London Met academics and partners win major grant for Afghan resettlement project

£268,792 award from the Nuffield Foundation will support the crucial work of Professors Louise Ryan and María López, and their partners, into the Afghan resettlement scheme.

Date: 30 January 2024

A project involving London Met academics, led by Dr Caroline Oliver at University College London, which aims to assess the effectiveness of the Afghan resettlement scheme in England has received £268,792 from the Nuffield Foundation. 

Professors Louise Ryan and María López, who run London Met's Global Diversities and Inequalities (GDI) Research Centre, will work with academics from University College London and Dr Janroj Keles from Middlesex University, on the 18-month project, which is scheduled to run from January 2024 to June 2025. This work builds upon the existing research by Louise and María, with Islington Council, into the challenges faced by the Afghan community in London. 

"Since the Taliban's takeover of Kabul in August 2021, we have seen over 22,000 vulnerable Afghans relocate to the UK", commented Professor Ryan. "There is urgent need to provide robust research on how Afghan evacuees are embedding into life in the UK and how their needs are being supported by local authorities across the country. This new Nuffield funded project will provide essential independent evidence to guide policy implementation effectively."

Impactful outcomes for policy and practice 

The findings aim to inform national and local authorities, NGOs, and migration partnerships. The study is set to provide actionable insights to improve the resettlement experience and address disparities.  

Professor María López, commented: "Our work studying the Afghan community in London has already provided some compelling insights for policymakers. This new work will deepen our understanding of the resettlement schemes and the way in which life for the Afghan community has been impacted by the current economic climate and the broader environment for migrants across the south-east of England."

Comprehensive research approach for in-depth analysis 

The research will be conducted in four phases, starting with a scoping review of existing data and literature. It will then progress to surveying Afghan refugees in five locations across England, focusing on their experiences in employment, income, and housing.  

The study will pay particular attention to regional variations and the experiences of different demographic groups, with a specific focus on women and young people. The final phase involves analysing all gathered data so that it can inform future policy and practice. 

Dr Catherine Dennison, Programme Head for Welfare, at the Nuffield Foundation said: "The Nuffield Foundation is delighted to fund this important study by a consortium of researchers with distinct but complementary expertise. By independently evaluating how the resettlement scheme is supporting Afghan individuals and families, the project will provide much needed guidance to inform local and national practice."

Pic: Professor María López (left) and Professor Louise Ryan (right)