How digital are refugees?

by Daniela Wolf

A study of betterplace-lab investigates how refugees use digital offers and what really helps. On the whole, the result of the study resonates with my experience of my work at welcomingtours.at:

  • Smartphones and Internet access are playing a big role for refugees and are of crucial importance.
  • Most of the Smartphones are Android devices.
  • They use of the Smartphone is focused on Messaging apps, mainly Facebook, Viber and What’s App.
  • Instant text Messages, voice calls and voice notes are widley used functions.
  • Especially refugees from less prosperous nations such as Afghanistan have only a feature phone/mobile phone instead of a Smartphone.
  • Familys share one device, which is commonly kept by the father, but used by the other family members too. Children and Teenagers are often the tech literate and heaviest users, showing their parents how to do it, or doing it for them.
  • E-Mail is not widely used because most refugees do not have an email address and when they have one, they check it infrequently.
  • Downloading new apps is not common behaviour, they surf mainly through a browser.
  • When they want to know something they will most seek answers from within their social Network rather than googling it.
  • Some of them, especially teens, teach themselves German by watching Videos on YouTube.

betterplace lab: Wie ICT in der Flüchtlingskrise hilft, 2016

Leave a Comment