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Smart Communities Coalition

Irene Angwenyi / USAID Kenya

Introducing the Smart Communities Coalition

Low- and middle-income countries host the vast majority of refugees, yet they have limited resources to provide for refugees’ basic needs without straining their existing systems.

The Smart Communities Coalition seeks to improve the delivery of essential services to refugees and host community members through enhanced coordination between public and private entities and strategic implementation of technology. Efforts will focus on three foundational pillars — connectivity, digital tools, and energy access — with the intent to launch pilots in Uganda and Kenya in 2018.

Through technology and process innovation, the Smart Communities Coalition seeks to improve outcomes for both refugees and host community members by:

  • Increasing efficiencies in camp management and service delivery
  • Empowering refugees to provide for themselves and their families
  • Equitably addressing the needs of host community members in and around targeted settlements.

Working together, Coalition members will identify new models to deploy innovative technology and partnership solutions to enable transformational change in the delivery of services to refugees and host communities. These efforts will empower refugees with increased ability to provide for themselves and their families, thereby helping to generate greater value to host communities.

Coalition activities will focus initial activities in Kenya — Kakuma and Kalobeyei refugee camps — and Uganda — Bidi Bidi, Kiryandongo, and Rwamwanja refugee settlements.

Coalition Members

Mastercard (co-chair), 
USAID Power Africa (co-chair),
 Acumen, American Refugee Committee, BioLite, BRCK, DanChurchAid, Danish Refugee Council, Energy Peace Partners, Engie PowerCorner, Fenix International, FSD Africa, The Innovation Village, Lutheran World Federation, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, Moonshot Global, Moving Energy Initiative, NetHope, Norwegian Refugee Council, Off-Grid Electric, Pawame, 
PowerGen Renewable Energy,  SNV, SolarKiosk, Taqanu, Total Access to Energy, USAID Lab/Digital Inclusion, Vecna Cares Charitable Trusts, Viamo Inc, World Vision

Coalition Collaborators

GSMA, Tent Partnership for Refugees, U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration

To learn more and join the Smart Communities Coalition, contact:

Sasha Kapadia, Director, International Development, Mastercard,

Katrina Pielli, Senior Energy Advisor, Power Africa,

Smart Communities Coalition Design Workshop

The Smart Communities Coalition held its first design workshop on March 27-28, 2018, at the Mastercard Labs for Financial Inclusion Nairobi, Kenya, with 45 SCC members and collaborators in attendance from 28 organizations.

The goals of the workshop were to:

  • Develop a shared understanding of success of the coalition, including how we intend work together to achieve our goals
  • Identify opportunities for collaborative problem solving on a first round of pilot activities in Uganda and Kenya
  • Establish next steps and commitments to action via pilot roadmaps

The members developed 9 pilot concepts that span the three SCC pillars and will move forward to implementation in Kenya and Uganda in 2018 after in-country consultations in June.

Become a Member

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