The situations of refugees vary widely across the globe—this is just one logistical barrier of many that creates difficulties in providing education and job opportunities to refugees. Discuss ways to overcome organizational and systemic problems in providing technological opportunities to refugees.
- How can organizations best reach refugee populations? When are these strategies affective? Do they apply to refugees in camps, urban refugees, and refugees who are undergoing resettlement?
- What structural barriers (ie, policy, lack of infrastructure, lack of technology available) are there in using digital technology when working with refugee populations? How can those be mitigated?
- How can education and job services reach multiple demographics (ie, a variety of ages, genders, language proficiencies, urban/camp refugees, etc.) in a population? What challenges stand in the way of reaching as many groups as possible?
Two challenges to reaching refugees include: access to wifi (and battery power) as well as creating materials in languages spoken by refugees.
Organizations creating tech-based solutions for refugees need to work with developers to build apps that can be accessed offline, while using minimal battery power. This often means sacrificing some design work and or best practices in online learning (ie, not including videos in online courses) but can make it so that newcomers can indeed access materials.
Translation is also a huge barrier. There is a huge lack of Arabic content on the web, and many websites and apps aren't able to recongize languages commonly spoken by newcomers, ie Nepali and Karen. AI is helping and in the next few years there may be huge leaps forward in providing materials in these languages. There are huge networks of volunteers who can support this and examples of apps doing really positive work, for example: https://www.tarjim.ly/