Creative Network Plus: Baseline Research and Development Project (BREDEP)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Derby
Department Name: Online Learning


By the end of 2017, persecution, violence and war had forced over 68 million people to flee their home nations and seek safety in foreign countries, which exceeds all previous records for global forced displacement (UNHCR, 2018). Despite of the many refugee-hosting countries (RHC) being low and middle-income countries ( LMICs), often with inadequate resources to meet the demands of this refugee influx. It has been recognised that cultural and creative industries (CCIs) have positively contributed towards fostering intercultural dialogue between host communities and refugees in RHCs (UNESCO, 2018). However, could technologies scale up such creativity to act as an 'enabler' for RY integration or access to vocational education and training (VET) the RHCs? Given the insufficient resources and lack of necessary infrastructure to facilitate much needed inclusive refugee integration systems, and the focus being put on primary and secondary school enrolment as well as humanitarian interventions, there is only weak research evidence from RHCs' perspective.

Developed as a part of the GCRF Education in Conflict and Crisis Research portfolio, this project is aimed at providing baseline research for an interdisciplinary arts and social science network plus- (Creative Network) which aims to investigate how innovations in technologies (mobile and digital) can support CCIs for Refugee Youth (RY) (young people aged 16-32 years) that will enable better integration and access to VET in the Network-hosting communities of 6 of the world's top 10 RHCs - Turkey, Uganda, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Lebanon and Ethiopia. This project will advance our theoretical understanding, build strong, equitable and sustainable partnerships, and support the engagement of the Creative Network's stakeholders.

Building on knowledge gained through the experiences of previously funded GCRF projects such as the 'Building futures' and RELIEF projects, this project aims to identify, increase and promote equitable and sustainable opportunities for our Creative Network's collaborators and partners, local communities and wider stakeholders to co-design ideas to support the full Network plus proposal. Adopting qualitative, co-production and action-research methodologies, we will work in partnership with researchers at HEIs and IROs across the case RHCs, and collaborating partners such as UNHCR, UNESCO, UNICEF, Action on Armed Violence, Finn Church Aid, Habitat, Multeciler etc".

We will begin the project by undertaking stakeholder mapping activities that includes identifying and negotiating access to different refugee youth and groups, and other stakeholders (e.g. community leaders, Government representative, project partners, VET representatives, academics including ECRs etc.); carrying out a critical review of local and international policies and programmes of RY integration and VET in each RHC, in order to highlight innovative practice, as well as areas that require further investigation. we will establish preliminary dialogues through small meetings and Stakeholder Engagement Event (SEE) to understand local contexts and sensitivities around historic, cultural, religious, linguistic, gender and equality, and the intersections between them. We also aim to understand initial ideas for innovative Proof of Concepts (PoC) in CCIs in each country to further the development of theories of change/pathways to impact in relevant RHC context. Additionally, we will run research training sessions with a sample of Early Career Researchers and Co-Investigators based in RHC partner countries; pilot and test the Creative Network's proposed methods/approaches of engagement with stakeholders, for example, Virtual Webinars and social media tools such as Facebook Live, YouTube etc., as well as delivering a skills MOOC to a sample of 10-15 RY in each case country. In securing a long-term legacy, we will create a Global Refugee Research Network (GRRN) over different social media channels.


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Description BANGLADESH
There are a good number of NGOs are working in refugee camps in Bangaladesh to give various forms of Vocational Education Training (VET) which is strongly discouraged by the Government of Bangladesh because the state's policy does not go with making the Refugee technically skilled. Three local partners (Help Cox's Bazar, Mukti and Jagoo Bangladesh) who engaged with the project on their potential engagements in VET. Engagement with these partners, it was observed that there is tension between refugee host communities in Bangladesh and refugees singling out that they feel that the Rohingyas might occupy the local job market which will hamper their livelihood mechanism and everyday livelihood system. The local partners work with community-elected committee or 'samaj' (a term used in rural communities) which includes for example the principal of the college, and the head of the school.

