Technology Based Development Opportunity Within Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya
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Technology-based Sustainable Development Opportunities within Dadaab Refugee Camps of Kenya.

Technology-based Sustainable Development Opportunities within Dadaab Refugee Camps of Kenya.

By International Development and Humanitarian Consultant, Mitchell Sipus

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  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
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  • Mitchell,

    This project was posted a couple years ago, have you been continuing to develop the idea?
    I launched a project last year to help develop the Dadaab camps and cultivate job creation. After viewing your slide show I would like to speak with you in more detail. If your interested I see a lot of potential between us for discussion and idea development on the subject.

    My website is www.flashconstruct.com and here is a short blip on my project:
    FC was created for one simple reason, to create potential for individuals that have no visible future. Following a realists approach to the situations, FC focuses on the many variables in existence, 'thinking outside the box', FC builds sustainable solutions to current problems. In reality there are no 'what ifs', 'maybes' or 'if onlys'. Rather there are persons living unmanageable lives in degraded conditions with no foreseeable solution. FC creates that solution.

    The classical refugee camp model is very successful, but if there is not a consistent flow of refugees into and out of the camp, then the model has faltered. Refugee camps are temporary models designed to supply the bare minimum in habitat resources to persons in need of a safe environment. When this bare minimum is not met, FC steps in. Through innovative new operating procedures, solutions can be found to rebuild the lives of refugees and displaced persons. FC builds financing for its humanitarian wing through for profit business. There is a finite amount of aid monies in the world which FC does not view as a reliable operating constant.

    Through private investment FC creates a model where private business is the backbone of a humanitarian cause. With this model all parties involved can gain from the end product, enticing more business to participate in this innovative new social enterprise.
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  • Hey, there, I checked out your site, and read about the work you are doing. Looks great! To address your thought, the use of shipping containers is already a standard procedure by agencies such as MSF for some of their missions. It really just depends on the site, the logistics, and the availability of resources. If you are looking at IT centers, you might want to check out some of the work that the Norwegian Refugee Council has done within its youth programming. Also there is a non-profit, http://www.inveneo.org/, that works to provide ICT service within areas of limited access. Cheers!

