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Professor Giorgia Dona

Giorgia Doná is Professor of Forced Migration and Refugee Studies and Co-director of the Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging

    Giorgia Doná is Professor of Forced Migration and Refugee Studies, co-director of the Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. For more than three decades she has worked as a researcher, practitioner and activist with displaced populations and refugees in Central and North America, Eastern Africa, and Europe. Her research focuses on conflict and displacement, child and youth migration, psycho-social perspectives in forced migration, refugee voices and representation, and multi-modal narratives.

    She has held positions at the Oxford University's Refugee Studies Programme, the Child Studies Unit of University College Cork, Ireland, and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Giorgia has undertaken consultancy work for UNICEF, the IOM, governments, and non-governmental organisations, and her research has been funded by, amongst others, the European Community, the Leverhulme Trust, the UK Department for International Development and the UK Department of Health.

    2019 Winner of the Best Paper Award Senior Scholar for Reversing the Gaze on Fortress Europe: Visual Interferences Produced by Migrants in Transit at the France-UK Border, jointly written with Marie Godin and Crispin Hughes. Awarded by the European Communication Research and Education Association, Diaspora, Migration and the Media Section


    Giorgia’s areas of research expertise include:

    Refugee and Forced Migration Studies

    Ethnic Conflicts, Genocides and Political Violence

    Child and Youth Migration

    Psycho-social wellbeing and interventions

    Refugee voices and representation

    Participatory research methodologies

    Multi-modal (written, oral, digital and arts-based) narratives

    Giorgia is interested in hearing from potential PhD candidates wanting to research in the above areas


    Monographs and Edited Collections/Special Issues

    Doná, G. (2019) The Marginalised in Genocide Narratives. Abington-on-Thames: Routledge

    Bloch, A. and Doná, G. (2019) (eds.) Forced Migration: Current Issues and Debates. Abington-on-Thames: Routledge.

    Veale, A. and Doná, G. (2014) (eds.) Child and Youth Migration: Mobility-in-Migration in an Era of Globalisation. Basingstoke: Palgrave

    Doná, G. and Voutira, E. (2007) (eds.) Research Methodologies in Forced Migration, Journal of Refugee Studies, 20(2)

    Doná, G. (2006) (ed.) Child and Youth Migration: Changing Trends and Responses, International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, 2(2)

    Selected Journal Articles

    Doná, G. (2018) Situated bystandership during and after the Rwandan genocide, Journal of Genocide Research, 20 (1):1-19

    Godin, M. and Doná, G. (2016) ‘Refugee voices’ New social media and the politics of representation. Young Congolese in the diaspora and beyond. Refuge, 32(1): 60-71

    Doná, G. (2015) Making homes in limbo: embodied virtual “homes” in prolonged conditions of displacement, Refuge 31(1): 67-73

    Doná, G. and Taylor, H. (2015) The ‘peaks and troughs’ of societal violence: Revisiting the actions of the Turkish and Kurdish shopkeepers during the 2011 London riots, Sociological Research Online, 20(1)

    Doná, G. (2014) The psychological impact of working in post-conflict environments: A reflexive account on intersectional traumatization, Intervention: International Journal of Mental Health, Psychosocial Work and Counselling in Areas of Armed Conflict, 12 (1): 91-94

    Doná, G. (2013) Interconnected modernities, ethnic relations and violence, Current Sociology, 61(2): 226-243

    Doná, G. (2012) Being young and of mixed ethnicity, Forced Migration Review, 40:16-17

    Doná, G. and Veale, A. (2011) Divergent discourses, children andforced migration, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 37(8): 1273-1289.

    Doná, G. (2010) Rethinking wellbeing: from contexts to processes, International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, 6(2): 3-14

    Doná, G. (2007) The microphysics of participation in refugee research Journal of Refugee Studies, 20(2): 210-229

    Voutira, E. and Doná, G. (2007) Refugee research methodologies: Consolidation and transformation of a field, Journal of Refugee Studies, 20(2): 163-171

    Doná, G. (2006)Children as research advisors: contributions to a ‘methodology of participation’ in researching children in difficult circumstances, International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, 2(2): 22-34

    Doná, G. (2006)Changing migration patterns and responses in the context of child and youth forced migration, International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, 2(2): 2-6

    Muggeridge, H. and Doná, G. (2006) Back Home? Refugees’ experiences of the first visit back to their country of origin. Journal of Refugee Studies, 19(4): 415-432

    Doná, G. (2004) Teaching and studying the anthropology of refugees, Ethnoscripts, 6(2): 71-88

    Veale, A. and Doná, G. (2003). Street children and political violence: A socio-demographic analysis of street children in Rwanda. Child Abuse and Neglect The International Journal, 27 (3): 253-269

    Doná, G. (2002) Refugees’ wellbeing in countries of resettlement. Social Work in Europe, 9(1): 41-48

