The idea of this "Mousebook" a handbook mainly disseminated online
grew out of Infocon, a research project funded by the European
Commission under the Seventh Framework programme for Research
and Development. While research on diasporas and transnational
communities has been relatively extensive, little is known about
the civil society organizations that grow out these communities.
Despite their often small size, these organizations contribute
significantly to building links between countries of origin and
countries of settlement. They have a key role to play in peace
building initiatives in these two locations and in the development
process of their home countries.
Nevertheless, transnational community organizations face great challenges in their everyday activities, related to their transnational nature and sometimes limited size, their relations with the local and national authorities in the country of settlement and the high internal diversity of members of the transnational communities they wish to represent.
This Mousebook describes and analyses some of these challenges to their peace building and development activities. It also presents the ways in which the civil society organizations involved in the Infocon project have been trying to deal with them. Instead of prescribing one-size- ts-all formulas, it is hoped that discussing specific examples and celebrating successes will foster a better understanding of the work of transnational community organizations. The book helps them to imagine and set their own path through the various traps and quagmires as well as opportunities that lie ahead.