Publications & RECORDINGS

Our case reports and webinars featuring the report writers can be found below. More case reports and documents analyzing multiple cases' findings are pending.


Refugees in Towns: Experiences of Integration


In this Forced Migration Review article, RIT PI Karen Jacobsen presents the project, why it is of importance in our current political climate, and what the project seeks to achieve. She explains how RIT's case studies are designed, and what information they include. She also shares how individuals living in towns experiencing refugee integration can contribute to the RIT project.

Community Based Strategies to Reduce Gang and Community Violence and Foster Positive Social, Health, and Educational Outcomes for Children, Youth, and Families in Cairo

Analysis & Programming Proposal

Building on our findings from the Cairo RIT Report, this concept note lays out an analysis of what we see as the two main protection problems facing refugees in Cairo: youth and child protection and housing. We propose a program of interventions to address these problems. The analysis is based on research conducted in the heavily marginalized Sudanese, South Sudanese and Somali refugee communities in Kilo Araba wa Nus and Hay el Ashr, Cairo. It is intended as a foundation to build partnerships with local actors to move forward with designing and implementing these program ideas.


Welfare without Welcome in the “City of Smiles”

Case Report: Aarhus, Denmark

The RIT Aarhus case report looks at the integration experience of refugees within a Nordic welfare state. On the one hand, the welfare state provides services and support that may be unimaginable in many other urban displacement settings. On the other hand, the national debates and policies on refugees and immigration have become focused on restricting access and conflation of debates on refugees and radicalization. In this report, readers explore a city with welfare, but little sense of welcome written by a Syrian refugee and Aarhus resident.


Citizens of Somewhere

Case Report: Amman, Jordan

This case report focuses on Amman, which has for years been at the center of prolonged refugee experiences. Jordan has served as a haven for different groups fleeing persecution throughout history, from the arrival of Palestinian refugees after 1948 and again after 1967, to the acceptance of Iraqi refugees in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Since 2012, there has been an influx of Syrian refugees. Recently, Sudanese and Yemeni refugee populations have also started to grow, as has the presence of migrant workers from Egypt, and others from African and Southeast Asian countries.


Integration in a Small New England Town

Case Report: Augusta, Maine, USA

The Augusta report explores primarily Middle Eastern refugees who arrived as "secondary" migrants to a small town in Maine. They have experienced a range of challenges and successes integrating with "Old Mainer" society, facing a pervasive attitude of scarcity among residents whose ancestors arrived as French Canadian economic migrants generations ago. After describing the integration challenges with Augusta's public services, housing market, and cultural barriers, the report offers a glimmer of hope with "World to Table," a "culinary diplomacy" venue started by the authors.

May Mzayek

May Mzayek

Your US Neighbor: The experiences of Syrian Refugees in the American South

Case Report: Austin, Texas, USA

The Austin case study looks at Syrian refugees living in the deep American southwest, and how their wellbeing impacts their experiences with integration. The author, herself a Syrian migrant to the US, shares a depth of experience with shifting identity, belonging, and ability to live and thrive in Austin, documenting everything from learning cultural norms and mannerisms to driving and understanding street signs.


No Rainbow, No integration: LGBTQI+ Refugees in Hiding

Case Report: Beirut, Lebanon

This case report explores the ways members of the LGBTQI+ Syrian refugee community survive in Beirut, Lebanon amidst extreme prejudice from much of the Lebanese population, the Lebanese government, and other Syrians. It describes the severe limitations to integration in Beirut for this population because of social pressures, healthcare limitations, difficulty finding livelihoods, and legal barriers. The author is a member of the LGBTQI+ refugee community who lived in Beirut.


CASE REport: Belgrade, Serbia

The Belgrade case study explores the relationship between the European migrant crisis and political movements in Serbia. It looks at the role of Belgrade as a transit hub for waves of forced migrants, and at the effects of policies to manage migration flows (e.g. counter-smuggling, transit center shut-downs, and restrictions on humanitarian agencies) on the lived experiences of migrants, Serbians, and aid workers who live, work, and pass through the city. The report was conducted and written by two residents of Belgrade who draw from personal experience with displacement from the recent Balkans region conflict.


Finding a New Life in the “City of Roses”

CASE REPORT: Bloemfontein, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa

The Bloemfontein case report explores the way migrants from across Africa have succeeded and struggled with integration to a major urban center in South Africa. It looks not only at their experiences, but also the ways in which migrants have transformed the local economy and the culture of certain neighborhoods. The report’s author is herself a Zimbabwean migrant to South Africa who draws on her own experiences living and working in the area.


Getting by on the Margins: Sudanese and Somali Refugees

Case Report: Cairo, Egypt

The Cairo report shares the experiences of Egypt's largely overlooked Sudanese, Ethiopian, Eritrean, South Sudanese, and Somali refugees, as well as their impact on the several neighborhoods in the city. With next to no meaningful opportunities for local integration, minimal assistance from the international community, and no path to citizenship, future prospects for refugees in Cairo are dim. Yet, despite enduring high levels of racist and xenophobic harassment, abuse, and violence, Cairo’s refugees make the most out of a difficult situation and persevere to develop and sustain their communities. The report draws on the author's years of experience as a case worker for refugees in Cairo, and benefits from the viewpoints of two research assistants who are themselves sub-Saharan African refugees living in Cairo.

