How digital solutions for the integration of refugees persist long-term: The interplay of a social cause and platform architecture
Digital solutions are considered to be an important component in efforts to support the integration of refugees. Given that refugees rely on digital technology to an unprecedented degree, many digital solutions that support refugees have been developed in Europe following the high influx of refugees in 2015. However, only a few of these solutions are still active today—even though there would still be a need for them. Despite several studies concerning the use of digital solutions, it remains unclear what the success factors of those solutions that succeed in the long term are. In this paper, we explore the case of Integreat, an information platform for refugees that was founded in Germany in 2015 and is still expanding today. To identify obstacles along Integreat’s path of long-term success and to understand how they were overcome, we applied a translation process lens grounded in actor–network theory, following actors through the stages of problematization, interessement, enrolment, and mobilization during the implementation and roll-out of the digital platform. Our findings show that the long-term persistence of the Integreat platform builds on the formation of a network consisting of distinct groups of actors (core team, developer community, municipalities) that begin to act jointly as if they were a single actor. The social cause as a joint vision and the platform architecture as a facilitator strengthened the establishment and support of relationships in the network that enabled the Integreat platform. The study contributes to research on the long-term success of non-profit initiatives for the integration of refugees by emphasizing the role of social good and platform architecture.
Usachova, Olga; Schreieck, Maximilian; Passoth, Jan-Hendrik; and Krcmar, Helmut, "How digital solutions for the integration of refugees persist long-term: The interplay of a social cause and platform architecture" (2022). GlobDev 2022. 6.