapidly in acute pandemics. Consideration should be given to the well-known digital divide in India and other low- and middle-income countries. We advocate for diaspora members to train themselves in the art of global health diplomacy, to promote transparency and accountability in the collection of funds and a mandatory provision of outcome measurement by independent monitors rather than through social media. In the long run, Indian-Americans should play an active role in strengthening the domain of public health, which has historically been neglected in India, by focusing on the country's long-term infrastructure needs. The lessons learned from various diaspora efforts should be independently evaluated and recorded as best practice for future pandemics and humanitarian crises.



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International Health




Oxford University Press (OUP)



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  • Published version


  • eng

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Journal Article

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  • School of Allied Health Outputs