Workshop: Centering Refugees, Migrants, and Asylum Seekers Experiences in Digitalization and Datafication

The workshop

Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) and related fields of research are advocating for comprehensive investigations into the role of data and data-driven technologies to ensure responsible and appropriate usage within the context of migration, particularly for refugees and asylum seekers - a domain, set to be fundamentally reformed by data-driven technologies. The growing production of new types of data about refugees and asylum seekers presents authorities with novel opportunities to incorporate such data in their decision-making processes. Similarly, the ways through which refugees and asylum seekers are seeking information about healthcare, education, housing, peer support and other services is increasingly being done in online and digital spaces. As such, this workshop aims to center the experience of refugee and asylum seeking experiences across migration related information systems in order to unpack the ways through which digitalization and datafication impacts/transforms their daily lives and vice versa.
Find the full workshop proposal here.

Call for Papers

We invite anyone interested in participating to submit a two to four-page position paper (or equivalent material such as e.g. zines) that addresses the workshop themes (see below). We encourage you to discuss your interest in the themes, welcoming reports of (preliminary) empirical results, theoretically oriented pieces, as well as methodological reflections. We also welcome submissions reflecting on questions related to datafication, digitization, and migration that we have not listed in our themes. Submissions will be reviewed by the organisers and accepted based on the relevance and development of their chosen topic, as well as participants’ potential to contribute to the workshop. We will have two submission deadlines, to allow for early bird registration to the CSCW conference (see important dates below).

If you have any questions, please reach out to Firaz Peer (firazpeer@uky.edu).

Please use the link to the Google form below for your submission:

Submit Position Paper

Important Dates

  • Early bird submission deadline: August 10, 2023 AoE
  • Early bird notification by August 20, 2023

  • Final submission deadline: September 15, 2023 AoE
  • Final notification by September 25, 2023

  • Pre-workshop preparation package by October 10, 2023
  • Workshop at CSCW October 14 or 15, 2023

Workshop Themes

  • How do new digital technologies and changing data practices in resettlement impact the daily lives of refugees?
  • How might we re-design or transform digital technologies and data practices to better support refugees through fluctuating arrival cycles?
  • What additional challenges are introduced and can be anticipated from the increasing use of "intelligent" technologies in resettlement processes (e.g. for profiling, monitoring, predicting etc.)?
  • How are asylum decision-makers and resettlement agencies’ data work being transformed when new types of data or new types of data processing technologies (e.g. pre-trained machine learning models) are introduced? And, What are the possible (democratic) consequences of such transformations?
  • What processes and technologies can we design to better support equitable access to reliable, timely information and inclusive online services (e.g. in health, education etc.)
  • How might we design technologies that afford agency to displaced people within an increasingly datafied reality?

Workshop Activities (Tentative)

The workshop will be clustered around 3-4 themes that we observe in the submissions we receive. Workshop participants and keynote speakers will present their work as a dialog within each thematic cluster. Each keynote presentation will be between 30-40 minutes and participant presentations will be 5 minutes each. The tentative schedule is suggested below. We will update this section once we have a list of participants and confirmed keynote speakers.

Time Activity
09:00 AM - 09:10 AM Introduction
09:10 AM - 10:30 AM Keynote 1 and participant presentations
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM Break
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Keynote 2 and participant presentations
12:00 PM - 01:30 PM Lunch Break
01:30 PM - 02:30 PM Keynote 3 and participant presentations
02:30 PM - 03:00 PM Wrap-up and next steps

Workshop Organisers

  • Firaz Peer is an Assistant Professor of Information Communication Technology in University of Kentucky's School of Information Science. As part of his research, he studies issues of accountability, justice, care, and equity that manifest when building, using, and maintaining algorithmic and data infrastructures with marginalized communities. He does this by combining participatory and design based research methods with scholarship from Human Computer Interaction and Science & Technology Studies.

  • Trine Rask Nielsen is a PhD student at the Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen and part of the Confronting Data Co-lab. Her PhD research is grounded in the research fields Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) and Critical Data Studies and is part of the DATA4ALL project. She is interested in understanding the technology-supported (collaborative) work practices and the workflows that support the asylum procedure. She investigates the social context surrounding how data about displaced individuals applying for asylum are produced, stored, and shared by and across different asylum actors, and used to inform asylum decisions.

  • Kristin Kaltenhäuser is a PhD student at the Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen and part of the Confronting Data Co-lab. Her interdisciplinary research spans the fields of data science, CSCW and critical data studies and data feminism. Taking a participatory approach, her research evolves around grounded sense-making of data in asylum decision-making in the Nordic countries, focusing especially on marginalized groups and outliers in the data. Her PhD is part of the NoRDASiL (Nordic Refugee Determination: Advancing Data Science in Migration Law) project.

  • Vasilis Vlachokyriakos is a Reader (Associate Professor) of Human-Computer Interaction and Digital Civics at Open Lab, Newcastle University, School of Computing and co-founder of Open Lab Athens. Vasilis' work centres on designing technologies for civic participation through participatory and action-led research. The work aims at the development of systems for collaborative service provision. Vasilis is currently an investigator on the EPSRC Centre for Digital Citizens and on the EPSRC Agency projects.

  • Naja Holten Møller is an Associate Professor in the Software, Data, People & Society section, Department of Computer Science, at University of Copenhagen -- and the founder of the Confronting Data Co-Lab (www.confrontingdata.dk). She holds a PhD in Computer-Supported Cooperative Work from the IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Møller is currently a co-investigator in the "Public Administration and Computational Transparency in Algorithms (PACTA)" research project as well as the "Data for Asylum Legal Landscaping (DATA4ALL) research project.

  • Reem Talhouk is an Assistant Professor in Design and Global Development at the School of Design, Northumbria University. She is also the co-director of the Design Feminisms Research Group and the Community Action & Innovation Lead of the Global Development Futures hub. Here research has centred around Design, Technology and Migration and draws on feminist, participatory and decolonial understandings.