    Veale, A. and Doná, G. (2002) Psychosocial interventions and children’s rights: Beyond clinical interventions. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, vol. 8(1): 47-61

    Selected Books Chapters

    Social Scientists Against the Hostile Environment (2020) Migration, Racism and the Hostile Environment: Making the Case for the Social Sciences, London: Academy of Social Sciences Special Interest group on Migration, Refugees and Settlement (contributor)

    Doná, G., Esin, C. and Lounasmaa, A. (2019) Qualitative research in Refugee Studies. In P. Atkinson, S. Delamont, R. Williams and A. Cernat (eds) SAGE Research Methods Foundations: An Encyclopedia, 1-12

    Bloch, A. and Doná, G. (2019) Forced migration: Setting the scene. In A.Bloch, A. and G. Doná Forced Migration: Current Issues and Debates. Abington-on-Thames: Routledge, pp. 1-18

    Doná, G. and Godin, M. (2019) Mobile technologies and forced migration, in A. Bloch and G. Doná Forced Migration: Current Issues and Debates. Abington-on-Thames: Routledge, pp. 126-144.

    Doná, G. and Young, M. (2016) Refugees and forced migrants, in D. L. Sam and J. W. Berry (Eds) Cambridge Handbook of Acculturation Psychology (2nd Edition), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.153-172

    Doná, G. (2014) Forced Migration, and Material and Virtual Mobility Among Rwandan Children and Young People, in Veale, A. and Doná, G. (eds) Child and Youth Migration: Mobility-in-Migration in an Era of Globalisation, Basingstoke, Palgrave , 113-139

    Veale, A. and Doná, G. (2014)Complex Migrations, Migrant Child and Family Life Trajectories and Globalization, in Veale, A. and Doná, G. (eds) Child and Youth Migration: Mobility-in-Migration in an Era of Globalisation, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 1-20

    Doná, G. (2014) Psychology and the refugee experience, in Saths Cooper and Kopano Ratele (eds) Volume 2 Majority and Western World Psychology, Psychology Serving Humanity: Applications, Psychology Press, 144-168

    Doná, G. (2014) Intersectional traumatization: The psychological impact of researching genocide on international and national researchers, in I. Macek, I. (ed) Engaging Violence, London: Routledge, pp. 91-110

    Doná, G. (2011) Researching children and violence in evolving socio-political contexts, in, J. Pottier, L. Hammond and C. Cramer (eds) Caught in the Crossfire: Ethical and Methodological Challenges to Researching Violence in Africa, Leiden: The Netherlands: Brill Publishers, pp. 39-59

    Doná, G. (2010) Collective suffering and cyber-memorialisation in post-genocide Rwanda, in M. Broderick and A. Traverso (eds) Trauma, Media, Art: New Perspectives, Newcastle on Tyne Cambridge Scholars Press, pp. 16-35.

    Doná, G. and Ackermann, L. (2006) Refugees in camps, in D. Sam and J.W. Berry (eds) Cambridge Handbook of Acculturation Psychology, Cambridge University Press, pp. 218-232

    Doná, G. and Berry, J. W. (2003, 1999). Refugee acculturation and re-acculturation, in A. Ager (ed), Refugees: Perspectives on the Experience of Forced Migration, London: Continuum, pp. 169-195


    External Research Grants

    Digitally Enhanced Advanced Services (DEAS) Network Plus: ‘Principles in the Charity Sector - A Case Study of the Refugee Council’s Digital Social Care Provision for Children in Vulnerable Contexts’ (PI, £5K), 2020

    Global Challenge Research Fund ‘Refugee University Education in the Middle East: Supporting and Evaluating the Provision of Key Skills, Guidance and Support for Syrian Refugees’ (PI, £14K), 2018-2019

    Erasmus Plus Programme of the European Union: ‘Open Learning Initiative’, with Central European University, University of Vienna and European Network Against Racism (CI, £401K), 2016-2018

    EU Cooperation for Science and Technology ‘Action 1206 Femicide Across Europe Network Grant’ (CI, £363K), 2013-2017

    Leverhulme Trust Fellowship: ‘Bystanders to the Rwandan Genocide: Revisiting Genocide Narratives and Reconciliation Initiatives’ (PI, £30K), 2008-2010

    European Community Action Programme to Combat Social Exclusion: ‘European Port Cities: Disadvantaged Urban Areas in Transition’ (CI, £134K), 2002-2006

    President’s Fund, University College Cork: ‘Cross-cultural Perspectives on Children in Difficult Circumstances, (PI, £14,000) 1996

    European Community: ‘The European Community Network for Humanitarian Assistance’ (PI, £9K), 1994-1995

    Impact and Public Engagement Funding

    International Organisation for Migration: ‘Mapping the Rwandan Diapora in Europe: A Comparative Analysis of Diapora Engagement in the Development of Their Country of Origin’ (PI, £6K), 2019

