Another way of 'going local': Engaging the diaspora in development

    As World Vision continues to move away from hiring expat staff, the organization is now focused on attracting the diaspora to work in their home countries.

    The new “local plus” package helps make this decision easier for those candidates who want to return home, said Myles Harrison, senior director of operations for the aid group in East Africa.

    The package targets people with regional travel responsibilities who may have been working internationally due to attractive compensation plans. While the package may not offer all of the same benefits as expat deals, it allows the diaspora to return to their home country comfortably.

    “Overall this will not only save World Vision money, but make sure people can bring the skills and experience they’ve learned elsewhere back and still share that across the region,” said Harrison, who also noted that while the “local plus” package could potentially cause tension among some local staff, those eligible would have additional responsibilities so the higher compensation and benefits are justified.

    At the same time, the organization is investing heavily in its local staff through training both on site and in other offices. Yearly salary surveys ensure that World Vision always continues to adjust its plans in order to stay competitive, said Harrison.

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    About the author

    • Kelli Rogers

      Kelli Rogers is an Associate Editor for Devex. Based on the U.S. West Coast, she works with Devex's team of correspondents and editors around the world, with a particular focus on gender. She previously worked as Devex’s Southeast Asia correspondent based in Bangkok, covering disaster and crisis response, resilience, women’s rights, and climate change throughout the region. Prior to that, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.