Prof Rob Ackland is collaborating in the sub-project on Diasporas Online, of the interdisciplinary study Diaspora Humanitarians: How Australia-based migrants help in crises abroad. The Diaspora Humanitarians project s a 3-year project led by an interdisciplinary team of scholars of diaspora, migration, and humanitarianism. The project looks at Australia-based diasporas connected to eight case-study locations, to identify what kind of crises diasporas are responding to, with what kind of actions, and what kind of impacts their actions have.
The Sub-project 2 - Diasporas online, is lead by Prof Alan Gamlen and Dr. Anurug Chakma (The Australian National University). This stream is focused on studying the ways diasporas organise online to conduct humanitarian actions. Specifically, it seeks to understand how diaspora groups use digital tools (such as social networking and crowdfunding sites) to organise despite physical dispersion, and to respond to overseas crises affecting their compatriots. It uses quantitative research methods such as text-mining, topic modelling and sentiment analyses to understand online diaspora behaviour, experiences, preferences and choices. The new knowledge generated by this stream will help stakeholders to understand what is happening in the online spaces where most diaspora humanitarian action takes shape. VOSON Lab contributions to the project involve the collection and analysis of social media data.