The European University of Post-Industrial Cities (UNIC)

Principal Investigators: Ahmet İçduygu

Researcher: Birce Demiryontar, Birce Altıok, Burcu Yakıcı, Esin Aksezer, Souad Osseiran

Funder: ERASMUS+ European Universities Programme

The European University of Post-Industrial Cities (UNIC) is a unique alliance of eight universities in post-industrial cities that all face similar challenges and opportunities in terms of mobility, inclusion, and diversity. The UNIC alliance reflects a strong European post-industrial identity by shaping a new generation of Europeans able to cooperate and work within different European and global cultures, in different languages, and across borders, sectors and academic disciplines. Our ambition is to develop innovative and sustainable means of university collaboration that will boost student and staff mobility while fostering social inclusion and furthering societal impact. UNIC aims to grow towards optimum institutional convergence of its member universities in order to effectively deploy our shared experience of teaching and researching in post-industrial cities.

UNIC will become a model for effective physical and virtual exchange for all students; for the fruitful interconnection of universities and cities, and for a research-led approach to superdiversity that together will result in greater urban equality and productivity. The UNIC partners have united to enhance and extend regional high-quality education and research through inter-European cooperation in order to offer students truly European learning, teaching, and working experiences. We will combine our educational and research experiences and devise new models for inter-culturally respectful interaction both within our classrooms and our cities. Our students and staff will contribute innovative ideas and practices to promote a successful and inclusive urban future where academia meets the city. UNIC provides a model that will help other European universities to extend mobility and inclusion for societal impact. UNIC is a true agent of change in the transformation of post-industrial work and life and will make a significant contribution to the future of higher education in Europe.

Website: unic.eu

Twitter: UNIC_EU

Partners: The project is being coordinated by Erasmus University Rotterdam (Rotterdam, NL). Other members of the Consortium are Koç University (İstanbul, TUR); Ruhr University of Bochum (RUB, GER); University College Cork (Cork, IRL); University of Deusto (Bilbao, ESP); University of Liège (BEL); University of Oulu (FIN); University of Zagreb (Zagreb, CRO).

Key Inclusive Development Strategies for LifeLongLearning (KIDS4ALLL)

Principal Investigators: Çetin Çelik

Researchers: Birce Altıok (MiReKoc), Begüm Sonbahar, Eleni Pothou

Funder: Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

Overview:

KIDS4ALLL aims to implement a pilot action that will experiment a learning method and learning environment in formal, non- formal and informal educational contexts to address the integration challenges of migrant children.
The KIDS4ALLL learning method draws on (1) knowledge acquisition (2) skills training and (3) attitude transfer to convey lifelong learning competences as a whole within a collaborative and co-creative learning process. As a response to the educational needs of children, in particular of migrant children, and of educators as pathfinders for continuous lifelong and lifewide learning, the project is grounded on three Key Inclusive Development Strategies (KIDS) towards LifeLongLearning (LLL), which represent the specific objectives of the project:

1) Fostering acquisition, maintenance and cultivation of competences related to the 8 LLL key areas;
2) Enhancing the methodological competences of educators towards inclusive and participatory teaching, training and intercultural dialogue;
3) Testing the concept of peer-to-peer learning in the form of buddyship collaboration (guided pairing of learners) with the lifelong and lifewide dimensions of learning.
The learning method will be corroborated by the online and offline instruments that represent the KIDS4ALLL learning environment.
The KIDS4ALLL project team envisages implementation of the pilot action in formal, non-formal and informal institutions in 9 countries (2 of which non-EU), all chosen because of their specific and variegated migration and educational contexts, and reaching approximately 1000 members of the principal target groups defined by the project.
The impact of KIDS4ALLL will be brought about through the combined expertise of the consortium members, including academic institutions, civil society organizations and policymakers from 10 EU countries and 2 non-EU countries, and an International Advisory Board that covers six additional countries in Europe and beyond.

Partners: 

  • Universita Degli Studi Di Torino
  • Oslomet – Storbyuniversitetet
  • Tarki Tarsadalomkutatasi Intezet Rt
  • Sirius Policy Network on Migrant Education
  • Koc University
  • University of Peloponnese
  • Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena
  • Universitat de Barcelona
  • Universita Degli Studi Di Padova
  • Indire Istituto Nazionale Di Documentazione Per L’innovazione E La Ricerca Educativa
  • Levinsky College of Education Tel- Aviv
  • Ars Media Srl
  • Institute for Education Malta
  • Foundation for Access To Rights – Far

More information available here.