    Mitchell Sipus
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  • I am launching a Global Learning Framework and we are in discussions on how to build Community Technology Centers in rural Africa. I have thought about the camps and these center could be built inside of shipping containers. You can see more and reach me at http://globallearningframework.ning.com
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Technology Based Development Opportunity Within Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Refugee Camp Development & Communications Technology Mitchell Sipus 2008
  • 2. Presentation • Research Background • Thesis Problem – Brief Overview of Dadaab, Research and Conclusions • Technology as Development Tool – Literature • Information Technology • Telecommunications – Dadaab Case Study Conclusion
  • 3. Research Interest Poverty Political Landscapes Social Ethics and Responsibility International Development Informal Economies Self Constructed Housing Migration Social Justice Liminal Space Economic Equity Dadaab Conflict Resolution Y Planning Environmental Sustainability Architecture Refugee Camps X Desire for Thesis worthy of publication Desire for Relevant Professional Experience Desire for Objective Knowledge Personal Objectives
  • 4. Problem • Although a great deal of literature exists for the planning of refugee camps, such camps continue to pose a threat to the natural environment and are concentrations of human inequity.
  • 5. Problem • If such camps will continue to exist, how can they be better planned to offset the negative environmental impact and support the empowerment of the refugee community?
  • 6. Camp Planning Literature • Transitional Settlement / Displaced Persons, Oxfam and University of Cambridge 2005 • UNHCR Handbook on Emergency Settlements, 2004 • SPHERE – Human Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response 2004 • Temporary Human Settlement Planning for Displaced Populations in Emergencies, Overseas Development Institute 1998 • Studies on Emergency and Disaster Relief: Shelter Provision and Settlement Policies for Refugees, Nordika Afrikaininstitutet 1995
  • 7. Case Study: Dadaab
  • 8. Somalia Kenya
  • 9. S O K M E A Dadaab N L Y I A A
  • 10. Dominant Structures • Historical • Political • Social Camp Planning • Physical • Theoretical
  • 11. Access to Goods and Services • Firewood • Rations • UN services • medical 20 Minutes
  • 12. Access to Goods and Services • Firewood • Rations Protected • UN Block services • Medical 20 Minutes
  • 13. Impact of Existing Plan • Environmental Deterioration • Aid Assistance vs. Aid Dependence • Poor distribution of goods and services • Segregation • Reinforcements of existing power structures • Lack of focus on development • Presents complications to data collection
  • 14. Social Consequences • Violence • Sexual Abuse • Difficult to raise animals • Incurs greater expense on refugees • Deteriorates opportunities for agriculture • Forces stronger security protocol by UNHCR, creating greater friction between agencies and refugees • Breakdown of traditions, social institutions, and needless increase of poverty
  • 15. Conclusion • Given the existing frameworks which determine refugee camp planning, a more sensitive approach to the local environment and existing social capital will reduce costs and need for security/ protection measures for agencies as scarce resources will be more equitably distributed. • Solutions which redistribute the balance of power within existing structures are unlikely to ever be implemented • Thus there is a demand for creative solutions for Planning of refugee settlements • One strategy is to engage refugee camps as projects of community development, not as political fiascos.
  • 16. Development Based Approach • Infrastructure can move beyond basic necessities: high technology, communications, money transfers, modern finance and judicial systems should be considered relevant options to refugee populations • Perhaps approach development as the removal of “bottlenecks” to development, vs. installation of expensive infrastructure and services, thus considering social overhead as a starting point and not a later consideration – after all, ‘building capacity’ is generally of greater interest to consultants and agencies than the actual populations.
  • 17. Information & telecommunication infrastructure as a method for economic development
  • 18. Four concepts for technology based development strategies • Business development • Improved public services • Increased connectivity • Job creation Spencer, James. “Technology and Urban Poverty: Understanding the Barriers to Equality,” Projections MIT Student Journal of Planning, Vol. 2, Spring 2001, pp 24-50
  • 19. Business Development • Provides opportunities for entrepreneurs to both start businesses and provide services in high-poverty neighborhoods where computer use is not high. • Ideal for heavy demand for connectivity but lack of infrastructure. • Example 1 - Grameen Phone, offshoot of Grameen Bank. Provides phones for farmers with phones to access up to date information about market prices, road conditions, potential buyers etc. able to circumvent middlemen. • Example 2 – ATMs for banking services in small shops where banks have otherwise disappeared from inner city areas (but not a sustainable solution).
  • 20. Improved public services • Consideration of online access as a public good to equalize job prospects between upper and lower classes • More frequently considered in terms of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for federal checks, cost benefits for government and consumer, further intended to integrate poor into banking and money management – problems with unfamiliarity of electronic media and computer access
