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UNHCR Innovation iLabs
Transcript of UNHCR Innovation iLabs
Searches for innovations that enhance connectivity between refugees, UNHCR staff, partners and other stakeholders.
Seeks and develops innovative projects that help refugees and hosting communities build their capacities, strengthen their economic and social resilience, and maximize their access to markets and to livelihood opportunities. Key goals are self-reliance and poverty-reduction.
Extensive research has shown that
access to UNHCR services by urban refugees
is one of the largest challenges faced by UNHCR. Together with the
Nairobi Branch Office
UNHCR Innovation identified functional requirements that would improve the system including
SMS Gateway, Scheduling, Interactive Voice Response and Community Outreach
. Pilot projects of these functionalities will be carried out in Niger in partnership with a large European software company.
CTA Outsourcing Microwork
RHU: Refugee Housing Unit
The RHU is a subsidiary from SVID (Swedish Industrial Design Foundation) with the goal to develop a
new type of shelter
and bring it to the market. The project has engaged
fifteen companies and three universities across five countries
. For the past 3 years,
has funded the project and UNHCR is the main technical partner to provide expertise on shelters and promote the initiative. It will be tested in Dollo Ado (Ethiopia), Domiz (Irak) and Lebanon.
Site Planning in Dollo Ado
Funded by the
the goal of this project in Dollo Ado is to design and build
protection-oriented settlements where persons of concern can live in peace and dignity.
Based on their consultancy,
Desert Rose Anthropologists
will be involved in the M&E and continuous guidance to the project.
The vision is centered on
promoting smaller living settlements within the larger camp structure to improve the provision of basic services and foster a conducive
The layout considers
to facilities and services for refugees in the immediate and medium term as well as the longer term needs of the host community when durable solutions are found.
Most importantly, we hope the new layout and innovative vision will have positive and immediate
impact on security and protection of refugees.
Aims to improve living conditions and security in refugee camps and host communities with innovations related to the fundamental building blocks of emergency assistance: shelter, food, water, health and sanitation.
The Assistance Distribution project is a joint collaboration between
UNHCR Field Information and Coordination Support Section
(FICSS) and the
track the distribution
of Non Food Items in a field camp environment to individuals of concern. The software has been developed by a company in the United States called
in partnership with the UPS Foundation and UNHCR and will shortly be tested in Lebanon
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Maximizing the premiums value chain
UNHCR is exploring the potential of replicating and scaling the contractual arrangement
UNHCR fund raising team
in Thailand established with a social enterprise called
which produces and markets handicrafts made by refugee women form the camps on the Thai-Myanmar border.
UNHCR Innovation is exploring the opportunities to
leverage the opportunities mobile banking
can provide to refugees.
ILO Community-based entreprise development (C-BED) methodology
UNHCR is evaluating
and potentially replicating it in refugee contexts. C-bed aims to
build entrepreneurial capacity
without the need of external trainers and create low cost, customizable training tools that organizations can easily implement in their local communities.
Rolling out CGAP Ford Foundation Graduation Program
agricultural M4P value-chain approaches
in rural locations and
potential partnerships with
to work on value chain development in Sudan
UNHCR Innovation also participated in a course at
cosponsored by the dschool and law school called
Redesigning Refugee Communities
Thanks to an initial funding grant from
the refugees in
for formal education, vocational training and community e-learning
Skype in the classroom
Skype in the classroom is a free service, that allows
teachers to collaborate with others from around the world
and provides a connection to organizations and experts speakers, who can share their experiences and engage with remote populations.
In 2013 UNHCR will be looking at piloting Skype in the classroom with
in the Kakuma Camp.
The aim of this pilot is to use skype in the classroom to link classrooms, improve quality of programs in the classroom, and to initiate teacher exchanges and teacher training.
Video-based education is also a method that helps engage students, and enables teachers to review instructional methods to improve their pedagogical skills.
Borderless Higher Education for Refugees
project is a joint initiative from
York and UBC University in Canada, and Moi and Kenyatta University in Kenya
which is being piloted in 2013. The project aims to provide a stackable teacher accreditation program to incentive teachers in
, with opportunities for participants to continue their education to acquire a degree in their teachable subjects. It uses
blended learning techniques
with both synchronize, and asynchronize technologies as well as face-to-face instruction.
The goals of the program are to
strengthen primary and secondary instruction quality
by developing the capacity of teachers, and increase their levels of support.
also has an active, open and transparent partnership at the global level with
Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins
). JC:HEM, partner with the
Jesuit Refugee Service
(JRS) is currently delivering different on-line distance education programs including a diploma in Liberal Studies, awarded by
and a certificate in Community Services (Community Service Learning Track, CLST), aiming at training community workers, which can be contextualised to fit the local needs.
