University -- "Cultural Continuity and Change among War-displaced
Southern Women in Northern Sudan"
University -- "Children of Lahore, Grandchildren of Delhi: Memory's
Role in the Formation of Political Loyalties, c. 1900-2000 AD"
University -- "Odelay: Revitalization of Hunting Societies
among War-Displaced Sierra Leonean Youth in Urban Gambia"
& Eric Werker
University -- "Evaluation of Economic Relief Interventions"
-- "The Integration of Burmese Youth as Monks through the Temples
of Bangkok: How has the Vow of Purity Functioned as a Coping Strategy
by Young Asylum-seekers"
-- "Local Integration in Protracted Refugee Situations: The Case of
Liberians in Côte d'Ivoire"
Karen Jacobsen, Prof. Peggy Levitt, and Sarah Wagner
Wellesley, Harvard -- "Perspectives on Transnational Membership: The
Political Activities of Congolese and Burundian Refugees in Camps
and Urban Areas"
-- "Ice Skating and Island Hopping: Refugees, Integration, and Access
in a Segregated City"
Masumbuko and Kiganzi Nyakato
-- "Resettlement of the Sudanese 'Lost Boys' from Kakuma Refugee Camp
in 17 States of the USA"
-- " The Political Factors Contributing to In-and Out-Migration in
Feinstein Famine Center, School of Nutrition,Tufts University
June to September 2002
Continuity and Change among War-displaced Southern Women in Northern
Partner: Mutawinat Group (Sudan)
This study seeks to examine patterns and processes of socio-cultural
continuity and change among war-displaced Southern women in Northern
Sudan. While my earlier research concentrated on the experiences of
displaced women in two shanty-towns, this ethnography will include two
major camps for the internally-displaced persons in Sudan: Jabal Awlia
and Karton Kassla. The distinction between shanty-towns and displaced
camps lies in the fact that the former underwent land allocation, a
process that shifted peoples' views about themselves from nazihin or
displaced people, to permanent residents and home owners. My basic hypothesis
is that greater levels of inter-ethnic mixing and cultural borrowing
take place in shanty-towns rather than camps, which enjoy less ethnic
diversity. Incorporating these camps in my research is critical for
comparing and contrasting the effects of residential patterns, ethnic
mixing, and length of residence on the cultural life of displaced people
in Northern Sudan. The experiences of Southern Sudanese women in shanty-towns
and displaced camps will deepen our understanding of the overall cultural
responses in times of violence, suffering, and human dislocation.
Department of History,Tufts University
Period of Study: September 2002 to May 2003
Children of Lahore, Grandchildren of Delhi: Memory's Role in the
Formation of Political Loyalties, c. 1900-2000 AD
National College of Arts (Lahore) and Kali for Women (Delhi)
of a national identity among refugees who crossed over during the Partition
of India will be this project's core concern. I am interested in the
role of memory in the development and transmission of loyalty toward
a nation-in-the-making. I will approach this question using a variety
of sources - doing both archival research and fieldwork in the academic
to do at least sixty interviews of Punjabi Hindus who were forcibly
moved from Lahore (in present day Pakistan) to Delhi during the Partition
of the subcontinent in 1947. These interviews will probe the meaning
of the individual's relationship to the state on matters pertaining
to health, housing, education, and political behavior. How were refugee
concerns dealt with by the forces of the state and how did this develop
their relationship to their new state? The interviewees will be men
and women chosen from a wide spectrum of social classes and localities.
