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How Policy Decisions Affect Refugee Journeys in South Sudan: A Study Using Automated Ensemble Simulations

Diana Suleimenova () and Derek Groen ()
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Derek Groen: http://people.brunel.ac.uk/~csstddg/

Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 2020, vol. 23, issue 1, 2

Abstract: Forced displacement has a huge impact on society today, as more than 68 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide. Existing methods for forecasting the arrival of migrants, especially refugees, may help us to better allocate humanitarian support and protection. However, few researchers have investigated the effects of policy decisions, such as border closures, on the movement of these refugees. Recently established simulation development approaches have made it possible to conduct such a study. In this paper, we use such an approach to investigate the effect of policy decisions on refugee arrivals for the South Sudan refugee crisis. To make such a study feasible in terms of human effort, we rely on agent-based modelling, and have automated several phases of simulation development using the FabFlee automation toolkit. We observe a decrease in the average relative difference from 0.615 to 0.499 as we improved the simulation model with additional information. Moreover, we conclude that the border closure and a reduction in camp capacity induce fewer refugee arrivals and more time spend travelling to other camps. While a border opening and an increase in camp capacity result in a limited increase in refugee arrivals at the destination camps. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to conduct such an investigation for this conflict.

Keywords: Refugee Modelling; Agent-Based Modelling; Automation Toolkit; Policy Decisions; Validation; Sensitivity Analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-01-31
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