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including hands-on report and interview with Mohammed Abdelqadir, Sophie Arntsen and Abdimaalik Abdirahman, founders of DIGNA AS.

A migrant-centered digital learning platform

Digital navigation platform for cultural translation provides multilingual learning modules on government websites about integration, the labour market and career guidance

Starting position/challenge

Information on government websites is challenging for refugees and immigrants. A lack of language proficiency and contextual knowledge hinder migrants in their integration in Norway. Two twin brothers with Somali background and themselves being newcomers in Norway made similar experiences. To counter this, they first created the Norwegian-Somali Facebook community “The Twins Mindset” for mutual exchange. Members of this Facebook group shared experiences with cultural differences between their home countries and Norway.

The information available in Norway was perceived confusing, which made it hard for them to evaluate which path to take. As for manoeuvring the labour market according to the Norwegian work culture, many community members are not used to verbalise their competencies to market themselves. Further, it became clear that many of them remain outside of the labour market due to difficulties in learning Norwegian. A continuous analysis of the needs of members of “The Twins Mindset” Facebook community led to the foundation of DIGNA.

Implementation of DIGNA

DIGNA is a digital navigation platform for cultural translation. It combines human-centered design, cross-cultural understanding, anthropology, and pedagogy. It has been developed by people who have successfully integrated in Norway and is based on their knowledge and lessons. The target group are refugees and immigrants between the age of 18 and 50.
The tool provides multilingual learning modules on government websites about integration, the labour market and career guidance. Language learning techniques are made available, as well as information on the local environment and for social inclusion.

While the target group uses the digital platform for information in their mother tongue, they are also encouraged to share their own knowledge and experience with other users through recorded videos. This serves cultural translation in a new environment and values the experience of refugees and immigrants.

DIGNA offers a platform for various role models with Somali background who share how they succeeded in obtaining training or a job. Making use of videos and storytelling is entertaining, encouraging and saves resources for interpreters. It inspires and motivates users by creating a sense of understanding and representation of the community.

Digital solutions and the use of mobile phones are important factors to reach inclusion. Integration may also start earlier as digital tools provide a low threshold for self-learning. The DIGNA learning platform is designed as a future-oriented system that contributes to self-determined integration and inclusion. It thus provides a sense of mastery for the Somali-Norwegian target group.

Target groups for transfer:

migrant communities, migrant organisations, migrant entrepreneurs, employment agencies, local startup eco-systems, mentors, integration practitioners and policymakers

DIGNA in a nutshell:

DIGNA is a digital learning platform that helps newcomers to navigate Norwegian society and support their integration through the representation of migrant role models and multilingual information

Implementing organization:

DIGNA AS is a migrant-owned start-up that provides a digital navigation platform for cultural translation