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March 17 @ 12:00 CET

Royal Holloway, University of London
Thematic Workshop
Digital technologies are both a lifeline and an increasing source of concern for migrants around the world. While these technologies can help address the many inequalities migrants face, they can also exacerbate such inequalities and create new ones. This session will feature an interactive discussion on our digital intervention-research with migrants, migrant organisations and digital tech companies supported by international organisations such as IOM, UNESCO, ILO and GSMA as part of a larger project, Migration for Development and Equality (MIDEQ, http://www.mideq.org), focused on “the complex and multi-dimensional relationships between migration and inequality in the context of the Global South”.

The session will critically examine ‘what migrants want’ in relation to the use of digital technologies as opposed to the numerous apps that are supposedly designed for them. Building on our ongoing research (see https://ict4d.org.uk/technology-inequality-and-migration/) which suggests that migrants rarely use or trust such apps, we will explore how co-design with migrants can help ensure digital interventions that can usefully address migrant-defined inequalities. We will showcase our efforts in Nepal and South Africa undertaken with the direct involvement of migrants, migrant organisations and advocacy groups, and local digital tech companies with the support of relevant international organisations such as GSMA, IOM, ILO and UNESCO.

Our intervention work is based on three key principles:
• There is nothing inherently good about digital tech; our digital intervention should do no harm.
• Digital interventions can have unintended social consequences; we will therefore work ‘with’ migrants, and not ‘for’ or ‘on’ them.
• We will use participatory methods in our work with migrants, migrant organisations, local tech developers and other stakeholders.

This interactive session, which aligns with WSIS Action Lines C3, C4, C5, C7(iii, iv,v), C8 and C10, will highlight our digital interventions from Nepal and South Africa using short-form videos ‘created by migrants for migrants’ as a framing device for the discussion. The session will consist of a series of themed short-form videos followed by a moderated discussion around each theme involving speakers from both academia (Royal Holloway, University of London / UNESCO Chair in ICT4D) and practice. The themes highlight inequalities faced by migrants and how digital tech can meaningfully address them as well as how digital tech can support personal life choices, offer networking opportunities, and become a peer-to-peer learning tool. The safe and wise use of digital tech by migrants and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing will serve as overarching themes for the workshop.

The session is being convened by the MIDEQ team based at Royal Holloway, University of London.

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March 17
12:00 CET
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