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report launchED ON 17 july 2015


Alexander Betts, Director Refugee Studies Centre and Humanitarian Innovation Project

Louise Bloom, Research Officer, Humanitarian Innovation Project

Nina Weaver, Research Coordinator, Humanitarian Innovation Project

About the report

Even under the most challenging constraints, people find ways to engage in creative problem-solving. Refugees, displaced persons, and others caught in crisis often have skills, talents, and aspirations that they draw upon to adapt to difficult circumstances.

On July 17th, we launched the report "Refugee Innovation: Humanitarian Innovation that Starts with Communities" which focuses on examples and case studies of ‘bottom-up innovation’ among different refugee populations. This report takes you on a journey – from Jordan to South Africa to Uganda to Kenya to the United States. We look at a range of refugee situations, drawing upon examples from different stages of the ‘refugee cycle’: recent mass influx, protracted situations, and resettled refugee populations.

Understanding the processes of refugee innovation and the constraints and opportunities experienced in ‘bottom-up’ problem-solving also has far-reaching implications for humanitarian practice.

For all enquiries, please contact the Humanitarian Innovation Project on 01865 281 737 or email

Humanitarian Innovation Project (HIP)

HIP is a research project based at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. HIP is generously funded by a donation from Stephanie and Hunter Hunt. The project has a cooperation agreement with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Find out more >>

Download the report

Refugee Innovation: Humanitarian Innovation that Starts with Communities


Take a look at our report photo gallery!

Media coverage

Harness the ingenuity of refugees, aid agencies told (ThomsonReuters Foundation, also the Mail Online)

Refugees can be innovators (Deutsche Welle)

Innovation at Za'atari (The Guardian Global Development Professionals Network)

Press release

Read the press release about the report.