Research methods

In exploring the diversity of asylum seekers’ needs and aspirations and how local institutions respond to these wishes and hopes, the research project uses a variety of complementary research methods to examine all aspects of our research questions. The explorative research approach will mainly rely on qualitative research methods. These include:

  • ethnographic observations/participant observation (in selected asylum accommodations and local events)
  • guided and semi-structured interviews
  • expert interviews
  • key informants interviews
  • group interviews/focus groups
  • policy and media analysis
  • various tools of visual anthropology (using and discussing photos taken by informants)
  • transect walks (mobile interviews with informants as they go through their everyday spaces)
  • spatial analysis and mapping

Research participants include asylum seekers, members of voluntary agencies, migration organizations and city workers (administrators, social workers, healthcare professionals, etc.).

We work with translators who have been or still are asylum seekers. Therefore, we can provide translation for the following languages Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Urdu and Dari.

Results of the project will be published in local media and academic articles, and will be available online at

In all points in the research, we have been oriented by the ethical guidelines for research set out by the American Anthropological Association.


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