The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU's Dr Rita Lambert receives a UCL Knowledge Exchange and Innovation grant

31 January 2022

Congratulations to Dr Rita Lambert whose proposal for a new project entitled 'Linking asylum hotspots: exchanging strategies towards dignified refugee reception and sustainable island systems' has successfully received a UCL Knowledge Exchange and Innovation grant


 The project brings together DPU staff (Dr Rita Lambert and Dr Ignacia Ossul Vermehren), the University of Deusto (Dr Edurne Bartolome Peral) and five NGOs in Greece (Samos Volunteers, Zaporeak, Echo100 Plus, Glocal Roots and Refugee Biriyani and Bananas).  

Given the political instabilities around the world and the climate crisis, the continuous displacement of people is predicted to worsen. Coping with the urgency of the humanitarian crisis, very little time is dedicated to reflection and exchange of knowledge on innovations around dignified, sustainable, and agentive forms of care that support bottom-up social integration for refugees. Much of this knowledge remains undocumented and lacks systematic procedures for enquiry.

The top-down stance adopted in refugee hotspots has been unable to provide adequate services and infrastructure for asylum seekers. This has also contributed to environmental degradation and challenges for local inhabitants. To fill the gap of unmet needs, NGOs and CBOs have innovated in the provision of health, education, housing and food.

Working with partners in five refugee ‘hotspots’ islands- Chios, Samos, Leros, Kos and Lesbos- the project aims to support institutional memory and create a platform for transdisciplinary knowledge exchange between academics, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CBOs) working in/and from Greece on the refugee crisis.