Accepted paper:

Connected refugees: Opportunities and barriers for refugees using mobile devices and the internet in East Africa

Authors:

Benjamin Hounsell (Strathmore University )

Paper short abstract:

Based on research conducted in refugee settlements in Kenya and Uganda, this talk will explore how mobile connectivity impacts the migration and settlement of refugees in East Africa and the opportunities for the delivery of new digital services this presents.

Paper long abstract:

Mobile phones, especially smartphones, provide a gateway through which refugees fleeing conflict or persecution communicate with friends and family and access vital, sometimes lifesaving information. Poor cellphone coverage and the absence of 3G (data) presents significant challenges for refugees migrating within East Africa. Similar connectivity challenges are also faced within the refugee settlements of host countries in the region. Based on research conducted in refugee settlements in Kenya and Uganda, this talk will explore how mobile connectivity impacts the migration and settlement of refugees, as well as smartphone penetration amongst refugees in selected settlements and opportunities for the delivery of new digital services this presents.

panel D01
Digital inequalities and development (Paper)