Special Issue "Enabling (Im)migrants Integration Through ICT Innovation Solutions: Challenges, Opportunities, Pitfalls and Obstacles"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Grazia Concilio
Guest Editor
Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 26, 20133 Milano, Italy
Interests: urban innovation for sustainability and transition processes
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Giuliana Costa
Guest Editor
Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 26, 20133 Milano, Italy
Interests: social welfare; social policies; migration; housing; social change
Dr. Maryam Karimi

Guest Editor
Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 26, 20133 Milano, Italy
Interests: urban planning and policy; urban politics; smart urbanism; ICT innovation


Abstract Submission deadline: 30 December 2020

Notification of acceptance: 15 January 2021

Final manuscript due: 30 June 2021


Dear Colleagues,

In many European countries, the integration of “old” migrants across generations as well as “newcomers”, such as refugees and asylum seekers, constitutes a serious challenge for society as a whole as well as a unique opportunity to transform it. Obstacles and pitfalls are nonetheless in place. Inequalities related to ethnic and migration backgrounds are evident, such as socioeconomic and spatial segregation (including labor, school, and housing ones), little use of welfare resources compared to autochthonous populations, modest upward mobility processes, deficient recognition of migrant skills and competences in the hosting societies, discrimination in access to opportunities, concealed racism, etc.

Frequently, it is very confusing and difficult for (im)migrants to understand how to “navigate” a host country, its opportunities and obstacles in accessing crucial resources. Recent advancements in ICT development and services digitization represent an opportunity to enable (im)migrants to better understand the context in which they are inserted. ICT solutions can also quicken and ease integration processes towards more equal access to services as well as provide flexibilization and adaptation to the needs of (im)migrants that are characterized by an increasing differentiation connected to their diverse backgrounds, skills, patterns, and experiences. 

Integration goals, at the same time, are challenging ICT development and representing an opportunity toward policy innovation thanks to the experimentation of emerging technological solutions in environments and domains hardly represented in the ICT market demand. Currently, there are several European projects directly involving migrants, public authorities, research institutions, and IT companies with the aim to facilitate migrants’ integration and to develop solutions to ease their access to the existing social systems and public welfare. Using ICTs for developing better and more effective services for migrants according to their actual needs can be considered one of the integration strategies deployed by single countries, regions or single cities. 

Social Sciences seeks to develop better links between theoretical and empirical research and policy practice related to (im)migrant integration through ICT solutions. This Special Issue welcomes both theoretical or methodological articles and empirical research-based contributions that cast light on if, to what extent, and under which conditions ICT solutions enable (im)migrants to better access and use services and/or increase their wellbeing and discuss how ICT innovations may open up for social science, urban research, and urban policy, especially in Europe. Articles can be country-based or have a comparative approach. In this regard, we invite research papers from both academic and practitioner communities in the following three thematic areas. Specific topics may include (but not be limited to):

(Im)migrants’ Integration through the Use of Technology 

  • IT-supported integration services: theoretical and/or methodological issues;
  • IT-supported integration services: experiences, case studies;
  • Facilitating (im)migrants’ access to integration services;
  • Learning by doing in ICT (im)migrants’ integration solutions;
  • AI and language multicultural mediation;
  • ICT based policy making;

Engaging (Im)migrants in the Co-Creation of IT Solutions toward Integration

  • Co-design as an integration strategy;
  • Co-designing IT-based integration services with (im)migrants: case studies;
  • (Im)migrants digital communities and their interplay with the services ecosystem;

ICT to Explore Integration Pitfalls, Obstacles, and Opportunities

  • Data-driven policy-making for (im)migrants;
  • Mapping integration pitfalls, obstacles, and opportunities through open and big data;
  • Exploring existing ICT policies for (im)migrants integration.

For consideration, please submit a 1000 word abstract by 30 December 2020 which includes background, conceptual framework, methods, findings, and significance. Please note that guest editors will not consider any submission after 30 December 2020.

Please submit your abstract and any questions to special issue guest editor, Dr Maryam Karimi ([email protected]).

Notification of acceptance will be provided by 15 January 2021. For those accepted for consideration, paper submissions will be due 30 June 2021. Please submit the full manuscript to Social Sciences via the online platform for peer review.


There are no submission fees, publication fees or page charges for this special issue.


Dr. Grazia Concilio
Dr. Giuliana Costa
Dr. Maryam Karimi
Guest Editors

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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