To probe the meaning of nationalism across generations, I will also
interview the next generation of Punjabi Hindus who made Delhi their
undertake archival research and do interviews with Lahori Muslims in
Lahore to get a sense of the shared the life-worlds inhabited by these
Lahoris. I hope to take photographs of the urban landscape Lahori Hindus
left behind in 1947. The lanes, neighborhoods, temples, hospitals, schools
remain, in many cases, named as they were- only the inhabitants have
changed. Other source materials that I will examine include letters,
memoirs and accounts from newspapers.
continues to be evoked in the nationalist discourse of both India and
Pakistan in everyday news 55 years after the event. Yet the meaning
of the event, especially for those who were forced to move, has not
been analysed. This study hopes to fill in some of the silences in the
discourse. My 'NGO' partners will be the Graduate Program in Communication
and Cultural Studies at the National College of Arts in Lahore while
doing fieldwork and archival research in Lahore for three months. While
in Delhi doing fieldwork and research for eight months, I will be affiliated
with Kali for Women, a feminist publishing house. Some of the key members
of Kali for Women have researched the impact of Partition violence and
dislocation on women. I hope to learn from their experiences in fieldwork
and their perspectives on oral research methodology.
Department of Anthropology, Boston University
June to September 2002
Odelay: Revitalization of Hunting Societies among War-Displaced Sierra
Leonean Youth in Urban Gambia
UNHCR; Search for Common Ground (Liberia); National Council for the
Arts and Culture (Gambia)
research proposes that emulations of traditional Nigerian Yoruba young
men's hunting societies, called Odelay, represent the creation of a
Sierra Leonean urban ritual response to trauma in the face of low institutional
social support.1 My study focuses on how identity and ritual performance
are linked to Sierra Leoneans' chronic adjustment difficulties and profound
sense of separation from their own culture, a condition to which Eisenbruch
has coined the term "cultural bereavement" (Eisenbruch, 1991,
1992). I argue that the urban cultural heritage of Odelay societies'
therapeutic characteristics make them an ideal locus for examining the
wider social, political and psychological context of the Sierra Leonean
summer research will be conducted during four weeks in the cities of
Serekunda and Bakau, The Gambia and two weeks in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Collaborating NGOs include the National Council for the Arts and Culture
(NCAC) in Banjul and the Search for Common Ground (SCG) in Freetown
Charles Cohen and Eric Werker
Department of Economics, Harvard University
June to September 2002
Evaluation of Economic Relief Interventions
Refugee Law Project, Makere University, Kampala; Refugee Consortium
of Kenya, Nairobi
is on optimizing the delivery of relief to displaced persons (or those
at risk of displacement) in complex humanitarian emergencies. In order
to narrow the scope of the research question, we focus on two important
debates in recent humanitarian literature and practice. One is the question
of "capacity building," i.e., the extent to which one should
use existing local institutions in the delivery of relief. When local
institutions (e.g., indigenous political structures) are used, two positive
benefits result: recipients are empowered to construct productive solutions
to their own problems, and aid can be more easily targeted into the
most effective channels. These benefits must be weighed against the
potential for the aid to excessively strengthen the local institutions
which, depending on the situation, could further conflict; moreover,
the aid may be used to an end which differs from the desires of the
donors. The second debate concerns the impact of aid on the political
economy of conflict situations. Here we will focus on the trade-off
between centralized and decentralized aid delivery. The more decentralized
the delivery, the easier it is for aid givers to fine-tune interventions
to the local population (and hence to minimize mortality). However,
it is argued that the decentralization of aid delivery allows warring
parties to more easily manage aid flows to their advantage (e.g., by
extracting payoffs from local authorities), hence potentially exacerbating
To this debate we hope to contribute a framework that lays out the costs
and benefits of capacity building and decentralization, thereby helping
organizations to optimize their relief efforts to specific situations.
In economic terms, this will likely take the form of a mechanism design
problem under asymmetric information. In our fieldwork we will be looking
to learn about the specific costs and benefits of the trade-offs. Additionally,
we will try to understand where interests may diverge along the chain
of relief delivery, and how this problem varies across types of aid.
Of particular interest will be how organizations currently adjust their
practices to respond to these problems. Implications for this research
may include recommendations for context-specific organizational design,
types of relief aid, and regional coordinating strategies.
Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
June to September 2002
The Integration of Burmese Youth as Monks through the Temples of Bangkok:
How has the Vow of Purity Functioned as a Coping Strategy by Young Asylum-seekers
International Rescue Committee (Thailand)
the theoretical framework on the coping strategies of refugees focuses
on the methods used by refugees to circumvent obstacles and formal barriers
within the dominant society. The argument is that in many cases these
measures are taken as a result of strategic decisions. Coping strategies
can maximize access to basic necessities and opportunities that would
otherwise be unavailable. The proposed research for this grant will
explore the question of whether young Burmese asylum-seekers in Bangkok
have integrated into the urban temples as a possible coping strategy.
Over the last decade, Burmese nationals have fled to Thailand because
of human rights violations perpetrated by a military government that
has blocked democratic elections since 1990. Overall public sentiment
in Thailand has hardened toward Burmese refugees after Burmese pro-democracy
student groups orchestrated two separate Bangkok hostage standoffs in
1999 and 2000. Subsequently, the Thai government has adopted a particularly
strict stance toward Burmese refugees, especially for those in Bangkok.
If some urban refugees have managed to avoid repatriation, what are
the coping strategies that have enabled them to blend into the urban
fabric of Bangkok? The goal of this proposed research is to probe some
of the established observations about coping strategies, and to gain
insights from the experience of young Burmese asylum-seekers who have
found shelter as monks in Bangkok's temple system.
Department of Political Science, MIT
Period of Study: June to July 2002
Local Integration in Protracted Refugee Situations: The Case of Liberians
in Côte d'Ivoire
UNHCR (Geneva and Côte d'Ivoire)
A significant problem for refugees in many first asylum countries is that
repatriation to their countries of origin is unlikely or inadvisable.
One solution promoted by UNHCR is local integration. However, in recent
years, there has been little research on this solution. The purpose of
this project is to contribute to that research through a case study on
Liberian refugees in Côte d'Ivoire. The project will focus on identifying
factors in the host country that might inhibit or support local integration
and on evaluating the strategies pursued by the UNHCR in Côte d'Ivoire
thus far. This project will ask: (1) What are the effects of regime change,
economic stagnation, and rising ethnic tensions in Côte d'Ivoire
on the process of local integration? (2) Do these variables affect refugee
populations from other countries differently? How do these variables interact
with the particular characteristics of the Liberian refugee population?
There are two partner organizations for this project: UNHCR's Evaluation
and Policy Analysis Unit (EPAU) in Geneva and the UNHCR office in Côte
d'Ivoire. Initially, this project was designed to focus on the effect
of ethnic tensions and the related debate over "Ivoirité"
on possibilities for local integration for Liberian refugees. However,
UNHCR-Côte d'Ivoire has advised that it will not partner on a project
on this topic because it is too politically sensitive at the moment. Thus,
I will be reformulating the project along the lines described above.
Dr. Karen Jacobsen, Prof. Peggy Levitt, and
Feinstein Center, Tufts University; Department of Sociology, Wellesley
Period of Study: June to September 2002
Perspectives on Transnational Membership: The Political Activities
of Congolese and Burundian Refugees in Camps and Urban Areas
Jesuit Relief Services
a proposal for a planning grant to explore a relatively new and understudied
area of migration: the transnational political activities of refugees.
We plan to focus on two sites of refugee political activity-camps and
urban areas-and to begin to "map" the kinds of activities
that refugees engage in, chart how they get the information they use,
examine the nature of their political goals and strategies, and track
how these change over time. Our guiding hypotheses, at this exploratory
stage, are that refugee political activities will be related to (1)
their relationships with international and local NGOs; and (2) refugees'
linkages with the diaspora in third countries. We anticipate that refugees
with strong links to the diaspora or to NGOs, particularly groups which
actively promote human rights and social justice concerns, will be more
sophisticated in their political discourse, more aware of global rights
regimes, more adept at accessing information via technology such as
the Internet, and more actively involved in seeking political change
in their homelands. We also believe that these refugees will be more
likely to see themselves as acting within a transnational political
field and using discourses and strategies from local, national, and
international sources. We will explore these issues by conducting interviews
with refugees and NGOs in Goma, DRC and Johannesburg, South Africa.
