About the speakers
Evan Easton-Calabria is a researcher for the Humanitarian Innovation Project’s (HIP) research project on refugees’ bottom-up social protection. Her work with refugees began in Kampala, Uganda, in 2011 and has led her to research historical and contemporary refugee self-reliance assistance. While living in Uganda, she co-founded a grassroots organisation with refugees in Kampala that provides livelihoods training and support to urban refugees. This ongoing work has provided her with an invaluable insider lens on refugee-led initiatives. She is currently completing her DPhil in International Development, tracing the changes and continuities of refugee self-reliance assistance and refugees’ involvement with development since the 1920s. In 2015 she was Principle Investigator for the National Geographic Young Explorer’s project ‘Innovation and the Art of Self-Reliance: Artistic Livelihoods of Kampalan Refugees’ and in 2015-2016 for the research project ‘Researching Refugee-Run Micro-Finance’ funded by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. Through academic research and piloting grassroots self-reliance projects with refugee communities in Kampala, she aims for her work to contribute to Refugee Studies and inform contemporary refugee policy on livelihoods and self-reliance.
Will Allen is a Research Officer at COMPAS, working with the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford. His main research focuses on British media representations of migration, as well as how these interact with public perceptions of immigrants and migration policy change in the UK. Since 2011 he has helped the Observatory to understand how UK national newspapers have covered migration issues and specific migrant groups. Working with COMPAS has also led him to examine how civil society stakeholders use and communicate social scientific data, including statistics about migration. He is involved in several projects addressing how people engage with data visualisations, how civil society organisations use research through ‘knowledge exchange’, and what ethical issues arise from open and ‘Big’ data. Prior to joining COMPAS, he conducted ethnographic fieldwork at the Kenya-Uganda border to understand how border-crossers impacted local economic development and public health interventions. He also has experience investigating rural livelihoods and migration in northern Mexico, as well as consulting for human rights and education NGOs in the US-Mexico borderlands. He holds degrees in Social Policy and Economics from Alma College (USA) and Development Studies from Oxford.