Unlike many other communities, where refugees are restricted to the camps, in Ethiopia (Dolo Ado) the refugees move freely among the host communities and even to other parts of Ethiopia, and Somalia. The Dolo Ado Refugee and the host community often share common identities of ethnicity, religion, or language and these similarities facilitated greater interaction between the refugees and the host community. The identification of targeted investments in utility infrastructure will be integrated within the Regional Government's Local Development Plans. The Dolo Ado refugee and host community has smooth brotherhood and sisterhood relationship and can be taken as model for the rest refugee hosting countries. Basically, the cultural setup of both the host and refugee communities is almost similar since most come from Somalia. They share similar language, norm and values. As a result, they do have positive and smooth interaction in their day to day life.
Despite the country encourages access to refugee education in line with international conventions and declarations, educating refugee children in Ethiopia is a complex task. The focus group participants in a Somali refugee camp at Jigjia underlined that schools and training centres lack well-equipped laboratories, ICT facilities, language training, and the absence of active co-curricular clubs. Distance to school, lack of transportation, and language of instruction were reported by the group as barriers to school attendance and factors that impact the access and quality of refugee education. The other important challenge related to access to refugee education is the curriculum. The contents of some subject consisted of controversial topics which lead to conflict between the refugee and host community. For example, the war between Ethiopia and Somalia and the war that broke out between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 2000 are some examples of topics included in Ethiopia's secondary school history texts books. The host countries' curriculum lack refugee stories. During focus groups, women said that the school setting does not give a conducive environment for girls to comfortably attend their education as girls and boys share the same seats which are not acceptable in the Muslim religion. Moreover, wearing hijab is prohibited in schools which again is against their faith. On the other hand, the men focus group participants stated that they see skill gaps and there is a clear need for young people to offer more training choices, skills upgrade training, and vocational skills like masons, carpenters, electricians, welders, mechanics, and maintenance technicians, etc. Such skills are essential for career advancement and can make young people more attractive in the job market inside and outside camps. The women group reported a lack of sufficient initial capital to run petty businesses, thus there is a clear need for business start-up capital in the form of loans and credit and business training for women who would like to run petty trade, and tiny handicrafts. Hence, there is a clear need for vocational and soft skills by refugee youth. This is another promising opportunity that makes a creative network more acceptable and timely endeavour. With regard to integration, both the male and female groups stated integration into the host community was not a challenge. They are happy in this new country. There is a good social relation between the host community and the refugees and intermarriages between refugees and the host communities have been observed. The hosts and the refugees also attend social events like weddings, funerals, mosque services, festivals, and other communal occasions. Despite this, many of the focus group participants explained their strong feeling to go back home if peace and security ensured in their countries as they have could not forget about their home countries, so many memories with relatives and friends

The chances for Syrians finding jobs in Lebanon are very slim even if they have an education, being experts or specialists in any field, they would not get a work permit to work in Lebanon under current laws and policies. Priorities are given to Lebanese, Americans, Europeans, many internationals, and the rough bottom to Palestinians, Syrians, and other refugees. Some of the initial finding about issues faced by Syrians include
• The lack of transportation from several camps and settlements near the borders of Lebanon is a struggle to many householders who seek work, children who do not have accessible school on site. Women who live in informal settlements have repeatedly expressed their dire need for transportation to the health care sites provided by UNHCR.
• Children face the greatest danger from chemical weapons, they are more vulnerable immunologically and physically. If they survive, they are most likely left with damaged organs and several disabilities. Children with disabilities are often denied admission to schools.
• Marital rape has been expressed repeatedly amongst refugee women and between them and the female camp advisers. Such sensitive cases are very difficult to be investigated as women are not allowed to voice anything publicly and may get harmed if their spouses were communicated. There is lack of access to contraception or maternal healthcare in the camps and a lack of knowledge about sexual and reproductive health that has led to high birth rates in the camps and there are high rates of infant mortality and deformity.
• It is rare to female refugees to have access to the internet. Their use is completely under their father or brother's control. Most of them do not have active profiles on social media.

