Diaspora Return: Implications for Somalia

Led by Cindy Horst
Aug 2013 - Jun 2015

​​​​​​​​​After decades of violence and instability in Somalia, a notable number of the Somali diaspora community living in Norway, the United States and elsewhere have begun to return to Somalia.  Through return migration, members of the diaspora can transmit new understandings of governance, community life and economic development to members of their social networks in Somalia and institutions both within Somalia and in neighboring countries. The project addresses three questions:

  1. How does the Somali diaspora involve itself in Somalia through short-term, cyclical or more permanent return to the region?
  2. What is the impact of this involvement on peace and stability in the three Somali regions? 
  3. What specific role do diaspora youth and women play?


The research consists of qualitative data collection within the Somali diaspora communities in Norway (Oslo) and the United States (Twin Cities, Minnesota), in addition to data from return migrants in Somaliland, Puntland and South/Central Somalia. 

Project par​tners:
The Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS​)​​
Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota​​​




Research Groups


Non-refereed Journal Article

Horst, Cindy (2015) Somalia’s hope for the future? The return of young Diaspora Somalis, Horn of Africa Bulletin 27(5): 12–17.

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