    UK Government, Department of Health: ‘Evaluation of Harpweb, Health for Asylum Seekers and Refugees Portal’ (PI, £10K) 2009-2010

    Council for Assisting Refugee Academics: ‘Transitional Professional Development Scheme for Assisting Refugee Academics/Scholars at Risk’ (PI, £10K), 2008

    UNICEF: ‘Situational Analysis of Conditions of Children Outside Parental Care’ (PI, £17K) 2001-2002

    London Boroughs: ‘Educational Experiences of Refugee Children’ (CI, £8K) 2001

    UNICEF ‘Foster Care for Separated Children in Rwanda’ (PI, £34K) 2000-2001

    UNICEF ‘Street Children in Rwanda’(PI, £27K) 1997-1998

    Save the Children: ‘An Impact Study of Family Reunification in Rwanda’ (PI, £8K) 1997-1998

    UK Department For International Development/Irish Aid/Trocaire: ‘Social Protection for Children in Difficult Circumstances: Training and Research Programme with Government Personnel, the National University of Rwanda and Non-governmental Organisations, (PI, £380,000) 1997-1999

    Radda Barnen: ‘Research and Training Activities with Ethiopian Youth Workers Working with Street Children’ (PI, £18K), 1997


    2018 – present Board of Directors, Barbara Harrell-Bond Foundation

    2017 – present Editorial Board, Critical Childhood & Youth Studies: Theoretical Explorations and Practices in Clinical, Educational, Social, and Cultural Settings. Book Series, Lexington Books

    2017 – present Academy of Social Sciences, member of the Special Interest Group on Migration, Refugees and Settlement

    2016 – present UK Government, Office of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, member of the Independent Advisory Group on Country of Origin Information (IAGCI)

    2006 – present Editorial Board, International Journal of Migration, Health, and Social Care

    2014 – 2017 Co-convenor, Violence and Society Study Group, British Sociological Association

    2012 – 2015 Co-chair, Theorising Forced Migration Working Group, International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (with E. Voutira)

    2008 – 2009 Executive Committee, International Association for the Study of Forced Migration

    Professional Activities

    Selected Impact Activities

    Giorgia’s long-standing policy and applied research on Child Protection and Welfare of Displaced Children Living in Difficult Circumstances informed the Government of Rwanda National Policy on Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children (2003) and the development of training materials produced and used by UN child protection officers and non-governmental agency staff.

    This work became the Impact Case Study for the 2014 Sociology Research Excellent Framework submission, Improving the Protection and Welfare of Children Living in Difficult Circumstances in Rwanda, Bangladesh and around the World Read the case study

    The report Mapping the Rwandan Diaspora in Europe: a Comparative Analysis of Engagement with the Country of Origin was written in 2019 to inform the International Organisation for Migration and the Government of Rwanda’s diaspora strategies for development

    Selected Public Engagement Activities

    Doná, G. (2020) Guest Speaker for the Indus News Lahore on France Slammed over Mistreatment of Refugees, Scope Show hosted by Waqar Rizvi, 4 July 2020 Watch the panel discussion

    Doná, G. (2020) A Future beyond the Coronavirus Pandemic, a Future beyond the Hostile Environment, at Imagine a Better Future World Refugee Day 2020, event co-hosted by Sustainable Communities of Initiative of Change UK and International Centre for Eritrean Refugees and Asylum Seekers – ICERAS, 23 June

    Doná, G. (2020) Interviewed by Jennifer Sadler-Venis for the article The Humanitarian Health Crisis for the business law and human rights magazine of the International Bar Association Global Insight Read the article

    Doná, G. (2020) SonaTalks LIVE series, Access to Higher Education for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the Wake of the Covid Pandemic 5 May See the Line up for Sonatalks

    Doná, G. (2020) Guest Speaker for the Indus News Lahore on Europe’s Refugee Crisis Amidst Covid-19, Scope Show hosted by Waqar Rizvi, 17 April Watch the panel discussion

    Doná, G (2019) Marginalised Narratives of the Rwandan Genocide: an Interview with Giorgia Doná, Oxford Research Group See full interview

    Expert adviser for the online magazine 11 Press (2011- 2015) Read the article

    Country of origin expert (Rwanda) for Refugee Legal Aid (2011-present) Read the article

    Research Impact and Public Engagement


    Introduction to Conflict, Displacement and Human Security

    Forced Migration in the Global Area

    Human Mobility, Forced Migration and Social Change

    Research Methods for the Social Sciences

    Policy and Practice of Humanitarianism and Development

    Supervision of Master Dissertations

    Supervision of Doctoral Students

    Programme Leadership

    Master in Conflict, Displacement and Human Security (co-Programme Leader, 2012-present)

    Master in Refugee Studies (co-Programme Leader, 2011- present))

    ESRC UBEL (UCL, Bloomsbury and East London) Doctoral Training Partnership (Sociology Pathway co-Leader, 2016-present)