The goal of the impact evaluation was to assess the success of the activities conducted under the “Compatriots programme 2009–2013” and to recommend additional activities that would help expatriates retain and strengthen their ties with Estonia, with the Estonian language and culture. During the study, document analysis was conducted (documents related to the programme, other local studies and analyses, including studying the practices of other countries and migration theories) in addition to focus groups, in-depth interviews and an extensive online survey among the target groups of the programme. Additionally, a general survey was conducted to describe the diaspora, one of the goals of which was to get an overview of where the descendants of Estonians and Estonian expatriates reside abroad, their current citizenship, reasons for migrating, life satisfaction, attitudes and views on migration, their involvement and ties with Estonia and so forth.

The goal of the Compatriots programme (2009-2013 ) was to support the conservation and development of Estonian identity outside of Estonia, that is, to support the preservation of the Estonian language and culture of the compatriots residing abroad, as well as their feelings of unity and return to Estonia. The main activities of the programme were to support Estonian language teaching and learning in Estonian foreign schools; to support expatriates’ studies in Estonia; to support the preservation of Estonian culture abroad and expatriates’ feelings of unity; to support the collection, preservation and publication of expatriates’ cultural heritage; and to encourage their migration back to Estonia.