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DISPLAYING RESULTS 51 to 75 out of 139
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Education Reception Centers

In Sofia, an average of 20 to 30 children reside at a reception center at any given time. Bulgarian language classes are organized four hours per day for an initial period of three months and up to a maximum of one year, depending on the child’s needs. These classes are reportedly not particularly effective in teaching refugee children the skills that they need to pass Bulgaria’s school placement exams.

However, a number of positive measures have been proposed with respect to the training of teachers, the prevention of early dropouts and the development of standardized tests to facilitate school placement for children who lack proof of prior educational attainment.

Region: Europe
Country: Bulgaria
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Education

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The Social Protection Fund

The Social Protection Fund is a relatively new initiative in which UNHCR provides small, time-bound grants to projects presented by refugee communities. Launched in 2009, the SPF is intended to stimulate the development of social capital and promote self-reliance amongst Malaysia’s refugees and to foster positive relations with the Malaysian population. In all of these respects, the SPF represents a very concrete manifestation of UNHCR’s urban refugee policy.

At the beginning of 2011, some 5,000 refugees were benefiting directly and a further 14,000 indirectly from the SPF, which has supported refugee community centers and schools, job placement initiatives, empowerment programs for refugee women and youth, as well as income-generating and community services projects. Those visited by the evaluation team included an IT training center established by a Sri Lankan refugee; a baking cooperative run by eight young Somalis, and a Chin refugee school which, in addition to its educational activities, organizes a monthly ‘community cleanup’ intended to counter suggestions that refugees have an adverse impact on the urban environment.

Region: Asia and the Pacific
Country: Malaysia
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Livelihoods

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Effectively Broadening Volunteers

A strategy employed by UNHCR to communicate and engage with the urban refugee population in Malaysia is to be seen in the establishment of a program for national and expatriate volunteers who wish to support the organization’s activities. Founded in 2009, the roster of registered volunteers has grown from an initial 50 to over 400, around half of them Malaysians and half of them from other countries. Most undertake voluntary work for one or two days each week, with a minimum commitment of three months.

The volunteer program enables UNHCR to access one of Kuala Lumpur’s most valuable assets: a well-educated, financially secure and internationally minded group of people with an interest in engaging in humanitarian work. Participants in the program have included a variety of highly qualified people, including doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives and physiotherapists.

Region: Asia and the Pacific
Country: Malaysia
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Integration

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Women Protection Corps

 

In terms of outreach to the refugee population, particular efforts have been made in relation to the issue of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), which has been a particular problem in the urban Rohingya community. According to one of UNHCR’s Participatory Assessments, “the majority of women take domestic violence as part and parcel of married life. Their concern over how they will fend for themselves and their children if they leave their spouses often makes them stay.”

Based on a mapping exercise undertaken in 2010, the International Catholic Migration Commission has established a Refugee Women’s Protection Corps comprised of 17 female volunteers. In the first year of the project, the volunteers succeeded in training almost 2,000 people, compared to an initial target that was just half that number. The number of SGBV cases reported has increased significantly as a result of this initiative, which has also prompted the project to link up with a local NGO which provides temporary shelter to women who have been subject to or threatened with abuse.

At the same time, the Branch Office has established a system whereby the units dealing with protection, healthcare and individual assistance have each appointed a focal point whose work is coordinated by an SGBV coordinator in the CDU. This approach is intended to ensure a multifunctional approach to the issue of sexual and gender-based violence and to avert a situation in which individual cases fall through any cracks in UNHCR’s organizational structure.

Region: Asia and the Pacific
Country: Malaysia
Organization: International Catholic Migration Commission
Sector: SGBV

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Information Hubs

 

UNHCR has established an innovative system of Mobile Information Hubs, where staff members from the Community Development Unit (CDU) are able to meet urban and nonurban refugees and asylum seekers on an individual basis and to answer any enquiries that they may have. Such sessions are organized in different locations across Kuala Lumpur (often in church premises) and are regularly conducted both on weekdays and at weekends so that those who are working are able to attend. Refugees with specific needs are prioritized in the process and follow-up action is taken in relation to any questions or issues that cannot be addressed on the spot.

According to CDU staff, and on the basis of participatory observation at one information hub, it is clear that there is a strong demand for this service and that refugees require information and advice on a wide range of issues, including (but not restricted to) registration, status determination, financial assistance, employment, accommodation, medical care, family reunification and resettlement.

