Financial Inclusion and Digital Connectivity in Refugee Governance

The GLiTCH Project (Governing Life through Technology, Connectivity and Humanitarianism) examines trends and transformations in refugee governance, looking at debit cards for cash assistance and digital connectivity initiatives. It focuses on Jordan, Lebanon, Greece and the United Kingdom to study the agenda of techno-humanitarianism in countries that have different migratory, connectivity, and financial profiles. 

Arguably, debit cards have been praised for changing humanitarian aid by allowing both implementers and recipients greater flexibility in providing for basic needs. However, little research has been done on how digital technologies and debit cards change the relationships between the various actors in the field of humanitarian aid, including refugees, donors, governments, inter-governmental agencies, NGOs, aid workers, and the private sector.  

Similarly, the promotion of refugees’ connectivity as a form of digital citizenship (and as a route to more effective and inclusive programming) has been expanding within the practices of the humanitarian aid sector. This research looks at how techno-solutionist narratives about refugees’ connectivity map onto the infrastructures, services, and uses of Internet connectivity in the four countries.  

Research Team: Glenda Garelli, Nadine Hassouneh, Lauren Martin, Aila Spathopolou, Martina Tazzioli, Hanna Ruszczyk 

Project website