Ingrid Boas, Assistant Professor at ENP, has been awarded a Veni grant under the NWO talent scheme for her research project called ‘Environmentally-related migration in the digital age’. The research project will start in October 2016.
The central aim of this research is to provide a fundamental understanding of the ways in which ICT-enabled information exchange shapes practices and flows of environmentally-related migration. Through ethnographic methods, the research will inductively build a novel conceptual framework that can demonstrate relations between ICT-usage, information exchange and practices of environmentally-related migration. This will also include an analysis of the content of the information exchanged via ICTs to examine how and to what degree migrants communicate about environmental events. This simultaneously provides a new method to identify the role that the environment plays in these migration processes compared to other socio-economic drivers of migration.
The research is conducted via two case-studies: Bangladesh and Kenya. In Bangladesh it is analyzed how ICT-enabled information exchange shapes migration in the context of floods and storms. In Kenya this is analyzed in the context of drought. Fieldwork will focus on migration in and from Barisal and Chittagong divisions in Bangladesh, and on migration in and from Baringo and Samburu counties in Kenya. This includes travelling with migrants to key sites, such as nearby cities and (cross)border villages, to study the role of ICT-enabled information exchange in their migration practices.