The Study

A divide is emerging between refuges with access to mobile applications and the internet, and those without. Over a quarter of the world’s refugees live in Sub-Saharan Africa yet most mobile applications developed for refugees target those hosted in Europe and the Middle East.

At Samuel Hall, we received a research grant from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) to explore how refugees traveling within East Africa use mobile technology and the internet to support migration, and to what extent current mobile tech solutions meet their needs.

Conducted over six months, the study took place in Kenya and Uganda, home to some 1.7 million refugees. Both countries are two of the largest refugee hosts in the East and Horn of Africa (alongside Ethiopia and Sudan) and positioned at the nexus of regional migration.

This micro-site presents some of the studies main findings and takes a step towards deciphering the degree to which mobile phone coverage, access to smartphones, awareness of mobile-based services and technical literacy affect the role mobile technology can play in supporting refugees hosted in East Africa.