PhD Defence Malika Ouacha

Representing both worlds, the East and the West, Malika saw a significant gap in the existing literature about a phenomenon she observed among her peers and herself: living in one country while engaging in philanthropic activities in their ancestral homeland. This curiosity fueled her decision to pursue a PhD, seeking a comprehensive understanding of this complex phenomenon. In her dissertation, Receiving by Giving: The Examining of Cross-Border Diasporic and Bi-cultural Philanthropy, ERIM’s Malika Ouacha zoomed into the context of the Netherlands to examine the cross-border diasporic and bi-cultural philanthropy. Morocco was taken as an example of a homeland of diaspora and bi-cultural groups and as representative of one side of the spectrum of Western and non-Western countries, cultures, religions and civilizations. Malika's research showed that diasporic philanthropy is about much more than mere support of the homeland. Instead, the dissertation underscored the impact of cultural identity, intercultural traditions of giving behaviour, and multi-cultural civil society in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. As a result, Malika's work concluded that voluntary and philanthropic energy through diaspora and bi-cultural groups can form invaluable bridges for international business. However, businesses and practitioners must first understand what drives these groups constantly towards the homeland and the Global South as a whole in order to form successful collaborations with them. 

Malika defended her dissertation in the Senate Hall at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) on Thursday, 8 February at 13:00. Her supervisors were Prof. dr. Lucas Meijs (EUR) and Dr. Kees Biekart (EUR). Other members of the Doctoral Committee were Prof. dr. Ram Cnaan (University of Pennsylvania), Prof. dr. Muel Kaptein (EUR), and Dr. Lesley Hustinx (Ghent University).

About Malika Ouacha

Malika Ouacha (she/her) was born on May 18th, 1993 in Alkmaar, the Netherlands. Her academic career started with a BSc in Social Work from INHolland University of Applied Sciences. She combined the last year with a MA in Cultural and Social Anthropology at the Université Cadi Ayyad Marrakech in Morocco while also volunteering at École Arrête Travaux D’Enfants, where she taught English, French and social skills to orphans. When she returned to the Netherlands, Malika graduated with her BSc and continued with her MSc in Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. She wrote her thesis on the process of home-making in a traditional Amazigh tribe in South-East Morocco. Soon after graduation, she joined the Dutch Institute of Morocco (NIMAR) in Rabat, which is part of the cultural and educational attaché of the Dutch Embassy in Morocco. Together with Prof. Dr. Harry Stroomer she taught Tachelhiyt classes to Dutch students of the University of Leiden. She continued her passion for philanthropy as the program manager of Giving Back Netherlands while starting her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2018. Due to the change of focus in her dissertation in 2020, Malika transitioned her dissertation to the Rotterdam School of Management, where she joined the part-time PhD program under the supervision of prof.dr. Lucas Meijs and dr. Kees Biekart, who is positioned at the International Institute of Social Sciences, Erasmus University (ISS). For a timeframe of three years, Malika worked as a lecturer and academic coordinator at the School of Socia Work of Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. Since September 2023, Malika joined the Rotterdam School of Management as a lecturer and researcher where she supervises Master theses students, coordinates and teaches the course on Personal Development, and continues her research on cross-border diasporic and bi-cultural philanthropy.

Thesis Abstract

Receiving by Giving is an interdisciplinary, intersectional and in-depth examination of cross-border diasporic and bi-cultural philanthropy embodied in a PhD manuscript. By taking the socio-geographical case study of the Netherlands and Morocco, the author explains the multi-layered cross-border philanthropy performed by (150 Dutch-Moroccan) diaspora and bi-cultural philanthropists from the country of residence to the homeland.

View photos of Malika's PhD Defence

Photos: Chris Gorzeman / Capital Images