First assignment of group n° 118


First description of our project

Innovative solutions for solving the Brain Drain problem

1. What Problem do you want to solve ?

We want to find a way to start solving the brain drain issue in developing countries. Brain drain is defined as the migration of scientific personnel in search of a better standard of living and quality of life. It is based on the wish to have higher salaries, to have access to more advanced technologies and more stable social and political conditions of living. After our first researches we wanted to narrow our project to medical professionals on the African continent. Our project is to find a way to deal with the brain drain process through education and prevention. The notions of proximity, policies, patriotism and means will be important.

2. Why does this problem exist?

Even if people are willing to help their country improving the attraction is elsewhere. Why is the attraction elsewhere? In these countries there are major economical, social and political issues that induce brain drain. People who want to make high studies and/or to have good professional perspectives leave their country for developed ones. Indeed, working conditions and wages are usually more attractive than in their own countries, so they are not willing to go back home. Economic cleavages are still visible. Finding a job as well as evolving through their careers can be much easier in developed countries. People are more likely to put their personal or individual interests before the common ones. Emotional and cultural attachments can also have an effect on their wish to stay abroad. In fact we are mainly talking about people that studied or will study in a foreign country. This time of their lives is about building their own personality, which can link them deeply to their new environment. However, it wouldn’t be fair to blame those people for wanting to leave since we are living in a more and more globalized world, with the need to reach and be interested in many different cultures and experiences. What are the consequences of such migrations, especially concerning the educational sector? What can of policies can be adopted to have a real impact on the brain drain process? Is there any way but money to motivate people?

3. What breakthrough are you commited to creating?

The brain drain is an important factor of the underdevelopment. To solve this problem, we could find an innovative way to convince medical intellectuals to stay or to come back to their home countries, and motivate the ones that have already leave their country to keep on sharing their knowledge to the ones who stay in their home country. We are willing to create a social link between local people and medical intellectuals who are leaving the country in order to raise awareness among those intellectuals, based on incentives, consciousness-raising and preventive aspects. Moreover, people need to be aware of the brain drain’s issue. Our aim for this action, which is meant to be sustainable, is to have an impact through the generations on a deep level. Then, we must add that we don’t want to motivate medical intellectuals through money. As we explain above, we just want to raise their consciousness. Thanks to our preventive and incentive campaigns they will take the decision themselves to stay or come back.

Potential experts already identified

Criteria used to identify experts:
We need persons who know well the Brain Drain problem, who have studied this subject, who have made some researches on this one. Moreover, we need people who are working on projects linked to brain drain problems. The localisation of the expert isn’t a criterion of selection to us, on the contrary we think that reaching professionals from many different places would be more adequate.
Then, in addition to experts in Brain drain field, we need people who are experts in social innovation. Indeed, we think that people who work on social innovation projects know how to implement an innovation and they know how to study and work on social problems, as brain drain.

First expert:
Cecily ODEEN-DEFORT, lecturer in Lille 2. Her fields of researches are international migrations, brain drain , human capital…
Université de Lille
Faculté des Sciences Juridiques, Politiques et Sociales
1, Place Déliot - BP 629
59024 LILLE Cedex
Phone. : +33 (0)3 20 90 75 18 (fac)

We decided to choose Cecily ODEEN-DEFORT as an expert since she is an expert in brain drain field and moreover she is based in Lille.

Second expert :
Liliana Simionescu

She is a specialist of the program Brain Gain Initiative implemented in 2003 by UNESCO and HP. The goal of the BGI is to develop several projects, using innovative technology to create a “brain gain” for regions that are particularly impacted by the exodus of academics and scientists.
We deeply think that she have to be one of our experts since she is working on innovative projects in order to fight against brain drain in developing or under-developed countries.

Third expert :
Abdeslam Marfouk
Téléphone : 081468444
E-mail :

We have decided to choose Mr Abdeslam Marfouk because he has a strong knowledge about the brain drain from African countries thanks to many researches during these years. Moreover he is a doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D), Economics and has worked on “The international migration: Measurement and Analysis of its determinants.” His research focuses mainly on international migration. Dr Marfouk has authored a number of research reports, books chapters and articles in international journals in the field of international migration. His knowledge about the environment of African countries will help us to analyze the situation in order to find solutions to fight against brain drain.

Resources used by the team

Benoit Morel

Book : La fuite des cerveaux : exil forcé ou exil doré ?, de Anne Bernard-Grouteau


Marine Kuhn

Book : La fuite des cerveaux africains: Le drame d'un continent réservoir, de Gaston-Jonas Kouvibidila
Barthélémy, A. et Slitine, R. (2011), Entrepreneuriat social : innover au service de l'intérêt général, Editions Vuibert


Lorna Parent

Book : Govindarajan, V. and Trimble, C. (2012), Reverse Innovation: create far from home, win everywhere, Harvard Business Review Press


Mathilde Bonhomme

Book : Von Weizsacker, E.U., Hargroves, C., Smith, M.H., Desha, C. and Stasinopoulos, P. (2009), Factor Five: Transforming the Global Economy through 80% Improvements in Resource Productivity, Routledge


Elodie Charles

Book : Fuite des cerveaux et inégalités entre pays, de Frédéric Docquier


Clément Vannicatte

Book : Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success, by Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Carolyn Buck Luce


Christine Tep

Book : Géoéconomie 2010/2 (n° 53) : Les batailles du savoir