Naseh to assess economic progress of refugees from Afghanistan


Mitra Naseh, an assistant professor at the Brown School, has received a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation for a pilot study to examine economic integration among newly settled Afghan refugees.

The study will be aimed at developing a questionnaire to assess the economic progress of refugees, translate it to Pashto and Dari languages, then conduct interviews with 10-15 Afghans to see if the tool makes sense to them. The developed questionnaire will be piloted among 400 Afghans in St. Louis and in Portland, Ore.

No such tool currently exists, and Naseh hopes its development will result in a larger study to advance the process of economic integration and find the best ways to serve refugees and create policies that benefit them.

“I think it’s a very important and understudied topic,” Naseh said. “So many humans are displaced every day, and I want to bring more attention to this crisis. Afghans are one of the largest displaced populations in the world.”

Naseh joined the Brown School this year from Portland State University, where she was an assistant professor. She has been working alongside refugees for 15 years in various capacities with humanitarian organizations. “I have always been committed to spend the energy, time and resources that I have to help forcibly displaced people,” she said.

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