Urban Housing other

Seeking new solutions for host communities and displaced people

Rapid urbanization in many parts of the world has led to a great deal of challenges ensuring the availability of adequate housing. In the Middle East, this is coupled by the unique pressures of protracted displacement.
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Urban Housing is at the Research stage

nutrition

Micronutrient Cubes

A third of the 2 billion people who are micronutrient deficient are children. Many have little access to diverse foods or supplements. By working through private sector supply chains, this...

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other

Urban Housing

Jordan

Rapid urbanization in many parts of the world has led to a great deal of challenges ensuring the availability of adequate housing. In the Middle East, this is coupled by...

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other

Voluntary and Spontaneous Returns

Jordan

As people displaced by the Syria crisis begin returning to their homes, new approaches will be needed to deal with the unprecedented scale of returns.

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financing

Financing Refugee Crisis Response

Together with the Centre for Global Disaster Protection, Airbel is working to assess the potential to use risk-based financing approaches to respond to refugee influxes.

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other

Information Flows

Jordan

Displaced people live in challenging circumstances where accurate information can become difficult to obtain. Strengthening information flows can aid in decision-making and make their circumstances easier to manage.

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other

Mental Health

Jordan

Supporting the mental health needs of displaced people will be crucial to helping them lay the groundwork for future success.

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resettlement

Placement Algorithm

United States

Airbel is piloting and scaling an innovative machine learning algorithm developed by the Stanford University Immigration Policy Lab that matches refugees in areas where they are likely to thrive when...

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resettlement

Resettlement Revolving Fund

In this new model for refugee resettlement finance, a self-sustaining fund provides countries with finance for refugee resettlement, and is replenished as refugees fuel economic growth.

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employment

Trade Accelerator

Focused support for Jordanian businesses to foster rapid growth and help them tap into the European market and hire refugees to do so.

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

nutrition

Virtual Baby

This portable game would let children earn points for raising a happy baby, teaching them about sexual health and nutrition.

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

resettlement

Ask Laila

A hotline, SMS, and web-based service to help resettled refugees get quick answers from a trusted local source - in their own language.

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This project became inactive following the Prototype phase

other

Medicine Bank

Jordan

People with low income in Jordan often struggle to access the medicine they need. This solution is aimed at making supply chains more efficient to reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals....

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education

Pop Up Learning

Bangladesh

Pop-Up Learning is a computer-assisted learning program, aimed to mobilize quickly and efficiently on the onset of crisis.

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nutrition

Sprout

Niger

Over 16 million children under the age of 3 are afflicted by severe acute malnutrition. To pinpoint the most impactful prevention methods, Sprout is experimenting with 3 distinct approaches.

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This project graduated following the Prototype phase

education

Spark

Tanzania

Spark creates alternative learning spaces outside of refugee camp schools to practice play-based learning and social-emotional skills with primary school children.

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This project became inactive following the Prototype phase

resettlement

IRC Connect

United States

In partnership with Twilio.org, Airbel is developing an SMS-based system to streamline communication between caseworkers and newly-settled refugees as they adapt to their new lives in the United States.

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education

Coach Erevu

Tanzania

Coach Erevu is a virtual teacher coaching program designed to empower teachers to learn and practice social-emotional learning activities that they can use in their classrooms.

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nutrition

Low-Literacy Malnutrition Tools

South Sudan

In hard-to-reach areas local community health workers are key to treating malnourished children. Commonly used tools for diagnosing and treating malnutrition have been adapted to meet the needs of workers...

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

education

Sesame Seeds

In this historic effort, IRC and Sesame Workshop help children whose lives have been uprooted by the Syrian war to build brighter futures.

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

education

Tunakujenga

Tanzania

Tunakujenga is a family learning program designed to empower caregivers to engage in nurturing and playful parenting to support their children’s social and emotional development.

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safety

Becoming One

Uganda

Becoming One is a counseling program designed to bring couples closer and prevent intimate partner violence. The program is delivered in partnership with local faith leaders, who guide couples through...

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employment

Match

Jordan

Working to counter the high rates of unemployment that follow mass displacement, the Match project in Jordan is testing a set of new innovations for placing vulnerable populations and refugees...

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safety

Modern Man

Liberia

Modern Man is a mobile messaging campaign that engages men with an aspirational and positive masculine identity to prevent intimate partner violence. It sends SMS messages to men who have...

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There are currently no projects in the Scale phase

60 percent of refugees and 80 percent of internally displaced people globally now live in urban areas. Simultaneously, conflicts are longer lasting, and more severe. Traditional housing solutions, such as camps, are less and less adequate in these circumstances. But urbanization is simultaneously placing major demands on urban infrastructure. Large influxes of refugees can exacerbate these pressures, making refugees and displaced people increasingly unable to access affordable, quality, and stable housing. Displaced people living in cities face major problems such as poor quality housing, exploitation by landlords, housing locations which contribute to social isolation and leave families far from transportation, schools, employment, and social networks.

The hub is now digging into three main areas to identify the best opportunities for strengthening urban housing. Policy innovation might be one way to help municipalities plan for near- medium- and long-term solutions. For example, many innovative approaches to refugee housing have been developed. Policy innovations could help governments to use these in empty plots, which with a longer term plan for private sector investment to transform these areas into green space. Standardizing housing contracts could be another area of interest. Potential innovations could lie in leveraging cash programming to incentivize the creation of these contracts. Finally, there is likely space to work closely with tenants on bottom-up approaches to upgrade current housing, and examine potential uses for smart homes and technology use.

February 2019 | Four focus areas selected for further ideation

Of the eight areas in which initial scoping was conducted, four were selected: voluntary and spontaneous returns; mental health; urban housing; and information flows.

July 2018 | Scoping exercise to understand problem areas

Eight problem areas arose from various sources, including community-driven Mahali lab, and work in the Jordan and Lebanon country offices. These areas were: urban housing, mental health, cash targeting, market interventions, voluntary returns, information flows, healthcare service delivery, and smart humanitarianism. IRC-Zolberg Fellows and IRC staff carried out desk research along with discussions with community members.

We develop new solutions to better serve people suffering the effects of conflict and crisis.