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Day 101, Year of #Mygration: A big data approach to research sudden large scale migration in humanitarian emergencies

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"Shifts and changes in the nature of conflicts and humanitarian emergencies have brought about an organic change in the current humanitarian practice. It adapted to the new context of the so-called ‘complex humanitarian emergencies’ (such as Nigeria, Ethiopia, Somalia, Angola and Syria). Recently humanitarianism came under intense scrutiny, not only for failing to address the conundrums of a changing world, but also for the increased politicisation and militarisation of humanitarian assistance, brought about by the increasing complexity of emergencies and of the world of aid.

"Some of such issues are related to the challenges of using appropriate research method and data to study such emergencies to provide in-time decision support. Whilst it takes time for the official data to be collected, quality assured and published, studies recognised that the recent refugees from Syrian war has been using the social media to describe their journey and seek help on their smart phones. Such public available and in some cases, nearly real time data provide an opportunity for a new research approach.

"A research team composing members from Department of Computing and Communications and SRA IDII therefore explored the application of Big Data research method to the movement of the Syrian refugees, using the Twitter data extracted from the internet. The aim is to better understanding of such sudden large scale movement of populations and facilitate decision makings in complex humanitarian emergency assistance for various governments and aid organisations."

In the next few days this week, we will have more posts from the project and for more details please contact Dr. Belinda Wu  or Dr. Patrick Wong

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