Gbemisola Abiola is an International Security Program Research Fellow at the Belfer Center and a doctoral candidate at Harvard's African and African American Studies program where she has a disciplinary focus in Social Anthropology. Her research examines how Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in northeast Nigeria, violently uprooted from their homes by Boko Haram, are able rebuild their lives. Specifically, she focuses on how the resettlement and rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) intersect with local, national, and transnational humanitarian interventions, and how IDPs leverage these interventions for survival.

Her current research, funded by the Sheldon Traveling Fellowship Grant, studies the lived experiences of IDPs in urban settlements and camps, concentrating on how new structures of social life are generated amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the role humanitarianism plays in strivings for survival. She has conducted several ethnographic research trips to Nigeria's Borno State—the state hardest hit by Boko Haram’s violence—and has acquired vast expertise on how internal displacement shapes the social and economic landscape of the region

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