Put innovation at the heart of refugee protection work

From Global development | The Guardian Fri Jan 4 2013, 10:53:41

Putting refugees in camps isn't enough - harness their creativity and help them become self reliant and prosper

The traditional model of refugee protection is donor-state funded and prioritises keeping people alive. It is the international analogue to the domestic welfare state. This is often necessary during emergency. But all too often people get stuck in refugee camps for many years. Over 6 million of the world's refugees are in so-called protracted refugee situations, with an average length of stay of 17 years - Somalis in Kenya, Eritreans in Sudan, Sudanese in Chad, Afghans in Iran and Pakistan, and Burmese in Thailand.

The existing humanitarian paradigm can be inefficient. It could fail to make use of the best products and processes available; prove unsustainable, requiring public money to be endlessly channelled into warehousing people; and may lead to dependency, often undermining people's ability to help themselves. Instead, there may be alternative ways of doing refugee protection, which draw upon untapped resources or build upon refugees' own skills, aspirations, and entrepreneurship.

Innovation is not about novelty or invention. It is about adapting to context. It is a methodology for change, often used in the private sector but, which is, with few exceptions, neglected in humanitarian work. It can be understood as a four-stage process: problem specification, looking for potential solutions, piloting those solutions, and scaling them where appropriate.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Uganda:  Age Limit Rallies - 8 Things Police Have Banned (news)
The Monitor
18 October 2017

The raft of instructions issued by Mr Asuman Mugenyi, the director operations, directly target members of Parliament and gives wide powers to District Police Commanders (DPCs) to deal with them ... [read more]

Tanzania:  12 Men Arrested for 'Promoting Homosexuality' (news)
Mamba Online
19 October 2017

There are reports that two South Africans are among 12 men arrested on charges of homosexuality in Tanzania. According to AFP, Dar es Salaam police head Lazaro Mambosasa told journalists that the men ... [read more]

Uganda:  Marburg Fever Kills Two (news)
The Monitor
19 October 2017

Government epidemiologists have confirmed an outbreak of Marburg haemorrhagic fever case in the eastern district of Kween. The acting district health officer, Mr Godfrey Chemos, said in a phone ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!