Dana Schurmans

PhD Researcher

Junior researchers Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunicaton (SMIT) Politics & Policy Smart & ICT & Data
  • Current position PhD Researcher
  • Contact Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Pleinlaan 9
    Room 2.14
    BE-1050 Brussels
  • E-mail
  • Website smit.vub.ac.be

Dana Schurmans graduated summa cum laude as Master in Communication Science at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) in 2011 with a thesis on the social impact of social capital on digital inclusion amongst middle-aged women.

After graduating she joined imec-SMIT as a PhD researcher and started working on a 4-year Prospective Research for Brussels project, funded by Innoviris and the Brussels Capital Region. The aim of the project is to define policy recommendations related to digital exclusion and inclusion in an urban context, and in particular targeted towards young people at-risk of exclusion.

Dana’s PhD underlines the necessity for adequate support and policy interventions at a city level responding to the needs of vulnerable groups. In this doctoral thesis Dana will take Brussels as a case study and:

1) Identify and analyze the characteristics of digital exclusion amongst vulnerable young people in an urban context based on both a theoretical exploration and an empirical analysis in collaboration with vulnerable young people themselves (in-depth interviews,  focus groups, diary studies,...)  

2) Distinguish indicators of digital in- and exclusion specific to an urban context;

3) Include a survey and a critical analyse the initiatives in the Brussels Capital Region working on  digital  inclusion (Dutch and French speaking); 

4) Investigate the role of volunteering as well as digital inclusion policy and policy competencies in the Brussels Capital Region.