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The Summer Intensive for Global Engagement program, created with support from partners from around the world, ran from July 6th to July 17th, and welcomed 36 lecturers and workshop leaders and 129 registered participants from 6 continents.

Prior to the beginning of the program, the participants took a survey to allow us to design better lectures and workshops. Over 12% stated that forced displacement was not integrated into their education at all, while over 50% assessed their knowledge of forced displacement as 5 or less on a 0-10 scale. 48% of the participants had never taken a class on forced displacement before.

The attached IFD post-review report elaborates on these and other salient impacts and outcomes of the Summer Intensive.


Summer Intensive 

for Global Engagement

in Forced Displacement Studies


above: COVID-19 inspired image by Program Manager Marina Lazetic

Original Programming

The COVID-19 pandemic has required the postponement of our summer programs in Colombia and Uganda, but IFD’s work to call attention to the struggles of displaced populations is all the
more important during this time. IFD is launching a virtual two-week intensive program
focusing on the challenges of urban forced displacement and homelessness in Bogotá, Kampala,
Beirut, and Boston. The Summer Intensive program includes lectures, discussions, and
workshops where students of all levels, researchers, and practitioners can engage directly with
our partners, explore case studies, and receive feedback on their own projects.

During the Summer Intensive, IFD faculty and practitioners from our partner countries will reflect on national histories of displacement as well as recent challenges in Bogotá, Kampala, Beirut, and Boston caused by the COVID19 pandemic. Readings and lectures will focus on the health and wellness of urban refugees and people experiencing homelessness in a comparative framework, but discussions of ethical challenges in the conduct of research or development of interventions will apply broadly to displacement settings.


Under the mentorship and guidance of academics and practitioners from BU and our partner
universities, IFD Summer Intensive participants will have the opportunity to deepen their
theoretical background on forced displacement in urban areas, develop research skills, and
imagine practical solutions. Participants with ongoing research projects can join the works-in-
progress workshops and benefit from expert feedback and interdisciplinary mentorship.

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Who Are You?



Want to learn about forced displacement? Students are focused on Global Engagement and will teach the foundations of displacement and design for displacement.



Curious how to build a curriculum for displaced individuals or about forced displacement? Teachers will focus on Pedagogy and will review teaching skills from curriculum building to an equitable classroom experience.



Struggling to build innovative technology during COVID-19?  Researchers will focus on Research and support undergraduate, graduate, and independent researchers working to expand their abilities with expert feedback.

question, concerns, thoughts?  Connect with us via Whatsapp at

Program Schedule

All Lectures are Recorded, Live Lectures Bolded

Monday, July 6

"‘Climate Change, Disasters and Human Mobility’" by Jane McAdam, University of New South Wales

"IDPs in an Urban Setting: Myths and Realities" by Najwa Al Dheeb, UNICEF Yemen

"The Refugee Crisis" Noora Lori, Boston University

"Reasons, Routes and Costs", "Financial Journeys", and "Financial Integration" by Kim Wilson, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

*additional informational material provided*

1:00 PM (EST) Welcome Address and Live discussion of short videos with the IFD team, Kim Wilson, and Noora Lori

Tuesday, July 7

"Forced Displacement in Uganda" – Country context lecture by Henry Komakech, Makerere University

A lecture about displacement in Uganda focusing on urban displacement and migration trends; types of urban displacement and how they affect the city of Kampala.

"Urban Refugees and Integration in Uganda: Ebola and COVID" by Henry Komakech, Makerere University

10:00 AM (EST) - Displacement in Uganda Live Discussion with Komakech and colleagues at Makerere

1: 00PM (EST) - STUDENTS: Case Study discussion – Causal Web
Hosted by Danial Hoffman and Hailey Hart-Thompson

Wednesday, July 8

"Forced Displacement Colombia" – Country context lecture by Oscar Bernal,
Universidad de Los Andes

Displacement in Colombia focusing on urban displacement and migration trends; types of urban displacement and how they affect the city of Bogotá.

"Urban Refugees and Post-Conflict Rebuilding in Colombia" by Oscar Bernal, Universidad de los Andes

9:00 AM (EST) - Displacement in Colombia Live Discussion with Oscar Bernal and colleagues at Universidad de los Andes

9:00 AM (EST) - STUDENTS: Case Study discussion – Persona Mapping
Hosted by Ahsan Fuzail and Jessica Weber

Thursday, July 9

"Forced Displacement in Lebanon" Country context lecture by Hala
Ghattas, American University of Beirut
Displacement in Lebanon focusing on urban displacement and migration trends; types of urban displacement and how they affect the city of Beirut.

"Malnutrition Among Urban Refugees: The Community Kitchen Experiment" by Hala Ghattas, American University of Beirut

9:00 AM (EST) - Displacement in Lebanon Live Discussion with Ghattas and colleagues at AUB

1:00 PM (EST) - STUDENTS: Case Study discussion – Impact gap canvas
Hosted by Hailey Hart-Thompson and Ahsan Fuzail


Friday, July 10

"Refuge: Resettlement in the USA" by Heba Gowayed, Boston University

Displacement in the USA, focusing on urban displacement and migration trends; types of urban displacement and how they affect the city of Boston.