Official website: https://www.kids4alll.eu

Urban Displacement, Development and Donor Policies in the Middle East

Principle Investigator: Ahmet İçduygu

Researcher: Souad Osseiran

Project duration: 2019-2022 (36 months)

Aiding large numbers of urban displaced is a major challenge to humanitarian policy. Unable to the address the root causes of displacement, the international community is searching for better polices to address displacement in fragile host countries as this is not only a key development challenge, but also an opportunity: towns and cities offer better prospects for medium-term integration and self-reliance than do traditional rural and camp-based responses. To this end, there has been a transition from person-centric (rights-based) towards site-centric (place-based) approaches integrated in a comprehensive developmental approach to urban displacement. This project seeks to add to these efforts by investigating the key elements needed for instituting a place-centred (area-based) urban response for Middle East refugees and IDPs. This research aims to produce comprehensive and comparable information about the needs of urban based Syrian refugees in Turkey and other countries neighboring Syria with the goal of contributing to the development of effective urban refugee policies in the region. While there is macro aggregrated data about refugees in the countries where the study will be carried out (Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq), there is limited research on the micro-level experiences of refugees and the impact of policies on refugee choices of living place and living experiences.

Funder: Norwegian Research Council

Partners: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), Institute Français du Proche-Orient (Jordan), Middle East Research Institute (MERI), Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)

Mobile Health for Mobile People

Principle Investigator: Ceren Acarturk

Project team: Ayşen Üstübici, Sibel Karadağ, Gülşah Kurt

Project duration: 12 months (2021)

Forced migrants access to care is severely curtailed by legal, informational, cultural, and linguistic barriers. The lack of continuity in care is particularly detrimental for treatment of chronic and mental health conditions. To address these issues, this project will design, pilot, and evaluate the impact of an m-health service in the form of a unique toll-free phone number for forced migrants that will serve three functions. First, this platform will provide free m-health services in migrants’ native languages. Second, it will serve as a unique, universally available point of referral to local health providers. Third, it will provide migrants with access and control over reliable, transportable, and secure electronic health records. Through these three functions, the platform will facilitate access to health care and continuity of care.

The research component of this action research will have three main objectives: (1) to rigorously evaluate the impact of the m-health platform using experimental and quasi-experimental methods, (2) to enable the continuous improvement of the platform, and (3) to study factors that enable or hinder trust in the platform. We will use a mixed-methods approach, including a randomised controlled trial and a high-frequency panel survey and semi-structured interviews. The project will follow a large sample of forced migrants, which will provide crucial insights on the living conditions and challenges faced in Turkey and beyond.

This innovative multidisciplinary project will not only improve access and continuity of care for migrants, but also fill important gaps in the literature in medicine (e-health in particular), psychology, and social sciences.

Funder: Wellcome Trust

Partners: University of Oxford, Paris School of Economics and American University of Beirut

RE-CARE: Assessing the Influence of Health Care Infrastructure on Syrian Refugee Return

Principle researcher: Souad Osseiran

Project Team: Birce Demiryontar, Ezgi Elçi, İlker Kayı

Funder: Koç University Seed fund

Project duration: September 2020- August 2022 (24 months)

The study focuses on the health-return nexus by exploring how health care infrastructure in Syria influences Syrian refugees’ return migration decisions. The research aims at developing evidence based, policy-oriented recommendations concerning the health infrastructure in Syria and the importance of health in refugee return decisions. Existing research examining Syrian refugees’ return migration attitudes neglects health and access to healthcare as considerations in return migration decisions (Erdoğan 2020). The limited existent research on the impact of health on return migration decisions demonstrates the significance of exploring healthcare and access to health in return migration decisions (Razum et al.,2005; Kristiansen et al., 2015; Handlos et al., 2015). In the Turkish migratory context, this remains an under-researched issue and this research aims to address this gap in knowledge thereby contributing to developing comprehensive and holistic policy recommendations concerning return-oriented refugees’ healthcare needs.