Region: Asia and the Pacific
Country: Malaysia
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Integration

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Uniforms and Logos as Protective Methods

 

While refugee documents tend to be relatively well recognized and respected in Kuala Lumpur, this is not always the case in other parts of the country. Within the capital city itself, a particular concern has been to protect children from any form of harassment they might encounter, especially when they are on their way to and from their refugee community schools. UNHCR has addressed this issue by providing young refugees with school uniforms, as well as backpacks on which the UNHCR logo is prominently displayed. It is a measure of UNHCR’s growing credibility in the country (as well as the high value that Malaysian society places on education) that the backpacks provide young refugees with added protection, rather than turning them into targets for abuse.

Region: Asia and the Pacific
Country: Malaysia
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Child Protection

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Refugee Sensitivity Training For Local Authorities

 

In accordance with the urban refugee policy’s emphasis on protection partnerships and capacity building, the Outreach and Protection Intervention Unit (OPI) has for the past two years provided training to the police, immigration service and the judiciary in areas such as refugee law, documentation and the role of UNHCR. This development also represents a significant and positive policy shift on the part of the authorities, who were previously not amenable to such initiatives.

Region: Asia and the Pacific
Country: Malaysia
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Outreach

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Protection Hotline

 

Given the extent to which refugees (including Urban refugees) in Malaysia have been subject to arrest, detention, extortion and corporal punishment, the UNHCR office in Kuala Lumpur has been particularly mindful of the need to safeguard the physical protection of refugees and asylum seekers. In 2005, a telephone hotline was established, enabling refugees and asylum seekers to contact UNHCR from 0800 in the morning to 2300 at night, seven days a week. The number of such calls has increased markedly, from 7,000 in 2009 to 18,000 in 2010. Most of these calls are referred to the Outreach and Protection Intervention Unit (OPI).

Region: Asia and the Pacific
Country: Malaysia
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Integration / Security

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Faith-based Organizations and Community Networks

 

Given the limited assistance provided by aid agencies, faith-based organizations (FBOs) and community-based initiatives have become vital service providers to the needy refugee populations of Nairobi over the past two decades. Beyond their prominent role as centers of worship, mosques are important gathering points and provide temporary lodging for refugees in Eastleigh and other areas of the city. For example, the imam of a mosque in Eastleigh said that that he provided help to newly arrived refugees by offering them shelter.

As in other parts of the Muslim world, Islamic forms of charity such as zakat, sadaqa and waqf represent important sources of support for the poorest. Similarly, churches in Nairobi have served as focal points for the collection of relief assistance for refugees, in particular Sudanese and people from the Great Lakes. For example, JRS delivers emergency parcels to its beneficiaries in six churches around Nairobi.

Region: Africa
Country: Kenya
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Outreach

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Advocacy and Psychological Support

 

Aid agencies have also provided legal assistance related to registration, protection and resettlement issues. Most legal action is undertaken by Kenyan organisations, in particular RCK (Refugee Consortium of Kenya) and Kituo Cha Sheria. The provision of legal services was highly valued by refugees interviewed. Refugees of all nationalities agreed that the legal representation provided by RCK and Kituo Cha Sheria and the psychosocial counselling and legal services offered to victims of abuse were important sources of support. Refugees highlighted that, even if their cases went unresolved, at the very least the availability of these services gave them a space for discussing and denouncing protection concerns and abuses.

Region: Africa
Country: Kenya
Organizations: Refugee Consortium of Kenya / NGO/International Organization
Sector: Mental Health/Psychosocial

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Promoting Livelihood Opportunities

 

UNHCR’s urban strategy prioritizes livelihoods as a critical pillar in strengthening the protection of urban-based people of concern. Efforts to roll out meaningful and sustainable livelihood programs in Nairobi were, however, frustrated by poor funding coupled with a restrictive national labor regime that deters Persons of Concern from accessing the local job market.

The above not withstanding, a total of 93 Nairobi-based entrepreneurs (including 50 women) from various parts of the city, were assisted to grow their businesses. An additional 20 youth enrolled in apprenticeships, 62 women trained in livelihood skills, and 214 girls and women trained in home care management.

Region: Africa
Country: Kenya
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Livelihoods

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Responses to Sexual and Gender Based Violence

 

UNHCR and partners worked to ensure all reported cases of sexual and gender-based violence received appropriate attention. A total of 894 cases were reported: Over 40 survivors in urban settings received counseling, health and livelihoods support, while court proceedings were undertaken against two alleged assailants. Up to 60 survivors of sexual violence were trained to run small businesses and assisted with start-up capital.

