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Closing the digital divide for refugees

Man with iPad© Save The Children Rwanda
The world’s refugees are largely left behind in the digital revolution. Save the Children and Kumwe Hub are looking for private sector partners to help innovate new solutions to close this digital divide. The project seeks to develop a financially sustainable model to support the long-term provision of internet to refugees in camp settings.

What is the challenge?

Today, over 65 million people – the largest number in decades – live as refugees or are internally displaced, uprooted from their homes. Many displaced people live without the connectivity they need to obtain vital information, to communicate with loved ones, access services and livelihoods opportunities. Without access to up-to-date information on events back in their home and host countries, refugees cannot make informed decisions on how to improve their lives. A lack of connectivity constrains the capacity of refugee communities to organize and empower themselves, cutting off a path to self-reliance. It also constrains the kind of transformative innovation in humanitarian assistance.

What is innovative about the project?

Through innovative partnerships, smart investments and human-centered design, Save the Children and Kumwe Hub aim to find sustainable and replicable solutions to ensure that refugees access internet and can leverage this digital tool to improve their lives. The pilot project will take place in Mahama Camp in Rwanda.

The innovation in this project is not the provision of internet in itself, but the aim to design a sustainable and replicable business model to ensure connectivity in the long term.

What are the expected outcomes?

Save the Children, through Kumwe Hub, and together with private sector stakeholders and end-users themselves, will identify, operationalize, pilot and assess innovative solutions for better Internet connectivity in refugee camp settings. Better connectivity can promote self-reliance by broadening the opportunities for refugees to improve their own lives. It has the potential to create a powerful multiplier effect, boosting the well-being and livelihoods of refugees and of the communities that host them.

Who are the project partners?

This project is led by Save the Children Norway and Kumwe Hub. They will through this innovation process partner with one or more private sector partners.

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