Dr Evan Easton-Calabria

Early Career Fellow, Rethinking Refuge

Evan Easton-Calabria is a researcher on the Rethinking Refuge project at the RSC. Prior to this (until December 2018) she worked on the Refugee Economies Programme's research project on refugees’ bottom-up social protection.

Her work with refugees began in Kampala, Uganda, in 2011 and has led her to research historical and contemporary refugee self-reliance assistance. While living in Uganda, she co-founded a grassroots organisation with refugees in Kampala that provides livelihoods training and support to urban refugees. This ongoing work has provided her with an invaluable insider lens on refugee-led initiatives.

She has recently completed her DPhil in International Development, tracing the changes and continuities of refugee self-reliance assistance and refugees’ involvement with development since the 1920s.

In 2015 she was Principle Investigator for the National Geographic Young Explorer’s project ‘Innovation and the Art of Self-Reliance: Artistic Livelihoods of Kampalan Refugees’ and in 2015-2016 for the research project ‘Researching Refugee-Run Micro-Finance’ funded by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund.

Through academic research and piloting grassroots self-reliance projects with refugee communities in Kampala, she aims for her work to contribute to Refugee Studies and inform contemporary refugee policy on livelihoods and self-reliance.

In the media
The Global Governed? Refugees as Providers of Protection and Assistance
Rethinking refuge
  • Undergraduate tutor (various colleges), University of Oxford (Self-designed courses: Stepping Back and Moving Onwards: History and Forced Migration; Dilemmas of Development: An Introduction to Development Studies)
  • MSc Facilitator, Research Methods Course, MSc ‘Refugee and Forced Migration Studies’
  • Teaching credentials: DLT (in progress), PLTO, CELTA

Research Students supervised

Journal articles and special issues

Easton-Calabria, Evan (2015) 'From Bottom-Up to Top-Down: The ‘Pre-History’ of Refugee Livelihoods Assistance from 1919–1979', Journal of Refugee Studies 28 (3) 412-36
Easton-Calabria, Evan (with W Allen) (2014) 'Developing Ethical Approaches to Data and Civil Society: From Availability to Accessibility', Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research 28 (1) 52-62

Working papers

Easton-Calabria, Evan (2016) '"Refugees asked to fish for themselves”: The Role of Livelihoods Trainings for Kampala’s Urban Refugees', UNHCR New Issues in Refugee Research Working Paper No 277 Geneva: UNHCR
Easton-Calabria, Evan (with J Kaplan) (2016) 'Militaries and Humanitarian Innovation: Opportunities and Risks', Refugee Studies Centre Working Paper No 113 Oxford: University of Oxford
Easton-Calabria, Evan (2016) 'Micro-finance in Refugee Contexts: current scholarship and research gaps', Refugee Studies Centre Working Paper No 116 Oxford: University of Oxford

Other publications

Easton-Calabria, Evan (with P Lucci, D Mansour-Ille, C Cummings) (2016) '‘Arrival Cities’: Internal Migration, Jobs and the Sustainable Development Goals', Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Policy Brief London: ODI
Easton-Calabria, Evan (2016) 'From Participation to Partnership: Refugee-Run Organisations as Important Actors in Development', Forced Migration Review Issue 52 72-4
Easton-Calabria, Evan (with R Hakiza) (2016) '(Loan) Cycles of Innovation: Researching Refugee-Run Micro-Finance ', Humanitarian Exchange Magazine Issue 66
Easton-Calabria, Evan (with J Kaplan ) (2016) 'Military Actors and the Humanitarian Innovation Ecosystem: Questions, Risks, and Opportunities', Humanitarian Exchange Magazine Issue 66
Easton-Calabria, Evan (with J Kaplan) (2015) 'Military Medical Innovation and the Ebola Response: A Unique Space for Humanitarian Civil-Military Engagement', Humanitarian Exchange Magazine Issue 64
Easton-Calabria, Evan (2014) 'Innovation and refugee livelihoods: a historical perspective', Forced Migration Review, Innovation Supplement Issue 47
28 June, 2019
RSC launch new Rethinking Refuge platform
11 May, 2018
New article by Evan Easton-Calabria and Naohiko Omata critiques refugee 'self-reliance'
28 Mar, 2019
'"Self-reliance" for refugees? Badly handled it can make matters worse'. Evan Easton-Calabria writes for The Conversation
09 Aug, 2016
'Microfinance: Startup Seed Funding for Refugees'. Naohiko Omata and Evan Easton-Calabria write for Refugees Deeply
03 Aug, 2015
'The art of self-reliance: stories from the refugees who stay'. Evan Easton-Calabria writes for openDemocracy
Research interests:

Refugee studies (emphasis on refugee livelihoods and self-reliance); international development; 20th century history (particularly relating to refugees); humanitarianism; military humanitarianism; humanitarian innovation; social protection.