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Institutional Reform and Diaspora EntrepreneursThe In-Between Advantage$
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Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190278229

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190278229.001.0001

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“Development is the Golden Word”

“Development is the Golden Word”

Coptic Orphans and the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt

(p.68) 4 “Development is the Golden Word”
Institutional Reform and Diaspora Entrepreneurs

Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates how diaspora institutional entrepreneurs can reform social institutions and effectively overcome institutional decoupling. Nermien Riad is a US-based Copt and founder and CEO of the international development NGO Coptic Orphans. She aims to deepen and institutionalize the Coptic Church’s stated aim of reforming its social support programs from welfare to development and to persuade the Church to engage more systematically with the Coptic diaspora. I briefly describe the Coptic Orthodox Church, its dramatic reform in the twentieth century, and its evolving diaspora and development agendas. The next section describes Nermien Riad and Coptic Orphans’ origins, programming, and impacts on the Church and society. The next sections present a personality profile of Riad as an entrepreneur, and assess Riad’s and Coptic Orphan’s work as a diaspora institutional entrepreneur experience.

Keywords:   development, Copts, Egypt, Coptic Orthodox Church, decoupling, welfare, diaspora

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