Currently, over 22 million people are considered to be refugees. Many of them are looking for shelter in the surrounding countries of their home country. Technology can be a helpful tool in addressing the challenges of the so-called “refugee crisis”, facilitating initial orientation, information, as well as communication and networking support. This one-day workshop aims to (1) finalize the elaborated guidelines of the previous workshop and SIG meeting and to (2) formulate a manifesto for researchers who work with the vulnerable target group of refugees.

Call for Participation
The different challenges faced by refugee communities and the humanitarian system in their support has instigated a call for technical innovation. This one-day workshop aims to provide a forum for researchers to discuss and extend the guidelines, which were elaborated in the previous workshop. More details regarding the previous workshop are available at our website. We invite researchers interested in participating to submit a four pages’ position paper (ACM Extended Abstract format). Papers should critically reflect on how the researchers’ research/interest addresses issues faced by refugee communities. Experience reflected upon does not have to be specifically concerned with working with refugees, however those interested should discuss how lessons learnt and methods used in their works can be adapted and applied to refugee contexts. Submissions should be sent to and/or in .pdf format. Position papers will be reviewed based on relevance to the workshop. At least one co-author of each accepted paper should attend the workshop.

Important Dates:
Final Submission Deadline: November 21st, 2017
Final Notification: December 1st, 2017
Workshop Day: January 7th, 2018

Location: International Conference on Supporting Group Work, Sanibel Island, Florida,

The workshop is based on the project work of NETT.Werkzeug, which is funded by the EU Program „Investing in our Future
European Regional Development Fund“

The co-organisers of the workshop have all conducted research with refugee communities and stakeholders within the humanitarian system. Collectively, we have conducted research in Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Greece, Germany and the U.S.A.

Konstantin Aal

Konstantin Aal is a PhD student at the Institute for Information Systems and New Media, University of Siegen. His main research focus is fall prevention with older adults. He is also part of come_IN, a research project which founded several computer clubs for children and their relatives including refugees.

Anne Weibert

Anne Weibert is a PhD student and a research assistant at the Institute for Information Systems and New Media, University of Siegen. She is part of come_IN, and one of the project leaders of Nett.Werkzeug. Her interest is in computer-based collaborative project work and inherent processes of technology appropriation, intercultural learning and community-building.

Reem Talhouk

Reem Talhouk is a doctoral trainee in Digital Civics at Open Lab, Newcastle University. Her research encompasses the use of technology to build refugee community resilience. One of her fields of application is Lebanon, where her research focus lies on health access and health issues for refugees.

Vasilis Vlachokyriakos

Vasilis Vlachokyriakos is a research associate at Open Lab, Newcastle University and lead of OL:Athens. His work centers on designing, developing and evaluating digitally-mediated models of citizen participation that engage communities in developing the future of local service provision, decision-making and democracy. The OL:Athens initiative engages with local solidarity groups in Greece exploring the design of technology for the Solidarity Economy while exemplifying an alternative model of conducting Action Research.

Karen Fisher

Karen Fisher is a Professor of human information behavior, social innovation and design at the Information School, University of Washington. Karen has worked with refugee youth from around the world, focusing on how they serve as information and technology wayfarers on behalf of other people. Karen works at Za’atari Camp as well as with Arab refugees in Europe, understanding their information behavior, and building capacity through education, livelihoods, and social engagement.

Volker Wulf

Volker Wulf is a computer scientist with an interest in the area of IT system design in real-world contexts, This includes the development of innovative applications from the areas of cooperation systems, knowledge management and community support. One special focus lies on flexible software architecture which can be adapted by end-users. Further research focuses on methods of user-oriented software development and introduction processes. He is head of the Institute for Information Systems and New Media at the University of Siegen.

Workshop Structure

The workshop aims to be an interactive activity for the participants. The attending participants will work in small groups, based on the position papers, and utilize several interaction design methods. Their results will be presented to the other groups. A group discussion with all participants at the end of the workshop will ensure, that every opinion will be heard and included in the manifesto.


09:00-09:15 Welcome
09:15-10:00Icebreaker and short presentation of participants
10:00-10:30Coffee break
10:30-12:00 Identifying and discussing methodological challenges
12:00-13:30 Lunch
13:30-15:00Discussion of guidelines
15:00-15:30 Coffee Break
15:30-17:00Manifest cornerstones
17:00-17:15 Closing of the day and future plans


More Information

Previous Work

This workshop had preceded a Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting in 2016 and a workshop in 2017. In the first SIG meeting at the Computer Human Interaction conference 2016 [5], the organizers broadly approached the Weiterlesen …


Pre-Workshop Plans

The workshop will be promoted through the already existing website (, that will present the results of the previous workshop and communicate the aims and structure of the upcoming workshop. The maximum number of participants Weiterlesen …


Post-Workshop Plans

After the workshop, the notes and documentation materials that were created during the discussion will be shared among the workshop participants. A poster with the main results (such as the finalized guidelines and cornerstones of Weiterlesen …


Workshop Proposal

Here you can find our workshop proposal.


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