Refugee-led Initiatives at the Time of COVID-19: Exploring New Forms of Digital Information, Assistance and Livelihood
Funded by a British Academy Special Research Grant on COVID-19
ICTs are reshaping our lives not only under normal circumstances, but increasingly so in crises. The COVID-19 virus does not discriminate by race, gender or status, but not everyone has been impacted in the same way by the crisis; migrant and refugee communities living in cities have been disproportionally affected. Within refugee studies, little research explores refugees’ livelihoods, well-being, and support in relation to digitalisation. This leaves a gap in multiple agendas for refugees that risks leaving them further behind at the time of COVID-19. In this small research project we explore the existence of, potential for, and barriers to digital information, assistance and livelihood through a further under-researched phenomenon: the support provided to refugees through initiatives and organisations led by refugees. This research project aims to better understand the impact of the pandemic on new digitally mediated support in three cities: London, Berlin, and Nairobi.