UNHCR Innovation will partner with Worldreader to implement
two pilot projects
consisting of the distribution of 100 Worldreader Kits in
Kakuma, Kenya and Kibiza, Rwanda
Qatar Foundation Project
BrainPOP is a group of
online educational material
such as short animated movies, quizzes, supplemental information and related materials, covering the subjects of science, social studies, English, mathematics, engineering and technology, health, and arts and music.
has partnered with BrainPOP to pilot a project in
with local voluntary schools and will roll it out in other locations if successful.
ICT for Education Inventory
Focuses on leveraging educational product and process innovations to improve quality, expand educational access and increase learning opportunities for refugees.
Explores the potential of ICTs especially in creating learning environments, teacher training and youth skills development but also low-tech solutions that broaden educational opportunities for refugees.
Ideation of innovations in agricultural products and processes to create opportunities for food security and economic empowerment
Exploring possible partnerships with
to improve irrigation in
UNHCR Innovation partnered with
and using the services of
Accenture Development Partnerships
to scope the opportunities of data outsourcing as a livelihood solution for refugees within UNHCR as well as in the private sector.
Pilot projects will be implemented in
Kenya or Uganda
UNHCR is looking to implement two pilot projects of the
CGAP Ford Foundation Graduation Program
where sequencing safety nets, livelihoods and microfinance to create pathways for the poorest out of extreme poverty. One of locations will be
and one of the partners will be
Oxford University Humanitarian Innovation Project
UNHCR Innovation signed a cooperation agreement with the
Refugee Studies Centre of Oxford University
to launch the
Humanitarian Innovation Project
in November 2012. It is generously funded by a donation from Stephanie and Hunter Hunt.
Through research in
, HIP aims to understand and explain the role of innovation, the private sector and technology in refugee protection with two research objectives:
1. Understanding the
relationships between refugee livelihoods and the private sector
2. Understanding the
role of innovation and technology in refugees’ livelihoods strategies
Anthropological Fieldwork in Dollo Ado
In 2012 UNHCR sent a team of
from Desert Rose Consultancy to conduct a week of fieldwork in
and act as cultural advisors to UNHCR technicians. It was the first anthropological fieldwork to be conducted in the history of UNHCR.
Following the successful consultancy
UNHCR Sub Office Dollo Ado
and Innovation have partnered with Desert Rose to
research on Agriculture, Livelihoods, Renewable Energy and Shelter.
Improving Refugee Access to UNHCR
Brings together innovations on sustainable and renewable energy for lighting, cooking and powering technology. Vital for safety, protection and the mitigation of negative environmental effects by increasing handprints to decrease carbon footprints. This way the Energy Lab adds value in refugee host communities as well as allowing for the sustainability and continuity of the rest of the labs.
Renewable Energy in Dollo Ado
Due to environmental degradation and the negative impacts of firewood collection among other factors, it is a priority to replace firewood as the main
domestic energy source for refugees in Dollo Ado
. UNHCR has been implementing alternative energy options in a number of operations already, but with the help of
wishes to ensure that refugees in Dollo Ado are receiving the most
, and applicable combination of alternative energy solutions for their environment, needs, and background.
UNHCR carried out a baseline study through
Ethanol Initiative for Africa
and is currently carrying out a feasibility study the objective to contribute to the formulation of a comprehensive and realistic Renewable Energy strategy.
Desert Rose Consultancy
is involved in these studies by informing with cultural, social and environmentally friendly recommendations.
UNHCR, together with
is looking to use
SMS Education Management Information Systems (EMIS)
in Dadaab and Kakuma to collect education data from headteachers through mobile phones.
UNHCR Education Unit initiated a database of ICT for Education tools which will be migrated to the one at INEE (International Network for Education in Emergencies)
UNHCR Innovation is looking into
mobile learning resources
to see how they can be used to meet the educational needs of refugees
With the help of the
, UNHCR is looking to provide a range of
ICT innovations for education in Kakuma
, including CTA centers, tablets with educational appas and reading material and EMIS through mobile phones.
Through our iLabs UNHCR Innovation seeks to increase refugee's
A lab is a learning space, a place of action, a thinking and exchange space which
Develops ideas through the innovation
Advises and supports
UNHCR Innovation is facilitating conversations on using data visualization innovations to support humanitarian operations. We have explored opportunities both inside UNHCR through the
and outside the organization through consultations with
Libraries Without Borders works to
to information, culture and books in populations affected by humanitarian crises. They are currently
piloting Ideas Boxes in Burundi and Rwanda
Making projects come to life in cost effective and efficient ways:
within UNHCR divisions
In collaboration with
Leveraging internal expertise with external knowledge
Reverse Value Chains