Barnabas Ticha Muvhuti

Barnabas Ticha Muvhuti

CASE Report: Cape town, South Africa

The Cape Town report focuses on the educational integration of 15-20-year-old first-generation immigrant pupils in four different schools of Cape Town, and their difficulties with permits, language and cultural barriers, and views of prejudice toward them. The author is himself a migrant to Cape Town from Zimbabwe who has undergone the long process of integration, and presents his own experiences and social network in the city. The report concludes with some recommendations to improve the integration of migrant children in the schools of Cape Town.


Planting the Seeds of an Inclusive Culture

Case Report: Concord, New Hampshire, USA

The Concord report looks from the eyes of a lifelong resident on a city that has worked to make itself a local bastion of inclusiveness against anti-immigrant rhetoric at the national level. The report focuses on experiences of high school students, who in many cases have set the tone for the city when outbursts of xenophobia have occurred. Despite the intentions of many Concord residents to make the city welcoming and inclusive, however, the report identifies some obstacles to integration, especially the clustering of migrants in low income housing census tracts of the city.


CASE Report: Dar es salaam, Tanzania

This report examines the vulnerabilities of urban refugees, and the difficulties they encounter in accessing basic services in the city. It considers their integration with the Tanzanian urban poor who they live side by side in the informal settlements of the city.  It also considers what is next for Tanzania in the wake of a growing displacement crisis in the Central and East African regions, and considers recommendations that could be enacted to improve the lives of the urban refugees of Dar es Salaam.

Protiti Roy

Protiti Roy

CASE Report: Delhi, India

Food, when unavailable, is a human security concern―from famine and food riots at the community level, to malnutrition, stunted growth, and deficiency diseases at the individual level. When available, food can be an emotional experience, a community identity, or an economic industry. Refugees in Delhi, India are bridging these two aspects of food when they cook dishes from their hometowns and sell it as a livelihood strategy. The report is written by a lifelong resident of Delhi.


Hispanics in the Neighborhood: Changing Urban Space

Case Report: East Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The East Boston report explores a rapidly changing neighborhood that is being transformed both by immigration (largely from Hispanic populations), and by gentrification including the skyrocketing cost of rent, particularly along certain streets. The author, herself a migrant from Costa Rica, looks at how the ownership and use of spaces in East Boston are changing from old mostly Italian Americans to newly arriving Hispanics and "yuppy" high income, primarily white gentrifiers. The author illustrates how at a neighborhood level, East Boston appears integrated and diverse, but at a street level and in terms of social connections, the neighborhood remains divided.

Jessica Sadye Wolff

Jessica Sadye Wolff

Preliminary Case Report: Hamburg, Germany

This study explores the spatial and ethical implications of Germany’s new national housing policy and its impact on integration in the city-state of Hamburg. It analyzes the effects of an unprecedented and innovative land use policy on local planning processes, the resultant housing accommodations, and the experience of asylum seekers and local residents. By focusing on the inherently spatial aspect of refugee housing, this case study will foreground the impact of political and geographic choices on the integration experience. Lessons from the implications of this policy will have significance for countries that are seeking creative ways to incite construction of new affordable housing units for marginalized populations in land-constrained urban areas in the future.


New Faces, Less Water,and a Changing Economy in a Growing City

Case Report: Irbid, Jordan

This Jordanian city is now inhabited by more Syrian refugees than Jordanian hosts. These new arrivals joined Palestinian and Iraqi refugees, as well as southeast Asian and Western economic migrants. Yet the most profound changes in the city—affecting and being affected by refugees’ integration—are megatrends affecting cities the world over: water resources scarcity, a globalizing economy, and rapid population growth. This report provides a view from the ground of a rapidly changing city.


From Seeking Survival to Urban Revival

Case Report: Izmir, Turkey

This case report explores what happened to a coastal Mediterranean city in Turkey that was transformed from a smuggling transit hub to Greece and the EU into a home for tens of thousands of Syrian refugees after the closing the Balkans Route in 2015. It shows how several of the city’s low- and middle-income neighborhoods, especially the neighborhood of Basmane, have undergone increased demand for affordable housing and a revival of Syrian-owned small businesses. However, the city’s already limited healthcare and education systems have been further stressed by the increase in population. The report is written by a Syrian refugee who attempted to travel to Greece, but whose boat sank, and she settled in Izmir becoming an aid volunteer.


