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You are here: Home Digital Library Search Researching refugees: Some methodological and ethical considerations in social science and forced migration

Researching refugees: Some methodological and ethical considerations in social science and forced migration

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Sourced from: 
Forced Migration Studies Programme
Author/Creator: 
Jacobsen, K.
Author/Creator: 
Landau, L.B.
Publisher: 
Forced Migration Studies Programme
Publisher Type: 
Academic/Research Institute
Publisher Url: 
http://www.migration.org.za/
Description: 
Social scientists doing fieldwork in humanitarian situations face a dual imperative: research should be both academically sound and policy relevant. We argue that much of the current research on forced migration is based on unsound methodology, and that the data and subsequent policy conclusions are often flawed and/or ethically suspect. The paper identifies some key methodological and ethical problems confronting social scientists studying forced migrants or their hosts. These problems include: non-representativeness and bias; issues arising from working in unfamiliar contexts including translation and the use of local researchers; and ethical dilemmas including security and confidentiality issues and researchers are doing enough to ‘do no harm’. The second part of the paper reviews the authors’ own efforts to conduct research on urban refugees in Johannesburg. It concludes that while there is no single ‘best practice’ for refugee research, Refugee Studies would advance its academic and policy relevance by more seriously considering methodological and ethical concerns.
Language: 
English
Subject: 
Refugee studies
Subject: 
Social sciences
Subject: 
Humanitarian aid
Subject: 
Methods of analysis
Coverage Geography: 
Universal
Date Created: 
01/05/2003
Date Reliable: 
Yes
Date Available: 
23/04/2010
Item Type: 
Working papers
Relation: 
Working paper 2
Relation Requires: 
Adobe Acrobat
Format Medium: 
PDF
Format Medium: 
TXT
Format Extent: 
28 p.
Rights: 
Cleared
FMO Status: 
Live
creative commons logo (CC) BY-NC-ND This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.