COVID-19 & Disability: Global Study

Principal Investigators: Zeynep Ceren Acartürk

Project team: Zeynep İlkkurşun, Gülşah Kurt

Funder: Institute of Development Studies, United Kingdom

Duration: September 2020-March 2022

Overview: A previous study found that 24.3% of Syrian refugees living in the greater Istanbul area have a disability. People with disabilities face both a heightened risk of negative social, health and economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are also more likely to be excluded from containment and mitigation responses (e.g., prevention activities, access to treatment, social protection). Refugees face compounding risks during COVID-19: for example, they may face language barriers when accessing COVID-19 information and services or be excluded from programmes targeted to citizens. Little is currently known about the situation of refugees with disabilities during COVID-19. In this study, we explore the experiences of Syrian refugees in Istanbul during the COVID-19 pandemic, including their inclusion in response measures. We use qualitative study design, including repeat interviews with 60 people with disabilities and with key stakeholders (e.g., government, DPOs, healthcare workers). We believe that the findings will be important to these stakeholders over the coming years as it supports disability inclusion across COVID-19 responses, particularly in existing humanitarian settings. Further, this study can serve as a template to guide the meaningful inclusion of people with disabilities in future epidemics and public health emergencies.

Partners: Shaffa Hamed, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom

Living in the Shadows: Integration and Mental Health of Refugees in Turkey: Syrians, Afghans, and Africans

Principal Investigators: Zeynep Ceren Acartürk

Project team: Gülşah Kurt, Zeynep İlkkurşun, Maryam Ekhtiari

Funder: Koc University Seed Fund

Duration: August 2020-July 2021

Overview:

The ongoing violence, conflict, and economic instability in many countries led to an unprecedented upsurge in the numbers of refugees. Turkey has become one of the major hosting countries for millions of refugees. However, thus far, there has been no systematic study comparing the mental health and integration of main refugee groups- Syrians, Afghans, and Africans– in Turkey.

In this study, we investigate mental health and integration of those main refugee groups in Istanbul, Turkey by considering conflict-related traumatic experiences and displacement -related stressors. We employ a mixed method approach including focus group discussions to understand displacement-related stressors and their impacts and survey study to test the initial conceptual model. We hope to obtain detailed knowledge about the conditions, mental health, and integration of these refugee groups in Turkey. This study will provide rich information to develop effective intervention and prevention programs by considering the specific needs of each group. Also, we do believe that this study will act as a bridge between psychology and public policy due to its contribution to the formation of successful integration policies that Turkey urgently needs.

Advancing Alternative Migration Governance (2019-2023) (ADMIGOV)

Principal Investigators: Ayşen Üstübici,  Ahmet İçduygu

Researcher: Eda Kirişçioğlu (MiReKoc), Ezgi Elçi (MiReKoc), Sibel Karadağ (MiReKoc)

Funder: Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Overview: The international consortium Advancing Alternative Migration Governance (ADMIGOV) will investigate the conformity of European migration policy in practice with the basic principles of the United Nations. This project has received a subsidy of €3 million under the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission and has a duration of 4 years. The European Union is firmly committed to the 2016 New York Declaration and the 2030 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. In these treaties, states have agreed to cooperate and take common responsibility for migration and refugee issues, and work to end extreme poverty, inequality, injustice and climate change worldwide. What type of migration policy can contribute to putting these principles and priorities into practice? The international team will analyse current migration and focus on three basic situations in which EU and national policy are implemented: (1) entry/access to the EU; (2) leaving the EU (voluntarily or not); and (3) innovative possibilities for temporary and circular migration. The team looks in detail at the implementation of two basic principles: the protection principle and the principle to support development goals. It also focuses on possible tensions between different policy solutions (such as the tension between protecting and controlling) as well as between existing policies and the unprecedented numbers of migrants in practice. The research will be carried out in the prosperous part of the EU (such as the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany) as well as at the edges of the EU (Greece, Turkey, Spain and Poland). In addition, the team will collect data from migrants en route, and investigate the situation in countries of origin and transit situations such as Lebanon, Niger and Ethiopia. By choosing these locations, the team hopes to gain insight into the most crucial and problematic processes around migration and migration policy that are currently at play.

