Consumer advocacy for refugees and communications technology: highlights from Mind the Gap

Network Insight
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Record of the Communications Policy & Research Forum 2011, 2011, pp. 301 - 308
Issue Date:
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This paper will give an overview of how refugees technology use has previously been studied. It will further demonstrate how the recent Mind the Gap project funded by ACCAN is a pioneering piece of research that provides insight into a marginalised group of technology consumers about which little is known, and who are under-represented in studies of technology consumers. The Mind the Gap research project extends an earlier pilot study by the author (Leung, Finney Lamb, Emrys 2009) which examined asylum seekers and refugees uses of technology in situations of displacement, including refugee camps. It was also one of the first studies to explore technology access and use inside immigration detention centres. A key finding of the pilot study was the fundamental role of telephony in the lives of refugees and asylum seekers in sustaining precarious connections with family members and subsequently, their overall emotional wellbeing. This was the basis for focusing on the telecommunications landscape, products and services in Mind the Gap
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