Homeland, but no land for home

Case Report: Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan

This case report explores the challenges faced by Afghan refugees who had been living in Pakistan and returned to Nangarhar Province ofAfghanistan. It explores the returnees’ experience of reintegration back into their home country and focuses on their access to land, as land ownership is the main pillar of the Afghan government’s official reintegration strategy. Further, it is nearly impossible to have status at the neighborhood level, to find work, or to become socially respected without owning land. This report gives voice to returnees, and is based on the author’s own experiences as a resident and professional researcher of Nangarhar Province. You are also encouraged to read the author's reflexive article from the Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration, titled "What I observed when I was a refugee, and when I was conducting research on migration." 

Staying Rooted: Value Transfer and Integration of Malawian Migrants

CASE REPORT: Johannesburg, South Africa & Mangochi, Malawi

The Johannesburg case report looks at Malawian migrants in one of South Africa’s largest cities. It explores the ways value transfer and financial obligations back home both obstruct integration to their new neighborhood and maintain integration with their old villages. It also describes the ways the costly and risky route from Malawi to South Africa obstructs integration once migrants arrive in Johannesburg. The author is from Mangochi and has lived in Johannesburg for several years.


Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Kyiv: Lost in the City or Agents of Change?

CASE REPORT: Kyiv, Ukraine

The Kyiv case report looks at the ways IDPs from eastern Ukraine both struggle with integration to the capital, but also become agents of change to transfer the culture and economy of the city. The report is written by a former resident of east Ukraine who has herself become integrated to Kyiv over several years.


Opting to Settle in a small African Town

CASE REPORT: Makhanda, South Africa

The Makhanda case report compares the experiences of migrants integrating to a small African town named Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) to the experiences of those living in South Africa’s major urban centers like Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. It explores how perceptions of insecurity from xenophobic, racist attacks vary from major cities to small towns; migrants’ economic and social impact on the town of Makhanda; and how the limited presence of migration management offices in small towns can both benefit and make difficult the integration attempts of migrants. It draws from the experiences of the author, a Zimbabwean migrant who has lived both in Cape Town and Makhanda, South Africa.


How Local Voices Can Help Us Understand Refugee Integration

META (Now Switchboard) International Rescue Committee Podcast Episode

How can we measure integration? Our latest podcast spotlights the interesting approach of the Refugees in Towns (RIT) project, an initiative of the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University. For this podcast, META was joined by Karen Jacobsen, Professor at the Tufts University Fletcher School, director of the Refugees and Forced Migration Program at the Feinstein International Center, and Principal Investigator of Refugees in Towns; as well as Charles Simpson, Program Administrator of Refugees in Towns.


IDPs and a University in Exile breathe new life into a town

CASE REPORT: Pokrovsk, Ukraine

This report focuses on IDPs and an entire university (Donetsk Technical University) that were uprooted from Donetsk and repositioned in the small coal-mining town of Pokrovsk. It explores how they have adjusted to their new town, and how these IDPs have transformed the city, bringing new “big city” culture, higher incomes, connections to the science & technology sector, a large population of socially-minded youth, and differing attitudes about local government. The author is a faculty member of the university and has, with her family and colleagues, begun the process of integration to Pokrovsk.


CASE REPORT: Sultanbeyli, Istanbul, Turkey

Turkey has experienced the biggest influx of Syrians, almost 3 million refugees, since 2011. Different than many refugee-receiving countries where refugees are placed in camps upon their arrival, in Turkey, more than 90% of all refugees live in cities. This report looks at social capital as a resource for integration. The report is written by a lifelong resident of Istanbul.


Preliminary Case report: Tripoli, Lebanon

This case study explores how the Syrian influx has affected Tripoli, with a focus on urban poverty, including how relationships between Lebanese and Syrians have deteriorated as competition over jobs intensifies, security concerns increase, and decrepit public infrastructure has been further strained. It highlights the responses of Syrian refugees and the Lebanese population, ending with some ideas about ways to improve employment prospects and economic stability.


Webinar: Integration in developing cities - Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, Delhi

This webinar recording shares findings from three Refugees in Towns cases exploring local experiences with integration in developing cities: Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, and Delhi. The webinar features local researchers from each city, and explores how migrant and host communities have experienced and adapted to integration.

Featuring researchers from  Belgrade (Teodora Jovanovic & Marina Lazetic), Istanbul (Zeynep Balcioglu), and Hamburg (Jessica Saddye Wolff)   Moderators RIT PI Prof. Karen Jacobsen and RIT Program Administrator Charles Simpson

Featuring researchers from Belgrade (Teodora Jovanovic & Marina Lazetic), Istanbul (Zeynep Balcioglu), and Hamburg (Jessica Saddye Wolff)

Moderators RIT PI Prof. Karen Jacobsen and RIT Program Administrator Charles Simpson

Webinar: Integration on the Balkans route from Istanbul to Belgrade to Hamburg

This webinar recording shares the findings from three Refugees in Towns cases exploring local experiences with integration in three cities along the Balkans migrant route: Istanbul as a source city, Belgrade as a transit city, and Hamburg as a destination city. The webinar features local researchers from each city, and discusses their experiences with localized and participant research.