Digital Integration

The Role of Technology in the Integration and Social Inclusion of Refugees in Germany


Having the number of refugees around the world reaching disastrous proportions, there is a growing pressure to understand which measures are effective in promoting social inclusion of refugees in their new homes. Indeed, the current refugees’ crisis in Europe is distinguished by the high usage of technology by refugees, in particular smartphones and Social Media. Therefore, there is a growing hope in the power of Social Media and other Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in supporting integration processes. This observation sparked us to analyze this case aiming at deriving best practices and learnings that can be generalized and applied in other comparable situations leading to social inclusion and human well-being. Therefore, the project “Digital Integration” has been started as the project of my dissertation at the University of Potsdam since March 2016.

 

In this research topic, we have been applying research methods to investigate the use of ICT by the refugees in Germany. In particular, our ongoing research revolves around investigating the chances and challenges of smartphones and Social Media use by refugees with the goal of utilizing them to get integrated into the new hosting societies, and how ICT systems should be designed and culturally adapted to help the integration process and the social inclusion of the refugees.

I believe that ICT can play a crucial role in the integration process of the refugees, and also believe that the value of science and research is tackling current issues and coming up with innovative solutions to them following research methods. My goal for the PhD research is to employ research to come up with a scientific approach to interconnect the newcomers and locals’ society and bridge the gap between both cultures, which will support the integration process.

Contributing to this research project, I have been conducting empirical studies, in which I am running interviews as well as questionnaires with refugees in Berlin and Brandenburg to find out how ICT deployments are especially relevant to refugees’ integration.

More information on the project to be found here:

https://www.researchgate.net/project/Digital-Integration-The-Role-of-Technology-in-the-Social-Inclusion-of-the-Refugees

Follow our project on Research Gate:

https://www.researchgate.net/project/Digital-Integration-The-Role-of-Technology-in-the-Social-Inclusion-of-the-Refugees

Results of this ongoing research are published in the following research publications:

  • AbuJarour, S., Wiesche, M., Díaz Andrade, A., Fedorowicz, J., Krasnova, H., Olbrich, S., Tan, C.-W., Urquhart, C., Venkatesh, V. (forthcoming). “ICT-Enabled Refugee Integration: A Research Agenda.” Communications of the Association for Information Systems. In Press.
  • AbuJarour, S., Diaz Andrade, A., and Elgarah, W. (2019) “Digital Inclusion in Education, Work, and Society.” Track Proposal at the European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2020), June 15 – 17, 2020, in Marrakech, Morocco. 
  • AbuJarour, S., Ajjan, H., Fedorowicz, J., Köster, A. (2019). “Turning the Dark Side of Social Media Bright! The Case of Immigration in the USA and Germany.” Panel, 25th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), Cancun, 2019.
  • AbuJarour, S. (2019). “Smartphone App Adoption at Home and on the Move: The Case of Syrians.” In the 3rd AFU International Conference: Towards Advanced Scientific Knowledge (TASK2019) in Business Sciences, Dubai, UAE.
  • AbuJarour, S., Bergert, C., Gundlach, J., Köster, A., Krasnova, H. (2019). “Your Home Screen is Worth a Thousand Words”: Investigating the Prevalence of Smartphone Apps among Refugees in Germany.” 25th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), Cancun, 2019.
  • AbuJarour, S. (2018). “Digital Integration: The Role of ICT in Social Inclusion of Refugees in Germany.” Doctoral Consortium of the Twenty-Sixth European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2018), Portsmouth, UK, 2018.
  • AbuJarour, S., Krasnova, H. (2018). “E-Learning as a Means of Social Inclusion: The Case of Syrian Refugees in Germany.” Proceedings of the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2018), New Orleans, LA, August 16-18, 2018.
  • AbuJarour, S., Krasnova, H., Hoffmeier, F. (2018). “ICT as an Enabler: Understanding the Role of Online Communication in the Social Inclusion of Syrian Refugees in Germany.” Twenty-Sixth European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2018), Portsmouth, UK, 2018.
  • AbuJarour, S., Krasnova, H. (2017). “Understanding the Role of ICTs in Promoting Social Inclusion: The Case of Syrian Refugees in Germany.” European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2017), Guimarães, Portugal.
  • AbuJarour, S., Krasnova, H., Díaz Andrade, A., Olbrich, S., Tan, C.-W., Urquhart, C., Wiesche, M. (2017). “Empowering Refugees with Technology: Best Practices and Research Agenda.” Panel Proposal, European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2017), Guimarães, Portugal.
  • AbuJarour, S. Krasnova, H., Wenninger, H., Fedorowicz, J., Tan, C.-W., Urquhart, C., Venkatesh, V., (2016). “Leveraging Technology for Refugee Integration: How Can We Help?” Panel Proposal, International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2016), Dublin, Ireland.

My talk about Digital Integration at Volksbühne Berlin
As a guest lecturer, I participated in “Integrations: Four Sketches on Migratory Society” – A trans-disciplinary workshop convened by Dr.
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Presentation of my research papers at ECIS 2018 in Portsmouth, UK
In the Twenty-Sixth European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2018) that took place in Portsmouth, UK, 2018, I presented my research
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My research has been recognized by Potsdam University’s magazine: “Portal”
Credit of this news item belongs to: https://www.uni-potsdam.de/en/social-media-krasnova/news-socialmedia-datasciences/news-socialmedia-datasciences.html The University magazine “Portal” reports what is happening at the UP –
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