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Researchers / Writer

  • UNHCR Geneva Switzerland (map)

Connectivity for Refugees is an initiative by UNHCR Innovation Service to develop a practical roadmap towards bridging the digital divide and connecting those who are currently not connected, ensuring that all refugees, regardless of age, gender and diversity, have the ability to fully participate in the digital revolution that is taking place globally.

Introduction to CfR research and future of forced displacement

Within the effort to drive Connectivity for Refugees, the research component serves as a crucial precursor to deepen our understanding of the complexity of connectivity to practical efforts to bring the internet to the doorsteps of affected communities. We work with traditional approaches such as anthropology, but also explore relevant themes from studies of communication, transnationalism, exclusion, privacy, inequality, and interlinked resilience, among other areas.

The objective of this research agenda is to provide a comprehensive outlook on connectivity, from different angles and different perspectives, to understand how connectivity intersects with other domains and fields. Some of the key questions driving this research include the following: How does connectivity influence decision-making processes? What happens when connectivity is harmful? Will new infrastructures create more or fewer risks to socio-economic systems?  How can we align ourselves today to meet a more nuanced future if personal technology, connectivity is used increasingly to fringe upon the rights, values, and privacy of our communities?

Objectives for Research Brief consultancy

To collaborate with UNHCR’s Innovation Service on research briefs (including a literature review, an overview of key research areas,) related, but not limited, to the following forced displacement and connectivity for refugees thematics:

  1. Digital ecosystems:  The Service is interested in understanding how systems and infrastructures and social interventions interlink and explore how UNHCR can approach interventions in these systems to minimise system failures, and encourage resilience;

  2. Inclusion and inequality in the digital space through gender, race, and ability: Looking at the right to connectivity through diversity and inclusion lenses, exploring the nuances of access, understanding inequalities in a connected society;

Cybersecurity and privacy: Understanding the tension between connectivity/technology as a force for good and a force that, today or in the future, may undermine rights, values, and privacy of the displaced.

For more information and to apply, please click here.