A Social Informatics Analysis of Refugee Mobile Phone Use: A Case Study of Za’atari Syrian Refugee Camp by Carleen Maitland, Ying Xu :: SSRN
thomwithoutanh's bookmarks 2016-08-25
Data for this exploratory research were collected via pen-and-paper survey in the Za’atari Syrian Refugee Camp in Jordan in January 2015. Za’atari is an outlier among refugee camps, with its wealthier and more IT-savvy refugee population. Hence, this analysis helps understand mobile phone use in what is now the state-of-art refugee context, but is likely to reflect future conditions in other camps around the world. Based on data from 174 youth, the research finds 86% of youth own mobile handsets and 83% own SIM cards. Even with reasonably high levels of SIM card ownership, 79% of youth also borrow SIM cards from friends and family. Unsurprisingly, mobile phones are the most popular medium for accessing the internet. This was true in Syria as well, but is even more so in the camp. In the camp, over half of youth access the internet one or more times per day. In terms of communication services, WhatsApp was the most frequently used to communicate to those in both Jordan and Syria, while mobile voice was used more frequently for communicating within Jordan. When asked about favorite online information sources, the six most frequently mentioned were: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, TV and Wikipedia, with Google being significantly more popular. Without resource constraints, the youth indicated they would like more access to Instant Messaging/WhatsApp, news sources and increased opportunities to communicate with people via social media.