Website: admigov.eu

Twitter: admigov

Partners: The project is being coordinated by Dr Anja van Heelsum (principal investigator), Dr Jeroen Doomernik, Dr Polly Pallister-Wilkins and Dr Barak Kalir. The University of Amsterdam conducts the research together with the Maastricht, Aegean, Aalborg, Barcelona (UB), Brussels (ULB), Wrocław and Addis Ababa universities, as well as Koç University, the American University in Beirut, Clingendael Institute, the Centre for International Information and Documentation in Barcelona and the Danish Refugee Council.

Aligning Migration Management and the Migration-Development Nexus (MIGNEX)

Principal Investigators: Ayşen Üstübici, Ahmet İçduygu

Researcher: Pınar Ensari

Funder: Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Overview: Two of the most influential ideas in migration research and policy are ‘migration management’ and ‘the migration–development nexus’. In Europe no less than in other regions of the world, each of these notions has spawned substantial research. But the connections between the two remain elusive. Addressing migration challenges requires an approach that aligns the two research fields and translates the linkages into policy implications. This is the challenge at the heart of MIGNEX. To our knowledge, MIGNEX is the largest European-funded research project on migration. This feature attests to the complexity and potential impact of the project. (Other research initiatives with larger budgets have addressed migration as one of several topics, been programmes rather than focused projects, or had other forms of funding.) The project will run for five years from September 2018. Primary field research will take place in ten countries of origin and transit: Afghanistan, Cabo Verde, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Tunisia, and Turkey. Data collection will encompass policy reviews, key informant interviews, focus groups, and a large sample survey. Much of the data collection will be focused on 25 research areas spread across the ten countries, allowing for identifying mechanisms at the local level.

Project Website: MIGNEX

Newsletter: MIGNEX has been producing a quarterly newsletter with updates about the project’s activities and results, since June 2019. Sign up here.

End-User Panel: The End-User Panel provides a means for MIGNEX to engage with a large and varied group of end users, who contribute their views in targeted and time-efficient ways. The panel includes the policy community, academic community, civil society and private sector. Apply here to join the MIGNEX End-User Panel.

Partners: The project is carried out by a consortium of nine institutions:

  • Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway – Coordinator
  • Danube University Krems, Austria
  • University of Ghana, Ghana
  • Koç University, Turkey
  • Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan
  • University of Maastricht, Netherlands
  • Overseas Development Institute (ODI), United Kingdom
  • University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Samuel Hall, Afghanistan (subcontractor)

COST ACTION CA16111 - International Ethnic and Immigrant Minorities' Survey Data Network

Management Committee Members (Turkey): Ahmet İçduygu, Sedef Turper

Duration: 21/04/2017 – 20/04/2021

Researcher: Burak Ağalday, Feyza Köseoğlu Darılmaz, Birce Altıok

Funder: European Cooperation in Science & Technology (COST)

Overview: The main goal of this network is to bring together researchers, policy makers, and survey data producers to join efforts to improve the access, usability, dissemination and standards of the multiple and scattered survey data that exist on the economic, social and political integration of ethnic and migrant minorities (EMMs). This Action is both relevant and timely, as it will provide the mechanisms that will enhance the research capacity in Europe in the field of EMMs’ economic, social and political integration, and will allow a solid and evidence based transfer of knowledge to policymakers and civil society organizations about the key consequences and social processes related to the integration of EMMs in European societies and elsewhere. The COST network will focus at once on multiplying research capacity and on transferring knowledge to a multiplicity of audiences and stakeholders.
The network will achieve these goals by compiling, documenting, archiving and pooling a large amount of data coming from various comparable studies conducted around Europe, thus providing the means to improve the empirical basis of high-quality research. Data will be made available on an web-based platform or Data Hub. The Action also includes a specific research training and educational component with the aim of guaranteeing that these coordinated efforts are carried over into the future through the next generations of researchers.

Parties: The Action is backed by 47 proposers undertaking research in 20 European countries and the US and its composition is balanced in terms of gender, geography, type of organization and career stage.

