5 refugee-centered innovations


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UNHCR Innovation is working to develop cook stoves that best suit the needs of refugees, and has created an online platform to crowdsource ideas from agency staff as well as a text messaging system to communicate better with refugees.

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5 refugee-centered innovations

  1. 1. Photo by: UNHCR 5 refugee-centered innovations
  2. 2. Photo by: UNHCR Today: This tent offers no security to refugee families, can’t withstand weather conditions and needs to be replaced frequently.
  3. 3. Photo by: UNHCR Soon: Using Ikea’s flat-pack design principles, the Refugee Housing Unit is sturdier than a tent and has been tested in the field for weather conditions. It features a shade net for heating and cooling and solar panels to allow families to charge simple electronic devices.
  4. 4. Photo by: UNHCR Today: Learning amid a humanitarian crisis is challenging. As part of its first response to one, UNHCR ships educational supplies to affected areas and oftentimes sets up makeshift schools in refugee camps.
  5. 5. Photo by: Bibliothèques Sans Frontières Soon: The Ideas Box provides educational materials and connect refugees to the outside world, addressing complaints by young refugees about boredom and not having anything to do in the camps.
  6. 6. Photo by: Samuel Perkins of UNHCR Today: Cook stoves lay unused by refugees.
  7. 7. Photo by: Samuel Perkins of UNHCR Soon: UNHCR Innovation works with refugees to create a cook stove prototype that meets community needs. This follows a fact-finding mission to determine the type of stoves refugees would want to use based on their cultural cooking traditions and logistical requirements.
  8. 8. Photo by: UNHCR Today: Refugees line up outside the UNHCR office in hopes of getting an appointment and speaking to someone about their case..
  9. 9. Photo by: UNHCR Soon: With the new Ascend text-messaging system, NGOs working with refugees can communicate en masse with refugees using a computer-based system that allows sending a single SMS to thousands of recipients in seconds.
  10. 10. Photo by: UNHCR In the past: For large, unwieldy aid organizations, it was difficult to directly involve refugees and field staff in finding solutions to challenges in serving displaced people.
  11. 11. Photo by: UNHCR Today: UNHCR crowdsources inputs from aid workers in the field and refugee communities to come up with innovative solutions.
  12. 12. Photo by: UNHCR Want to know the latest on #innov8aid? Join Devex and follow us on Twitter