Refugees’ Information Seeking in Nyarugusu Camp, Tanzania

OBODORUKU, Benedicta (2018) Refugees’ Information Seeking in Nyarugusu Camp, Tanzania. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session 137 - Africa.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Refugees’ Information Seeking in Nyarugusu Camp, Tanzania

The surge of refugees worldwide is of fundamental concern to the United Nations (UN). There are millions of persons who have been displaced because of growing conflicts. The problem is serious in nations such as “Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Somalia, where the right to adequate food and protection might be insufficient or non-existent, and where the fundamental human rights are also not valued.”1 There have been reports that, in numerous countries through the African continent women, as well as children are exposed to sexual violence because of these inadequacies among other reasons. Information is fundamental to humans in every environment and is perceived “as evidence, as things from which one becomes informed.” This research study investigates refugees’ information seeking in Nyarugusu Camp, Tanzania with the approval of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Tanzania Government. This research is centered on one-on-one interviews with refugees and with the UNHCR’s staff (in Tanzania as well as in the United States of America (U.S.A), New York). Also, this research study carried out focus group discussions with refugees and an unobtrusive observation of the Nyarugusu Camp. There was a total of 70 refugees (22 women and 48 men), who participated in this research study. Five UNHCR staff, both in the field in Tanzania as well as in the USA, was interviewed. This research examined the subsequent research question: What role does information play for people in the refugee camp?1 This research question seeks to explore how refugees seek information in the camp. The research utilized content analysis, a qualitative method. Axial coding was utilized to construct taxonomic categories of the interview data, the focus group transcripts as well as the unobtrusive observation notes of refugees’ information use in camp. Atlas.ti qualitative statistical software was utilized to code the text. Domain analytic techniques were utilized by empirically employing theories and model of information seeking and behavior of refugees. Previously established Information Seeking Behavior (ISB) models in the literature were used to pinpoint the information-seeking behavior patterns of refugees. There were three models utilized: (1) “The Information Seeking Model of Refugees in Nyarugusu Camp”1 (2) “A Depiction of External Factors Relating to Refugees’ Use of Information”1 and (3) “A Model of Information Acquisition and Exchange”1 which depicts information acquisition and use of refugees in Nyarugusu Camp . The research found that a preponderance of refugees engage in information seeking while in Nyarugusu camps, but a majority of them did not find the information to be useful because it does not meet their needs.

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