Website: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA16111/

Interactive Social Integration Model for Improving Migration Governance in Turkey

Principal Investigators: Ahmet İçduygu

Investigators: Özgür İlke Şanlıer Yüksel (Çukurova University), Şebnem Köşer Akçapar (Koç University), Sedef Turper (Koç University), Kadir Onur Unutulmaz (Social Sciences University of Ankara), İlker Kayı (Koç University)

Researchers: Burak Ağalday, Fevza Köseoğlu Darılmaz, Duygu Merve Uysal

Funder: TUBITAK 1003 Program

Overview:The Project assesses the increasing migration movements in Turkey over the medium and long term results to discuss governance issues of migration in Turkey. The study will examine the relevant regulations introduced by the central government, as well as how these regulations are implemented by different actors at the local level. In addition, the findings obtained from this study will be based on a historical framework and will examine the reasons, how they affect our cities in different periods and different kinds of immigration movements in different periods since the 1990s. The research project also aims to renew and improve the existing immigration and migration policy governance concepts and practices of migration movements of the last thirty years in Turkey in the light of their effects of on the urban transformation. The research project will analyze the relationships between the migration processes and the transformations in the cities in different regions of our country by gathering and evaluating the data of local governments, local people and migrants arriving in different periods with scientific methods.

The Euro-Mediterranean Research Network on Migration (#EUMedMi)

Steering Committee Member: Ahmet İçduygu

Researcher: Birce Altıok

Funder: Erasmus + Jean Monnet Network Program

Overview: EUMedMi Jean Monnet Network seeks to forge a community of researchers to develop the field of European Mediterranean Migration Studies. In spite of an existing burgeoning literature, this field is dispersed in Mediterranean and Migration European Studies. The main scientific purpose is two-fold. First, to collect and map the accumulated body of knowledge since the EuroMed neighbourhood cooperation framework was constituted in 1995. Second, to define this R&I agenda for the coming years. The concrete means for this first three-year period is to create a networking platform promoting Research Excellence, Post-graduate Training and Research/Policy/Social Dialogue. Composed of 7 members and 10 associate partners, EUMedMi covers the overall Mediterranean geographical scope. It is intentionally multi-disciplinary and multi-methods, with social and policy influential partners. EUMedMi ambition is to become a reference focal point for the development of a Mediterranean Migration research agenda within European Studies. Each partner will develop their own research related to the overall Mediterranean Migration research agenda in European Studies, and the ground for knowledge exchange. A Ph.D. Summer School and a seminar series with WP and Audio-Visual Material production will concentrate the Training’s activities. A national-based WS series will also ensure the policy, social and research Dialogue. The ambition of the innovative research is also present by organizing a final Symposium involving scholars, policymakers and stakeholders from all the rims of the Mediterranean, to discuss within European Studies how Mediterranean cities could become new drivers for changing the current state-based Euro-Mediterranean policy paradigm. Finally, all the research and training activities will be channelled towards the edition of a Handbook on European Mediterranean Migration Studies. (See project card)

Duration: EUMedMi is a three-year international project funded by the Erasmus + Jean Monnet Network Program and is within the framework of EuroMedMig IMISCOE Regional Network.

Website: Click here.

Download Brochure to know more about this Network

Twitter: /EuroMedMig

Members:

  • GRITIM-UPF, Catalonia (Coordinator- Ricard Zapata-Barrero – GRITIM-UPF)
  • CMRS, Egypt (Co-coordinator)
  • CEDEM, Belgium
  • IGOT, Portugal
  • MiReKoc, Turkey
  • University of Sousse, Tunisia
  • URMIS, France

Forced Migration Resource Center

Researchers: Souad Osseiran

Overview: Forced Migration Resource Center at Koc University (FMRC) is an online platform established by Migration Research Center at Koc University (MiReKoc) in partnership with Vehbi Koc Foundation (VKV). The platform draws together a diverse collection of reliable and accurate resources concerning forced migration in general and Syrian refugees in particular. The center provides online and free access to anyone – that is, individual researchers, universities, civil society organizations, international organizations, policy makers, media, and displaced persons themselves seeking information into issues related to forced migration and asylum. The primary aim of FMRC is to increase the research capacity of all state and non-state actors working in the field and enhance inter-institutional communication among civil society, academia, policy-makers and international organizations addressing the issue of forced migration. It also aims to prevent the information pollution and regulate the overload of information in the field.