UNCTAD emphasizes needs to address braindrain

The UN Conference on Trade And Development (UNCTAD) Secretariat released the "Least Developed Countries Report 2007" highlighting the role of knowledge and technology in trade and development. The report also addresses the issue of braindrain and proposes a number of policy actions for destination and home countries and donors.

For destination countries:
• Favouring temporary entrance rather than permanent immigration;
• Establishing development assistance programmes that help LDCs to retain their professionals;
• Creating programmes of assistance for skilled emigrants returning to their home countries; and
• Refraining from recruiting LDC professionals with clear negative consequences for home countries.

For home countries:
• Retention - offer job opportunities, better working conditions and career paths
• Return - focus more on the short-term return of emigrants which can eventually lead to permanent return.
• Diaspora - maintaining contact with them and attracting them to specific activities and projects

For donors, international organizations:
• Supporting LDCs in attracting back emigrants;
• Providing assistance to LDCs in enhancing the gains from diaspora links; and
• Establishing regional initiatives that facilitate temporary movement of professionals so as to enable LDCs to benefit from brain circulation.

Click here for full report
Click here for Chapter 4 on International Emigration


The Guardian Unlimited (UK) also published an article on this report". Excerpt from the newspaper below:

"Seeking health care in Ethiopia can be a difficult task. For every hundred thousand people, only two doctors are available as many of the country's physicians flock to the west.

Many of the world's least developed countries are losing large parts of their already shallow pool of skilled professionals to western countries - hindering their ability to pull themselves out of poverty, a report by the UN said today.

The UN's development arm warned that countries such as Ethiopia could see their long-term growth prospects damaged if the "brain drain" is not addressed


The health sector, in particular, has suffered from a large loss of trained workers, which UNCTAD said often had a severe impact on the standard of service available to the poor.

In Bangladesh, 65% of all newly graduated doctors seek jobs abroad and the country loses 200 doctors from the government sector each year."