Voluntary and Spontaneous Returns other

Helping displaced people on the long road home

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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Voluntary and Spontaneous Returns 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

More than 5.6 million people fled Syria since 2011, and 6.6 million people have been internally displaced. Last year, three quarters of refugees surveyed stated that they planned to return to Syria at some point in the future. A return process of this scale has not been seen in the history of modern humanitarianism.

Returns begin as displaced people decide to go back to their home country or community. Returns involve undertaking a physical journey to the place of origin, and reintegration as people rebuild their lives and face new challenges in their homes, which may no longer seem familiar.

Generally, refugees self-organize, seeking and spreading information about conditions in their country of origin through personal networks. Key forms of support that have been provided for returnees in other crises include visits to see conditions in their place of origin, cash grants, non-food items, food vouchers, temporary shelter, subsistence allowances, legal assistance, livelihoods programs, and micro-credit schemes.

Potential opportunities for innovation which could be further explored include:

  • Durable solutions: Global policy dialogues could increasingly represent refugee voices. IRC is well-placed to convene key players and strengthen approaches to returns, resettlement and integration in host countries.
  • Programming for mobility: Mobile programming could equip people to take skills and assets with them on the road home. One example could be equipping teachers with tools to continue providing early-childhood development programming as they return.
  • Information to support decision making: There is considerable space to reinvent information delivery and fill information gaps, potentially leveraging data science to understand and share situations at the neighborhood level in Syria.
  • Documentation and registration: New technologies could dramatically transform documentation and registration.

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.