Evan Easton-Calabria is a Senior Research Officer at the Refugee Studies Centre focusing on refugee livelihoods, self-reliance, and local governance, and a Junior Research Fellow in Social Sciences at Wadham College, Oxford. She is Principal Investigator of the RSC research project, ‘Responses to Crisis Migration in Uganda and Ethiopia: Researching the role of local actors in secondary cities’, funded through the Cities Alliance/UNOPS, and a John Fell Fund grant, ‘Digital Livelihoods for Refugees? Exploring pathways to the new world of work in Nairobi and Tel Aviv’. She is also lead editor of the Refugee Studies Centre’s research dissemination platform Rethinking Refuge. Previously she worked on the Refugee Economies Programme's research project on refugee-led 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. Recent work traces 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 Early Career Grant 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. While living in Uganda, she co-founded a grassroots organisation with refugees in Kampala that provides livelihoods training and support to urban refugees. 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. She holds a Masters and Doctorate in International Development from the University of Oxford.