This blog “Connect Refugees” is a part of our group communication plan to keep our stakeholders informed and up to date in regards to our weekly progress toward the final project goal which is developing “A Persuasive Case for Development of Internet Connectivity for Refugee and Displaced Person Groups in Non Formal Refugee Camp Environments” and presenting it to NetHope.
The intention of this project is to develop a report that is comprised of an in-depth analysis and understanding of the social (long and short term) benefits, opportunities, advantages, risks and disadvantages that internet connectivity might provide to refugees and NGOs working in non-refugee camp environments. Our project includes an extensive research on current and past experiences related to internet connectivity in refugee camps along with the knowledge of current technology and its benefits for all stakeholders.
The United Nation defines a refugee as: “A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.” Reports from the UN and other NGO groups non-formal refugee camps indicate that informal refugee camps of Informal Tented Settlements (ITS) are shelters below human standards, yet has increasingly become a default option for many refugees around the world. UNICEF defines informal “as the access to food, water, sanitary means, health, education, and other basic human services is not officially established and there is a considerable challenge, one often compounded by the lack of social and labour protection and land rights”.
In this report will use the definition of informal refugee camps defined by UNICEF as the base for our work.
The intention of this project is to develop a report that is comprised of an in depth analysis and understanding of the social (long and short term) benefits, opportunities, advantages and disadvantages that internet connectivity might provide and add value to the welfare of the different stakeholder groups who are living, working and providing services in non-refugee camp environments. The stakeholder groups involved in this projects are (to name few but not limited to): Jonathan Metzger (project sponsor) from NetHope, refugees, refugees near and extended families who are not living in camps, NGOs (working on ground), technology companies (providing technologies), local and international donors, surrounding communities, Group 5 members and Prof. Peter Carr (external project advisor). This project will not include any financial, technical, legal and political aspects. Nevertheless, these aspects will be discussed and included briefly and broadly in the final project report.