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The Project

Data and Displacement is a two-year project, which commenced on 1 October 2020. It is a multidisciplinary and international project, involving scholars from Nigeria, South Sudan and the UK who work across the academic disciplines of Data Science, Geography, International Relations, Law, Politics, Peace Studies and Sociology. It is also a transciplinary project that combines the academic and operational expertise of the research team.

The overarching aim of the project is to engage critically with data-driven humanitarian targeting, in a context where questions about the ethical and operational implications of this new form of data-based humanitarianism are pressing. The project's focus and objectives reflect our concern to engage with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) located within northern Nigeria and South Sudan, where our research is undertaken, as well as with diverse stakeholders in the field of data-driven humanitarian targeting. It asks four main research questions related to the production, use, operational and ethical dimensions of data-based humanitarian assistance:

  1. How do contextual factors shape the production of humanitarian data ecosystems?
  2. How effective is the use of data-based targeting for the provision of humanitarian assistance in practice?
  3. What operational challenges arise in the collation and use of large-scale quantitative and visual data for humanitarian assistance, and how can these be addressed?
  4. What ethical concerns emerge in the development of data-driven humanitarian assistance, and how can these be addressed?

Data and Displacement involves capacity building activities and proceeds on the basis of four work packages.