Sunday, February 5, 2023
Role of Innovation and Technology for Providing Better Protection to Refugees
Prakash Sharma (Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies), Role of Innovation and Technology for Providing Better Protection to Refugees (2023):
The global governance of humanitarianism has been largely State-led and State-centric. Such an approach is still continuing, thereby resulting in greater dependency on donor governments. Having said this, over the years, UNHCR is prioritizing engagement with private actors to create, and at the same time, participate in sustainable alternatives to state-led humanitarian dependency. The engagement involves multiple roles including sharing information, raising awareness, lobbying and advocating, connecting, incentivizing, etc. Because of such engagements, there are greater possibilities for refugees to have access to training, mentorship, microcredit, and better livelihoods. The paper argues that such innovative effort has the potential to empower refugees rather than treat them as burdens to the host communities. The paper concludes that the time has come wherein the States must embrace the role of private actors to fundamentally transform the existing State-led emergency response. This would require careful oversight by the office of UNHCR to ensure that no compromise is made to the core protection standards.