11:00 AM (EST) - "The Structure of Resettlement" with Heba Gowayed, Boston University

Join professor of sociology Heba Gowayed to explore refugee resettlement through online tools including WRAPS, a collaborative computer system built to assist in the processing of refugees to the United States.

1:00 PM (EST) - A Conversation with BMC Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights

Monday, July 13

10:00 AM (EST) - Works-in-progress Workshop I
Hosted by Carrie Preston and Marina Lazetic
Participants of this workshop will present works-in-progress and receive feedback from the workshop moderators and participants. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in discussing their methodology or data analysis and writeup process.

10: 00 AM (EST) - Designing Solutions Workshop I
Hosted by Hailey Hart-Thompson and Jessica Weber
After a week of engaging with challenges around the world, student will be placed into project teams and begin defining the problem they will explore for the next week.

11:30 AM (EST) - A Philosophical Approach to Cultural Relativism
Hosted by Charles Griswold
The issue of relativism is a pressing one for us all, and certainly arises in the context of humanitarian intervention. Often that is an intervention in another culture whose values,
beliefs, and history are very different from one’s own. Ethnocentrism is to be avoided, and cultural sensitivity cultivated: but does that entail that relativism is to be endorsed?

1:00 PM (EST) - The Decline of Eurocentric Learning: How to Build
Equitable Curriculum (watch recorded lecture prior)

Hosted by Ed Dube, Lexington Public Schools
Everyone has been talking about decolonizing curriculum, but what does that actually mean? In this lecture, Ed Dube breaks down his experience working within the mandate of an MA public school and then in a live workshop, invites you to critique, question, and explore where MA guidelines fall short.


Tuesday, July 14

10:00 AM (EST) - Designing Solutions Workshop II
Hosted by Ahsan Fuzail and Jessica Weber
Project teams will officially define their problem and begin finding the impact gap where their solutions lie. Student will use tools from early sessions in order to move towards the solution they plan to present.

11:30 AM- Ethical Approaches to Interviewing and Working With Urban Refugees
Hosted by Marina Lazetic and Hailey Hart-Thompson
This workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to participate in open discussions about interviewing methods and strategies as well as ethical dilemmas related to this research tool. After a brief presentation by the workshop moderators, the participants will have an opportunity to engage directly with different interviewing techniques and discuss their own work and approaches to research

1:00 PM (EST) - Writing Op-Eds and Communicating Across Disciplines
Hosted by Carrie Preston and Muhammad Zaman
In this workshop participants will learn the best strategies for communicating across disciplines and writing concise pieces based on their expertise research, and practice. Professor Zaman will share his strategies and experience and tips for getting your work published.

Wednesday, July 15

10:00 AM (EST) - Qualitative Data Analysis Workshop (+basics of NVivo data analysis software)
Hosted by Marina Lazetic
This workshop is designed to equip participants with basic qualitative analysis skills and knowledge and understanding of NVivo software. By the end of the workshop, participants will have knowledge about various styles of interpretation of qualitative data and the ability to use the basic and intermediate functions of NVivo

1: 00 PM (EST) - Navigating Intense Discussions and Troubling Topics in Forced Displacement: Teachers and Students Talk Together
Hosted by Muhammad Zaman and Carrie Preston
Faculty are often afraid that discussing forced displacement in class will lead them into challenging and disturbing topics including violence, inequity, race, gender, and sexuality, among others. Students often feel troubled by these topics or the ways they are discussed by faculty and students. This workshop will feature an open discussion between teachers and students about how to teach challenging topics while supporting students.

Thursday, July 16

10:00 AM (EST) Bringing Innovation Into The Classroom: Reimagining Student Support In Idea ExplorationHosted by Blake Sims St.Louis, Innovate@BU


11:00 AM (EST) - Designing Solutions Workshop III - Skills for Communication
Hosted by Daniel Hoffman and Hailey Hart-Thompson
Students will practice presenting the solutions they crafted on Wednesday. Not only will students learn tips for effective presentations via zoom, but they will also hone their solutions prior to Friday’s presentation.

1:00 PM (EST) - Works-in-progress Workshop II
Hosted by Carrie Preston and Marina Lazetic
Participants of this workshop will present works-in-progress and receive feedback from the workshop moderators and participants. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in discussing their methodology or data analysis and writeup process.

12:00 PM (EST) History of Refugee Camps
Hosted by Laura Robson, Pennsylvania State University

Friday, July 17



10:00 AM (EST) - Student Project Presentation to a Panel
In a hackathon format, students present the projects they developed during the second week of SIGE.

11:30 AM (EST) - Closing Lecture: Finding Hope in Networks and Alliances
Hosted by Katherine Bond, Founder and Principal, Network Strategies for Health, LLC
Bond shares principles around networks and exclusion/inclusion in the context of migration and mobility; present examples of how displaced people create networks of support in different settings; describe regional/global alliances and the pose some critical questions for people to consider in their own contexts and ask them to think critically about vehicles for networks.

What Next?



Learn more about IFD Opportunities and chances to work with established researchers!

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