  • 21. Increased Connectivity • Reduction of “digital divide,” a potential equalizer for employment and education opportunities. Allows individuals to access resources outside of immediate location/society, assumed belief that this will be passed on into community and environment development – external factors more greatly determine the individuals ability to utilize this technology
  • 22. Job Creation • “High tech as Industrial Revolution of the 21st century” as technology stimulates supply and production dynamics of labor market – within existing research, there is the dominant belief in stronger secondary and tertiary impact of tech development for lower class
  • 23. Information Technology
  • 24. “Information Technology and Urban Poverty: The Role of Public Policy” by Bish Sanyal • The poor must not be excluded from knowledge production • Government should ensure universal access: must consider provision of infrastructure, affordable hardware, user-friendly software, the ability and motivation to use software, and the periodic upgrading of hardware/software. • A key objective is to create better and equal public education for children and youth in low-income areas • Financial strengthening of public schools is a necessary but not sufficient lone condition for innovative use of IT for educational purposes • Public policies should target prospective entrepreneurs Sanyal, Bish ed. “Information Technology and Urban Poverty: The Role of Public Policy.” High Technology and Low-Income Communities: Prospects for the Positive Use of Advanced Information Technology. MIT Press; Cambridge, Massachusetts 1999
  • 25. Strategies: “Approaches to Community Computing: Bringing Technology to Low-Income Groups” by Anne Beamish • Goal: Social empowerment through community networks • Establishing Neighborhood Technology Centers in Low-Income Communities • Equitable Access to the Internet • Complications: software and hardware availability, training, technical assistance, access, • Community generally consists of information consumers not producers. • Frequent vagueness of community goals and assumption that new technology will improve lives of low income residents. Beamish, Anne. Strategies: “Approaches to Community Computing: Bringing Technology to Low-Income Groups” High Technology and Low-Income Communities: Prospects for the Positive Use of Advanced Information Technology. MIT Press; Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • 26. Telecommunications
  • 27. Telecommunications Infrastructure and Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach by Lars- Hendrik Roller and Leonard Waverman • Telecommunications investment leads to growth • demand for infrastructure • economic returns higher the telecommunications returns • telecommunication improvements reduce business costs and improve outputs • allows better business management efficiency • important spillovers and create externalities • Appears to have same problems of general infrastructure in reverse causality and spurious correlations Roller, Lars Hendrick and Leonard Waverman. “Telecommunications Infrastructure and Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach,” The American Economic Review, Vol. 91, No. 4 (Sep., 2001), pp. 909-923
  • 28. Dadaab
  • 29. Economic Development Impact Cell phones - small business start ups, email, agriculture and market use, connectivity Computers – newsletter creation, recording studio, internet access to current events, online schooling, Wire Services – overnight money wiring services to refugees and locals, hadwalla
  • 30. Broad Policy Implications of Technology Oriented Development • - Like most Economic Development strategies, the use of high tech infrastructure is most feasible in relation to a well understood population • - however, when look at individually, each one is inadequate to serve the lower class without the support of additional programs • - in general terms, the lack of technology within areas of concentrated poverty is a reflection of other circumstances and policy makers need to take into consideration the compound effects of these circumstances when directing investments toward high-tech infrastructure and tech-oriented policies aimed at the poor.
  • 31. Telecommunications: Dadaab • Positive Spillovers – stimulation of markets and business startups, – creation of tuition classes – improved resettlement options – family connectivity • Complications – Lack of Basic Sector Activity, only extends multiplier
  • 32. Technologically Based Development The social benefits have the potential to offset environmental degradation, and although may not generate new income it may improve distribution of existing assets.
  • 33. Sources Cited • Beamish, Anne. Strategies: “Approaches to Community Computing: Bringing Technology to Low-Income Groups” High Technology and Low-Income Communities: Prospects for the Positive Use of Advanced Information Technology. MIT Press; Cambridge, Massachusetts. • Nordika Afrikaininstitutet, Studies on Emergency and Disaster Relief: Shelter Provision and Settlement Policies for Refugees, 1995 • Overseas Development Institute Temporary Human Settlement Planning for Displaced Populations in Emergencies, 1998 • Roller, Lars Hendrick and Leonard Waverman. “Telecommunications Infrastructure and Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach,” The American Economic Review, Vol. 91, No. 4 (Sep., 2001), pp. 909-923 Text • Sanyal, Bish ed. “Information Technology and Urban Poverty: The Role of Public Policy.” High Technology and Low-Income Communities: Prospects for the Positive Use of Advanced Information Technology. MIT Press; Cambridge, Massachusetts 1999 • Spencer, James. “Technology and Urban Poverty: Understanding the Barriers to Equality,” Projections MIT Student Journal of Planning, Vol. 2, Spring 2001, pp 24-50 • Transitional Settlement / Displaced Persons, Oxfam and University of Cambridge 2005 • SPHERE, Human Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response, 2004 • UNHCR Handbook on Emergency Settlements, 2004