Technology and Innovation: Nakivale and Kyangwali Refugee Settlements

Publication

Humanitarian Innovation Project Mission Report #3

Technology and Innovation: Nakivale and Kyangwali Refugee Settlements

This document outlines the preliminary findings of a recent field trip, conducted by researchers of the Humanitarian Innovation Project (HIP), to look at technology and innovation in refugee livelihoods. Nakivale and Kyangwali Refugee Settlements were the main focus sites for this field trip where respondents were interviewed predominantly from refugee communities but also from international and local organisations. The report highlights examples of how technology is used in refugee livelihoods across the two refugee settlements. It, firstly, documents examples of technology used in refugee livelihoods and, secondly, applies the HIP innovation framework as a lens to understand the innovation process used by refugees when adapting their livelihoods activities. It does so in order to offer an insight into the opportunities and constraints experienced by refugees within livelihoods innovation. The report suggests that the use of technology is inherently embedded in wider social and market systems. It further suggests that understanding these wider social connections is vital to refugee livelihoods since they create the enabling conditions for access to complementary resources, new skills, ideas and trade networks. From the perspective of refugee respondents, the lack of access to financial and material capital, physical health, and market access were some of the challenges they faced in livelihoods adaptation. These preliminary findings have important implications for understanding the conditions that are likely to be needed in order to create an enabling environment within which to facilitate refugee livelihoods innovation. .The next steps of the research will be the more rigorously explore the extent to which some of these ideas are representative of refugee livelihoods innovations in Uganda.