Technology, Innovation and Experimentation in the Refugee Sector


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In this panel we invite papers reflecting on how financial and digital technologies are transforming refugee governance in different geographical regions and humanitarian contexts. Researchers have observed how the expansion of digital technologies into the refugee sector is, on the one hand, empowering refugees and, on the other, enhancing new modes of control and surveillance. But initiatives in refugee sites, such as hotspots, camps, registration centres and protection procedures, such as the asylum procedure, remain highly variable. In this panel, we would like to highlight the commonalities and diversity of technology and innovation experiments in humanitarian aid towards refugees. We are particularly interested in the different types of financial, technological and digital experiments such as debit cards as part of various cash assistance programs, digital apps, maps, digital information hubs and remote interviews within camps, integration centres and the asylum system.

Session 1
Chair: Hanna Ruszczyk
Discussant: Karen Peachey
9:00 - 10:30 in Paris

Interoperability Challenges in the Humanitarian Sector
Shirin Madon and Emrys Schoemaker

Digitalization in Humanitarian Response: Biometric Practices of International Humanitarian Organizations
Caglar Acikyildiz
In person

Redefining Pedagogy & Technology in Refugee Camps: Programming and App Development by Refugees
Olivier Arvisais
In person

Faith actors and the use of blockchain for cash distribution in refugee/IDP camps
Susanna Trotta

Session 2
Chair: Lauren Martin
Discussant: Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert
11:00 – 12:30 in Paris

Digital Colonialism, the Tech Saviour Complex and Increased Technological Solutions in Refugee and Asylum Management
Lucia Nalbandian

Imagining Humanitarian Assistance Anew: Innovation, Informality and Experimental Humanitarianism
Rosanne Anholt, MSc. and Marijn Hoijtink
In person

Turning Refugees into Migrants. Transit, Dependency and Technological Disruptions in the Greek Asylum System
Aila Spathopolou

Session 3
Chair: Aila Spathopolou
Discussant: Lauren Martin
16:00 - 17:30 in Paris

Digital refugee lawyering: risk, legal knowledge, and accountability
Kristin Bergtora Sandvik
In person

Digital identity, biometrics and inclusion in Jordan’s refugee response
Kerrie Holloway
In person

Technology development and implementation for refugees: Going beyond data analytics and digital diagnostics
Muhammad Zaman

Cash on the Move
Qundeel Khattak and Julia Grasset

Date(s) & Time(s)

November 3rd, 2021
09:00 (GMT +1)
Amphithéâtre Albert Sorel
Session has ended.

November 3rd, 2021
11:00 (GMT +1)
Amphithéâtre Albert Sorel
Session has ended.

November 3rd, 2021
16:00 (GMT +1)
Amphithéâtre Albert Sorel
Session has ended.

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Aila Spathopoulou
Hanna Ruszczyk