ICT-enabled Refugee Integration: A Research Agenda

Safa'a AbuJarour, Manuel Wiesche, Antonio Diaz Andrade, Jane Fedorowicz, Hanna Krasnova, Sebastian Olbrich, Chee-Wee Tan, Cathy Urquhart, Viswanath Venkatesh

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The recent phenomenon that has become known as the European refugee crisis is, in reality, a global problem. Accordingly, issues regarding refugee integration have become a central debate topic worldwide. In this paper, we examine how refugees use information and communication technology (ICT) in different regions across the world to understand how ICT supports their desperate journey to safety, their stay in temporary settlement camps, and their post-settlement inclusion in host countries. We conducted a series of interviews with Syrian refugees in Berlin, Germany, to collect preliminary insights. Then, we organized panel discussions at two key information systems conferences (ICIS 2016 and ECIS 2017) that involved participants from various countries. The panel discussions revealed seven key research themes: accessibility to information, availability of education and linguistic resources, admissibility to labor markets and entrepreneurship opportunities, communicability with home country, connectedness with local population, interactivity with host government, and volunteer coordination. We discuss how ICT might help to address issues related to each theme, present research questions relevant to each theme, and supply an illustration of how ICT has been employed to address an aspect of each theme. Insights gathered lead to theoretical implications and future opportunities for research in the information systems field, practical implications for different stakeholders interested in refugee integration to consider, and social implications related to refugee crisis that we cannot ignore.
Original languageEnglish
Article number40
JournalCommunications of the Association for Information Systems
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)874–891
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • ICT
  • Refugees
  • Social inclusion
  • Integration

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