The Government of Uganda has been serving as a model example in the international community by granting refugees in Uganda asylum and access to the same rights as its citizens, including the right to Education and work. This was committed through several policies and frameworks, such as the Refugee Act 2006, Refugee Regulations 2010, Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework for Uganda and the Education Sector Strategic Plan 2017-2020. Uganda Refugee Policy has many impressive aspects: (1) opening Uganda's door to all asylum seekers irrespective of their nationality or ethnic affiliation; (2) granting refugees relative freedom of movement and the right to seek employment; (3) providing prima facie asylum for refugees of certain nationalities; and (4) giving a piece of land to each refugee family for their own exclusive (agricultural) use. Integration in Uganda is not de jure integration, understood as the successive granting of rights and opportunities by the government culminating in the granting of citizenship rights in the receiving country. Instead, the country focuses on de facto integration a condition where "refugees are not in physical danger, are able to sustain livelihoods through access to land or employment, and can support themselves and their families, have access to education and vocational training" (Jacobsen, 2001, p. 9). Refugees gradually manifest themselves in livelihood strategies resulting in better chances for participation in host communities. Uganda's settlement approach foresees that refugees are given a plot of land under the premise that this enables self-reliance in the medium- and long run. Refugee settlements are understood as long-term structures that offer the possibility for a degree of self-sufficiency as opposed to camps.
Exploitation Route The Bangladeshi government is unlikely to be supportive of this research which is implying that the refugees are not being cared for or supported. The three local partners (Help Cox's Bazar, Mukti and Jagoo Bangladesh) are key collaborators in Bangladesh working with Rohingya refugees that future researchers can engage with towards any projects aimed at up-skilling refugees.
The proposed project involves scientific and non-scientific stakeholders. This will help us to establish a network and further collaboration to follow the successful implementation of the research findings. It is anticipated that the Creative Network Project provides a meaningful contribution to reciprocal capacity building, networking, and synthesis of research in refugee camps in Ethiopia in view of the fact that Ethiopia is host to the second-largest refugee population in Africa. The reciprocal advancement of the research through the knowledge and productivity of trainees will also be an added advantage. Most importantly, a network with other Ethiopian universities will be built to establish collaborations on joint research projects.
Sectors Creative Economy,Education,Healthcare,Other

Description in Ethiopia, the refugees put their negative impacts in the social fabrics of the host communities. The drunkenness behaviour observed among the refugees has negative effects on the host communities. Expansion of prostitution and increase of sexual promiscuity observed and this resulted in the expansion of sexually transmitted diseases and breaking of the indulged local culture and values of the host communities. Substance abuse like khat and other drugs, and criminal behaviours like theft, vandalism observed after the refugees come to the Boklmayo Town. Human trafficking and smuggling was not totally known and practicable in the local communities around the refugee camp of Bokolmayo. It was after the arrival of the Somali refugees that the local people, especially the youth, began to immerse themselves in illegal acts of human trafficking and smuggling for the short cut way of accumulating wealth initiated by smugglers. This act has recently reached its highest level. In Uganda, during the initial engagement with sample of refugees, it was established that the aspiration of Uganda's settlement policy to enable self-sufficiency of refugees has not been met as neither the size nor the quality of the allocated plots allow for meaningful agricultural production. In Nakivali and Rwamwanja refugee settlements, the soil is reportedly infertile, and the local population struggle with water shortage. Refugees complain that the quality of the seeds provided by aid agencies (e.g. FOA) to grow okra, maize, cassava or tomatoes is poor. Drought, insects also affected the harvest and cattle grazing in Bidi Bidi camp. Nevertheless, some Refugees complained about their location as access to services such as Vocational training centres offered by Finn church Aid (FCA) and health services is difficult. The distance to health facilities and schools, however, is also a problem for local Ugandans. Another factor is perceived insecurity. During our these engagement meeting, Dinka refugees (Bidi Bidi camp), in particular, mentioned that they would hardly leave their residential area as they feared harassment and violence by fellow (non-Dinka) refugees. Other groups of refugees behave the same as they fear members of the Ugandan local communities. In Turkey, materials for an art exhibition have been collected but the exhibition has been delayed due to COVID pandemic. In Lebanon, materials for a documentary have been collected but the final version has been delayed due to COVID pandemic.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Creative Economy,Education,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

Title Creative virtual engagement method 
Description As part of a broader study, we conducted real-time asynchronous online discussion with refugee youth and key stakeholders for feasibility and even in very difficult weather conditions and with no electricity. We carried out meetings, focus group discussions and one-to-one interviews via Skype and zoom ensures that there is UK/Bangladesh joint leadership and collaboration, and engagement from the UK researcher directly with research participants. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Using this Creative virtual methodology was a feasible tool for engaging and collecting qualitative data within refugee camps and may offer new opportunities to collect data in other hard-to-include populations. Such methodology gives refugees and stakeholders in such war-torn environment an opportunity to articulate their experiences and views in a way they might not have done in a traditional group discussion. 
Description An international exhibition on migration and human mobility titled The "Other Stories" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The BILGI Center for Migration Research, in collaboration with Koridoor Contemporary Art Programs, ArtHereIstanbul, Art4me, GAR - Association for Migration Research, Support to Life Association, IGAM - The Research Centre on Asylum and Migration, Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants, and BILGI European Institute, organized a 2-month long exhibition focusing on the internal and transborder aspects of migration via stories reflected by artists.