This planning grant will help us develop a typology of political activities,
more refined hypotheses, and an improved methodology for investigating
these kinds of issues.
School of Architecture and Planning, MIT
August to December 2002
Ice Skating and Island Hopping: Refugees, Integration, and Access
in a Segregated City
Swedish Red Cross
the boundaries for a newly arrived refugee's cognitive map of the city?
Do government and NGO integration programs actually redraw it? This
research seeks to answer these questions by examining the case of Stockholm,
Sweden, where the local government both organizes and outsources programs
to assist refugees in their transition into Swedish society. These programs
seek to overcome many of the problems inherent in the process of assimilation,
and they implicitly address the extreme spatial segregation found in
Stockholm between "Swedish" residential areas and those populated
government authorities and their NGO partners usually measure the success
of integration programs in terms of economic independence, my study
will examine the effects that they have on individual perceptions of
the urban environment. I will use a variety of qualitative methods to
study two programs: one run by a suburban government entity, and the
other run by the Swedish Red Cross. By interviewing authorities and
program organizers, politicians, teachers, private participants, and
refugees involved in the programs, I will seek to understand the program
goals and how they are received and perceived. Participation in the
programs will clarify their means of operating. Finally, following methods
used by the urbanist Kevin Lynch, refugee participants will be asked
to create their own sketch maps of the city at the beginning and end
of the study period. This approach will provide some insight into personal
experiences of Stockholm, revisiting the issues with methods that complement
the purely quantitative ones currently being used.
Masumbuko and Kiganzi Nyakato
Feinstein Center, Tufts University
Resettlement of the Sudanese 'Lost Boys' from Kakuma Refugee Camp
in 17 States of the USA
International Rescue committee (IRC) Boston regional office
proposal investigates the resettlement and reintegration issues facing
the Sudanese refugees or as they are commonly referred to the "Lost
Boys" in Boston. This study will examine the adequacy of their
orientation on arrival in Boston and integration since the training
and debriefing methods given to the institutions and individuals that
received them. The study also will preserve an oral history of this
immigration experience of the Sudanese "Lost Boys" who have
had the biggest media coverage in the history of refugee resettlement
in the USA.
are no other refugee groups who have undergone similar circumstances
as these refugees and therefore this research will contribute greatly
to refugee international migration as a baseline study for this unique
group. We acknowledge that this study is limited in that it does not
provide a comparison with the life that the resettled Sudanese led while
in Kakuma Camp. However, this can be effectively achieved if the research
team broadens the evaluation to education and psychosocial refugee programs
at the camp level where the boys spent 9 years as refugees, before coming
to the US. It would be useful to investigate the parallel resettlement
of their fellow "Lost Boys" in others states so as to ascertain
what common elements exist in order to facilitate their quick integration
into the US life and society. For example, the Sudanese Lost Boys at
Grand Rapids, Michigan have formed an educational fund with the help
of the community and resettlement agencies that is going to provide
scholarships for their college education.
failed to address the plight of the "Lost girls" despite the
fact that they too were among the survivors who found their way to Lokichoggio
UNHCR Transit Center. They face even worse risks because traditional
cultural processes have been distorted by the conflict in south Sudan,
poverty, and the desperate situation in Kakuma Camp. The girls have
suffered (and still suffer) from forced early marriages, sexual assault,
enslavement, and lack of access to adequate health services, education,
psychosocial support and no relative/family support. They are entirely
at the mercy of the community, who see them as commodities for sale
(usually by credit).
