Alumni Associations as Transnational Actors

This case study led by Maruja M. B. Asis will focus on alumni associations as transnational actors linking migrants and their home country and the extent or potential for these associations to promote alternative economies, values and social relationships.

Overseas Filipinos are known for forming a variety of associations in destination countries.  Place-based ties, i.e., hometown, provincial or regional, have given rise to numerous Filipino associations.  This is a tendency that is not unique to Filipinos.  Hometown associations (HTAs) have received much attention in the literature, particularly in discussions concerning migrant giving or philanthropy.  The tres-por-uno program forged between hometown associations and their home communities in Mexico has animated discussions and debates on the role of the diaspora as partners in local development.  Scholars Orozco and Garcia-Senello (2009) have noted that the effectiveness of HTAs as development actors needs to be evaluated against four criteria: ownership, correspondence in how HTAs and origin communities define needs, sustainability and replicability.

The study will examine select alumni associations of Filipinos in Canada and university alumni relations offices in the Philippines to understand the factors motivating the formation of associations, existing projects, and the decision-making process regarding philanthropic and volunteer endeavors to their universities (and beyond).