Article 26 Backpack™ Fall 2017 Field Exercise, Lebanon

Professor Keith David Watenpaugh with trainees

Supported by the Ford Foundation, the Article 26 Backpack™ is a human rights tool that blends digital technology, face-to-face counseling, and cloud-based credential assessment to help refugee university students and other vulnerable young people store and safely share educational documents with universities, employers and scholarship agencies. In limited cases, it also provides them with an opportunity to have academic credentials assessed and educational histories reconstructed. The Backpack moves academic mobility for refugees and other vulnerable young people beyond an exclusive reliance on traditional documentary methods to share their educational identity. It fosters self-assessment and the identification of educational and employment goals for young people who often do not have a structured opportunity to do so.

Over the long term the idea is to use this tool to establish effective pathways of inclusion for refugees in host societies — or prepare them to return to their homelands — by leveraging education, writ large, and available and evolving digital and cloud-based technologies.

Over the course of six days in mid-November, 2017, the University of California, Davis, in collaboration with the American University of Beirut and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, conducted the first exercise of the universal academic mobility tool, the Article 26 Backpack™ at three locations in Lebanon.

Read the Full Report (.pdf).