New Evidence from Research for Action and Influence Conference

At the recent EOU Research for Action and Influence Conference, graduates of the 9-month OCN Level 3 accredited course shared their findings on migrant and refugee communities in London. The Conference is an opportunity for course participants to demonstrate their learned skills and individual projects related to community research and campaigning.

The Conference also featured guest speaker Professor Heaven Crawley. Professor Crawley is an experienced researcher and policy analyst in asylum and immigration issues.

Professor Heaven Crawley highlighted the importance of, and key ideas behind, refugee and migrant community research.

Undertaking migration research with and by, rather than on, refugees and migrants is critical to understanding the nature of their experience(s). This population is often considered ‘hard to reach’ but this often reflects the failure of researchers to properly engage with the issues that are important to the community. This is why I think this particular project is important – academics and other decision makers need to take part and hear those experiences from the ground,” Professor Crawley.

Photo of Conference Participants

Graduate projects and presentations included:

Identity, Belonging & Migrant Representation in the U.K.:

Flora Todlana: Zimbabwean Refugees’ General Lifestyle and their Emotional Welfare Away from
Home: A Pilot Study in the Borough of Brent.

“In my study, I found that these people [Zimbabwean Refugees] are very highly educated, but resort to doing very low jobs. These are people who have standards from where they come from…they are people who have class, but when they come here…they’re living in a box. 46% had a masters plus, 30.8% all degreed, 15% have diplomas, 7.7% has certificates.”

Joseph Oladosu: The Barriers faced by African Migrants in Accessing Employment in the UK

“As a migrant myself, I was shocked in terms of my experience, given my employment and background back in Africa, before coming to the U.K. In doing this research, I distributed about 60 questionnaires. My findings revealed that prejudice against migrants is so engrained in the fabric of the British society in all fronts – not just in employment.”

Faisal Maramazi: Assessing the Cultural Value of the Arabic Version of amongst Syrians and Ahwazi Community in London

Through my research, I found that there were some positive and negative aspects of the Arabic version of the website. The positive aspect was the continuation of the website – the website is continuously being developed and updated on a daily basis. Another was that the articles on the website are relevant to the refugee issues. Areas where we could develop are…more coverage on the ethnic minorities that are coming [to the U.K.] The information needed to be widened to include other refugee groups, so that more individuals could be referred to the site.”

Marcin Mizgalski: Influence of Brexit on High-Profile Immigrants from Poland in their Decision to stay/leave the UK

Kosar Alali: The Role of Zaar in Healing Mental Distress of Forced Migration: Case Study from the Ahwazi Community in London

“Anyone who goes through the process of forced migration suffers from some type of trauma. Refugees are not a homogenous group, they have different cultures, approaches to healing from mental distress.

Photo of Research Participant Presentations

Accessing Services in Hostile Environments for Migrants:

Claudia Saavedra: Homelessness amongst Migrant Families in Haringey: A case study of Visitors to Haringey Migrant Support Centre

Fatouma Ali:  Accessing Mental Health Care for Somaliland Community in Islington

Joanna Gos: Barriers Faced by the Polish Community Accessing Social Housing

Maimunat Solanke: How NRPF affects Women Suffering from Domestic Violence in the Royal Borough of Greenwich

Nadia Naamani: Gender and Migrant Entrepreneurs: Barriers faced by Highly Skilled Algerian Women to Create Entrepreneurship in London

2016-17 Graduate Feedback:

“Our instructor, Latefa, brought in expertise from outside quarters in order to bridge in the required knowledge, and she assisted students on their research work.”

“This course covered all we needed to know about research methods and focuses more on action social research – from the research proposal to the presentation. Latefa, our instructor, invited highly competent persons to help us (the students) in every stage of the research, like Chris New, the Deputy Head of International Foundation Programme at the University of London, as well as other guest speakers specialised in social studies.”

“Our instructor worked tirelessly to teach us using appropriately-planned teaching materials. She always called upon us to ask her questions, as she was happy to assist. But it was upon us, the students, to take in the knowledge and work hard to produce competing pieces of work in the social sciences fraternity.”

Visit our Research for Action & Influence page to find out more about the course, participant eligibility and details about how you can register. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Latefa Narriman Guemar at or 020 7697 4104.