Enabling (im)migrants integration through ICT innovation solutions: Challenges, Opportunities, Pitfalls and Obstacles
In many European countries, the integration of ‘old’ migrants across generations as well as ‘newcomers’, such as refugees and asylum seekers, constitutes a serious challenge for society as a whole as well as a unique opportunity to transform it. Obstacles and pitfalls are nonetheless in place. Inequalities related to ethnic and migration backgrounds are evident such as socioeconomic and spatial segregation (including labor, school and housing ones), little use of welfare resources compared to autochthonous populations, modest upward mobility processes, deficient recognition of migrants skills and competences in the hosting societies, discrimination in access to opportunities, concealed racism, etc.
Frequently it is very confusing and difficult for (im)migrants to understand how to “navigate” into a host country, its opportunities and obstacles in accessing crucial resources. Recent advancements in ICT development and services digitization represent an opportunity to enable (in)migrants in better understanding the context in which they are inserted. ICT solutions can also fasten and ease integration processes towards more equal access to services as well as provide flexibilization and adaptation to the needs of (im)migrants that are characterized by an increasing differentiation connected to their diverse backgrounds, skills, patterns and experiences.
Integration goals, at the same time, are challenging the ICT development and are representing an opportunity towards policy innovation thanks to the experimentation of emerging technological solutions in environments and domains hardly represented in the ICT market demand. Currently, there are several European projects directly involving migrants, public authorities, research institutions, and IT companies with the aim to facilitate migrants’ integration and develop solutions to ease their access to the existing social systems and public welfare. Using ICTs for developing better and more effective services for migrants according to their actual needs can be considered as one of the integration strategies deployed by single countries, regions or single cities.
Social Science seeks to develop better links between theoretical and empirical research and policy practice related to (im)migrants integration through ICT solutions. This special issue welcomes both theoretical or methodological articles and empirical research based contributions that cast light on the if, to what extent and under which conditions ICT solutions enable (im)migrants to better access and use services and/or increase their wellbeing and discuss how ICT innovations may open up for social science, urban research, and urban policy, especially in Europe. Articles can be country based or have a comparative approach. In this regard, we invite research papers from both academic and practitioner communities in the following three thematic areas. Specific topics may include as follows (but not limited to):
(Im)migrants’ Integration through the use of technology
IT-supported integration services: theoretical and/or methodological issues
IT-supported integration services: experiences, case studies
Facilitating (im)migrant’s access to integration services
Learning by doing in ICT (im)migrants’ integration solutions
AI and language multicultural mediation
ICT based policy making
Engaging (im)migrants in the co-creation of IT solutions towards integration
Co-design as an integration strategy
Co-designing IT-based integration services with (im)migrants: case studies
(Im)migrants digital communities and their interplay with the services ecosystem
ICT to explore integration pitfalls, obstacles, and opportunities
Data-driven policy-making for (im)migrants
Mapping integration pitfalls, obstacles and opportunities through open and big data
Exploring existing ICT policies for (im)migrants integration
Keywords: ICT innovation for (im)migrants, (im)migrants integration, ICT based policy making, services for (im)migrants, co-designing ICT solutions
For consideration, please submit a 1000-word abstract by 30 December 2020 which includes background, conceptual framework, methods, findings, and significance. Please note that guest editors will not consider any submission after 30 December 2020.
Please submit your abstract and any questions to the special issue guest editor, Dr. Maryam Karimi.
Notification of acceptance will be provided by 15 January 2021. For those accepted for consideration, paper submissions will be due 30 June 2021.