At MORE THAN SHELTERS we believe that true and impactful innovation is nothing you can develop out of context sitting in an office of a western capital. This is why our humanitarian innovation work is done firstly on the spot – where it counts. Our teams are working always closely together with our partners and the refugee communities to invent and hatch helpful solutions. This is what we call the development of “bottom-up” and local solutions. Of course, in the creative capitals of the world, the academic context or in the private sector you can find many fresh ideas and incredible inventions. Our role is to connect them to our projects, once we know exactly what is really needed.
In this way we have, together with UNHCR Camp Management and many other partners developed an integrated innovation plan for the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. This cross-sectoral project catalogue that contains more than 30 humanitarian innovations has directly impacted the 85,000 inhabitants of the camp as well as the entire region.
How do we build a space for the talents and hopes of refugees to unfold?
1,000,000 talents is an initiative in collaboration with CIVIC, London to help support refugee and local entrepreneurs create a better future for all. Our aim is to demonstrably improve the lives of the people we work with – both refugees and locals. By 2020 we will aim to support 500 social and civic business and organisations, addressing local health, wellbeing, education, environmental and economic concerns and reaching over 100,000 people. By 2027, we aim to support multiple organisations, employing 100,000 people and reaching over 1 million people.
Since 2016 we build so called „Civic Hubs“ in Jordanian refugee camps and poor urban areas. A Civic Hub is a refugee-led innovation incubator, a physical space with furniture, tools, electricity, internet and all other needed infrastructure to welcome and hatch local talents and ideas. Refugee and local entrepreneurs take part in an innovation and incubation journey and are connected to local, regional and international partners. Multiple Civic Hubs build a network or platform of cross-promoted and globally supported enterprising and civic models. A digital platform will provide access to internationally renown successful models to inspire our entrepreneurs and to create a market place.
HUMANITARIAN INNOVATION MANIFESTO
- We put refugee and local entrepreneurs at center stage of the solution for the refugee crisis.
- We combine world-class innovation tools and methodologies with local talents and visions.
- We are mindful of diverse and different needs and will not create oppression through one-size-fits-all solutions.
- We believe in a culture that is inspired by a strong and shared sense of purpose, curiosity and enterprising, innovative spirit.
- We apply sustainable business models to enable entrepreneurs to implement their ideas through access to seed funding and incubation, acceleration and scaling support.
- We aim for maximum resource conservation, closed loop resource processes and ecological sustainability, focusing on under-utilised assets.
- We support an open sharing model, to contribute to and learn from the challenges and failures of each others work.
- We provide a space, which inspires the creation of innovative approaches, ready for testing and scaling.