The exhibition entitled 'The Other Stories' presented the works of 50 artists from different disciplines in painting, sculpture, photography, installation, drawing, video art, and performance. Over a thousand people attended including schools, the general public, NGOs (who provided additional funding), and the media. There was considerable popular media interest. Over 20 stories about the exhibition were published in the Turkish popular press.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
Description BREDEP primary engagement event - Pakistani 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact At the outset of this project, we hosted two focus group sessions with key stakeholders to explore the context and conditions for taking forward BREDEP priorities. Using our already established good working relationships with a good number of NGOs working in the area, we engaged with VET teachers, refugees, NGO and policymakers. at each event, we hosted 25-30 stakeholders to help us shape the BREDEP project, answer questions about integration and VET access in Pakistan. .
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
Description BREDEP- provider engagement event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 35 key stakeholders mainly providers in Turkey came together to discuss ways through which they can influence service provision to refugee communities in Turkey. This engagement event supported the writing of Creative network plus application and future GCRF applications. Providers were able to co-produce a mechanism through which future refugee projects should follow in turkey.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
Description Conference presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Gülay Göksel from Turkey presented field research at the 4th Annual International Conference on Social Science, Turkey, 11th September 2020: "Economic IntegraCon of Syrian Refugees and VocaConal EducaCon in Turkey". The presentation has a url below; it is the first presentation of session 13.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
Description Press coverage of the BILGI Center for Migration Research, in collaboration with Koridoor Contemporary Art Programs, ArtHereIstanbul, Art4me, GAR - Association for Migration Research, Support to Life Association, IGAM - The Research Centre on Asylum and Migration, Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants, and BILGI European Institute, organizes the exhibition focusing on the internal and transborder aspects of migration via stories reflected by artists. The exhibition enti 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Press coverage of the conference was very positive and considerable:

Media Coverage (Selected) "The Other Stories" Exhibition 14/12/2021 (English) 14/12/2021 Anadolu Gezi Rehberi 14/12/2021 14/12/2021 15/12/2021 Evrensel Newspaper clipping is attached 15/12/2021 Yeni Safak Newspaper clipping is attached 17/12/2021 TRT Haber 17/12/2021 TRT Haber 17/12/2021 AA 17/12/2021 17/12/2021 17/12/2021 Medya Dergisi 17/12/2021 17/12/2021 Ulusal Kanal (min. 29:45-45:30)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
Description VET - Refugee engagement event -Uganda 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Between 10th-19th July 2019, PI Nkiko conducted a baseline/development study around refugee integration and Vocational Education in Uganda in 3 refugee camps and hosting communities of Rwamwanja, Nakyivale (southern Uganda) and Bididi (Northern Uganda). We engaged in preliminary dialogues through 2 - 4 x small meetings and 1 x Stakeholder Engagement Event (SEE) in each of the three camps with a sample of key stakeholder groups in each case country. Meetings were arranged in different places across the country with local CO-I (Dr Frank Ahimbisibwe); Government officials from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), community representatives - local chiefs; academics from Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Gulu University, Makerere University Institute of Peace and Uganda Christian University mukono; vocational teachers and Finn Church Aid (FCA), UNHCR and Uganda Muslim Youth Development Forum officials; and parents and refugee youth (RY).

we were able to carryout baseline reviews of literature, international and national policies on refugee integration and access to VET in case countries; identify potential risks to the Creative Network project including ethical issues, digital divide or project management, and their mitigation strategies; identified issues related to gender equality, diversity and inclusion in refugee integration and access to VET; and preliminary ideas for innovative Proof of Concepts (PoC) in cultural and creative industries in each case country.
4. To pilot and test the Creative Network's proposed refu-tech methods or approaches of engagement including the Virtual Webinars and Facebook Live with stakeholders in the UK and case countries
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019