Digital livelihoods? The online gig economy and the future of decent refugee work in cities


This project is about the opportunities and challenges refugees face in their struggles for digital livelihoods, digital skills, and decent online work.

Core Methods

The project uses ethnographic research and qualitative interviews in the two main locations of Beirut and Berlin. Alongside this field research we have also conducted remote interviews and online surveys. These methods put the emphasis on qualitative depth rather than quantitative spread, combining a bottom-up perspective rooted in social anthropology with online research methods.

Methodological Challenges and Questions

One of the main challenges of the methods has been the combination of ethnographic research in specific locations with online research, including surveys and remote interviews that go beyond these locations.


The project is funded by the ESRC. The research team includes the PI Andreas Hackl, and research assistants Philip Rushworth and Watja Najdi. We also collaborate with the MIGRANT branch of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and a range of other organizations and social enterprises that support digital refugee livelihoods.

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