The problem: difficulty in accessing aid.
Two thirds of refugees worldwide are urban refugees and in Jordan they represent up to 80 percent of the 650,000 registered Syrian refugees. However, urban refugees' access to aid is far below the level of camp-based refugees. We brainstormed ways that we, as students, could help. Rather than follow a traditional class model, we focused on digital solutions that we could build in conjunction with NGO partners and Jordanians and Syrians on the ground.
“Digital solutions can help to improve service coordination and refugee experiences with aid.”
The Daily Dot | August 2016
Our solution: a locator app.
Because one of the central difficulties for urban refugees is locating and accessing aid that already exists, a locator app to put aid on the map will help to address these information asymmetries.
The app also provides humanitarian organizations with a centralized database with easily-accessible contact information to address issues with coordination. Urban Refuge will be piloted in Amman, Jordan, with the aim of scaling up the technology to be easily modified and applied in other cities and in various urban refugee contexts.
Already in Amman, we have created an initial database with over 160 organizations mapped by latitude and longitude, identified implementing partners, created the initial app design, and successfully acquired the funding to get us started.