is divided into two major sectors. The first deals with the institutions
and people who were involved in the resettlement process in the United
States. The second deals with the opinions, ideas, and concerns of the
Lost Boys themselves, especially their unique experiences and expectations
on arrival in the US. Both are necessary to get an integrated view of
the resettlement process. UNHCR, US State Department, the media, resettlement
agencies, donors and volunteer groups and individuals have told the
Lost Boys' story over and over again at different levels. Our research
methodology of recording and transcribing the tapes gives the Sudanese
young adults a forum to talk about their resettlement process and flight
from Sudan to Ethiopia, back to Sudan-down to Kenya-Kakuma refugee camp
and then resettlement to the US.
the questions we would like to answer are;
Why are they called the Lost Boys and what do they think of this title?
Why it took too long (9 years) for UNHCR to act on the best interest
of these children? Did they have an option?
How did the camp life affect their well being before resettlement in
How were they identified?
What has happened since the cameras moved away?
Description of the resettlement process, issues, problems, opportunities
Did they feel like they had a choice?
Were they a part of the planning process?
What other options did they have at the time?
What type of future are they looking forward to in US society?
Do they feel like they will easily assimilate into US society? Are there
sufficient employment opportunities and can they earn a decent living?
What work do the majority of the boys find? Do they want to return home
now or in the future and why?
Was the education that UNHCR provided in the camp relevant and useful
Did it help them secure gainful employment or admission to a college
or institute of higher learning in the US?
Was the standard of English taught in the camps appropriate for them
to get along in the US? For example, in case of court hearings.
Was the group prepared for reintegration socially, mentally?
How prepared were the foster parents?
Was the host community in Boston ready to receive them?
What is the resettlement agencies interpretation of the Conventions
of the Rights of the Child?
How did the media coverage before and after resettlement affect them?
Who decided where the resettled refugees should live and why?
How have they survived financially?
Have they experience culture shock and did they develop coping mechanisms?
part of the study will look at the role, strategies, and methods of
the relocating agencies, institutions and families. These include resettlement
agencies, churches, foster families and individuals. One or two resettlement
agencies will be chosen based on their different integration roles,
namely housing, education, employment opportunities, medical and social
care. Interviews will be conducted with key staff directly involved
with each of the 20 boys selected. For example, the study will focus
on the IRC, INS, UNHCR, the Roca Community Center, and foster families.
of the study will be conducted first by a review of all that has been
written on the Lost Boys. There will also be an analysis of all agency
reports and memos on the Lost Boys. The US State Department, UNHCR,
IOM regional headquarters, and IRC headquarters records will be consulted
concerning the resettled Sudanese. Where possible the case officers
directly involved will be interviewed.
June to September 2002
The Political Factors Contributing to In-and Out-Migration in Uzbekistan
is on the strategies Uzbekistan's government and citizens have pursued
in encouraging the migration of ethnic minorities after independence.
First, I will gather data to determine as accurately as possible the
annual and total number of Uzbek immigrants into Uzbekistan, and the
number of emigrants of different nationalities from Uzbekistan, from
1991 up to the present day. Second, by interviewing government officials,
representatives of NGO's, and non-ethnic Uzbeks remaining in the country
(who still comprise about 20% of the population), I will identify and
analyze the pressures put upon non-Uzbeks to emigrate, in the form of
threats and incentives, or in some circumstances, encouragement to remain.
Third, I will interview ethnic Uzbeks who left their countries of residence
after 1991 and were given Uzbekistani citizenship, in order to determine
whether the government offered them subsidies, assistance in finding
employment and housing, or other incentives.
This project will shed light on the actions of state and societal actors
in shaping the demography of the nation, an overlooked but very important
aspect of nation building. This will contribute to the growing social
science literature on the politics of nation building, ethnic identity,
and democratization. My research will also be useful to NGO's working
in nationalizing states. By being aware of the conscious processes that
lead to in- and out-migration, organizations can be better prepared
to prevent mass migrations or ease the transitions of the people caught
in these processes.