Naseh Gets Pilot Grant to Assess Economic Progress of Refugees from Afghanistan

Research; Social Work

Mitra Naseh, an assistant professor at the Brown School, has received a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation for a pilot study to examine the 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 that its development will result in a larger study to explore and further the process of economic integration to find the best ways to provide services to refugees and create new 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 in 2022 from Portland State University, where she was an assistant professor. She has been working alongside refugees for the past 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.