Focusing on asset potential of refugees

This solution addresses gaps in opportunities for refugees in USA for local communities

Problem Description

The Syrian refugee crisis has brought out the best and worst in political leaders. Some have opened borders to those fleeing war, persecution, and crisis. Others have shut them down. But one thing is clear: something in the system is broken. In theory, refugees have the right to seek asylum and either integrate into a host country or return to their home country in time. In practice, millions have been stuck in interminable limbo. And according to international law (but again, also in theory), they are a global responsibility. In reality, nearby nations such as Turkey and Jordan have absorbed most of the costs. However, it doesn’t have to be so black and white, says Alexander Betts, director of the Refugee Studies Center at the University of Oxford.

Building Blocks

Story

"Politicians frame the issue as a zero sum issue—that if we benefit refugees, we’re imposing costs on citizens," he says. "There are ways in which we can expand that choice set and still benefit everyone else—the host states and communities, our societies, and refugees themselves."

In a TED talk given in February, Betts, who is also founder of the Humanitarian Innovation Project, highlighted some fascinating options for changing this conversation.

Resources

Organisations Involved

Contributed By

  • Jessica Leber, www.fastcoexist.com

Solution Stage

One of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
STAGE SPECIALIST SKILLS REQUIRED EXAMPLE ACTIVITIES RISK LEVEL AND HANDLING FINANCE REQUIRED KINDS OF EVIDENCE GENERATED GOAL
Making the case4
Business development and evaluation
  • Market sizing, development and testing
  • Business case analysis
  • Identifying cashable savings
  • Prepare to adapt approach, based on evaluation results and user feedback
MEDIUM
  • Grant funding or funding out of investment
MEDIUM
A stronger case with cost and benefit projections developed through practical trials and experiments, involving potential users
Clarity about what warrants implementation and funding

Key Details

Activity