Region: Africa
Country: Kenya
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Legal Aid / SGBV

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Tailoring Training To Refugee Women

 

IMC recruited vulnerable Jordanian and Iraqi women for and ECD (Early Child Development) project through the Jordan River Foundation’s Queen Rania Center. Training sessions were conducted at the center, located in East Amman in an area with high concentrations of Iraqi refugees. Although mothers confirmed their interest in the program curriculum, attendance among Iraqis in particular was sporadic. Jordanian mothers felt comfortable attending courses at the Queen Rania Center, but their Iraqi counterparts were hesitant. They expressed feelings of insecurity and a general discomfort about travelling outside of their immediate home environment. Although the Jordanian government assured the safety of their Iraqi guests, Iraqis frequently felt vulnerable to harassment and discrimination. Moreover, unlike the commonly perceived refugee camp setting, where both refugees and services are generally within close proximity, the urban setting tends to be a sprawl that requires multiple methods of transportation to reach services. In addition to being time consuming and exhausting, it can create an economic that further hinders access to support.

IMC then replaced the original, centralized program design that required travel to the Jordan River Foundation center and instead initiated a pilot home and community-based approach. Home and community-based programming reaches out to and meets beneficiaries within their own environments. This inherently intimate approach that gives the service provider immediate and unfiltered insight into a family’s circumstances and the community environment.

After a comprehensive selection process, 20 Iraqi women were trained during a two-week ToT course on ECD. Each trainer was then expected to invite 8-10 neighboring women into her home to participate in five-days ECD training, which would be repeated for new groups throughout the project period. With just limited outreach efforts, demand for these home-based trainings quickly grew within the communities, and each trainer soon found herself hosting no less than 20 women — twice the expected number — in modestly-sized apartments. Attendance rates consistently topped 90%. This overwhelmingly positive response held throughout the subsequent training sessions, helping reach 2,100 mothers in the course of eight months

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Jordan
Organization: International Medical Corps
Sector: Health

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Mobile Medical Units

 

In addition to the clinic-based care, International Medical Corps established mobile medical units that provided basic health care and health education in various locations where Iraqis were known to live. This intervention, usually reserved for reaching remote populations in rural environments, has proved to be an important way to assist urban-based Iraqi families who could not or would not access health clinics. Relying on extensive community outreach and informal neighborhood networks, the mobile clinics bring services to the immediate vicinity of vulnerable families, for whom financial, physical, or psychological barriers to accessing public or private health care facilities existed. These units also accompany International Medical Corps’ home-based or case management teams on home visits when medical consultation or assistance is required.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Jordan
Organization: International Medical Corps
Sector: Health

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One Stop Shop Clinics

 

In consideration of the wide array of specialized health care needs, the ineffective referral network between service providers, and the burdensome costs of transportation for the patient in urban Jordan, International Medical Corps began expanding the number of services available in each of it’s clinics. Adding to the initial general practitioner and dental care, specialists in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, endocrinology, cardiology, ophthalmology, and mental health were included on a part-time basis in the weekly clinic schedule. Laboratory testing and the provision of medications for managing chronic conditions were also incorporated, helping to reduce the number of visits required by patients and ensuring that their comprehensive health needs were being effectively addressed.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Jordan
Organization: International Medical Corps
Sector: Health

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Balancing Host and Refugee Population Needs in Health Care Services

 

In Jordan, there was a growing resentment among local urban populations from the perception that the arrival of Iraqis to Jordan not only resulted in a spike in the cost of living, but that huge amounts of assistance were being provided exclusively to Iraqis and unavailable to the Jordanians and other nationalities who met many of the same vulnerability criteria. This resentment contributed to the existing rift between Iraqis and the local communities within which they lived, and helped to exacerbate the feelings of isolation and apprehension that Iraqi families were experiencing.

International Medical Corps supported JHAS (Jordan Health Aid Society) urban clinics that were located in areas with known concentrations of Iraqis, but provided services based on need, rather than nationality. Relying on teams of outreach workers attached to each clinic, raised awareness of and created demand for health care services in a way that benefited entire communities while maintaining the balance between Iraqis and non-Iraqis that satisfied Government of Jordan. Moreover, the interaction between Iraqis and non-Iraqis in the clinic waiting rooms and during health education sessions created networking opportunities and helped promote the process of social inclusion for Iraqis in urban Jordan communities.  

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Jordan
Organizations: Jordan Health Aid Society / International Medical Corps
Sector: Health

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Strengthening Local Health Capacity

 

Despite an attractive model of care and a proven ability to scale up and respond quickly to address gaps in assistance, local health partners in Jordan lacked the internal systems to manage increasingly large budgets, staff, and operational requirements in urban environments.

International Medical Corps worked closely with JHAS (Jordan Health Aid Society), seconding staff as necessary, to create financial and administrative systems that complied with local and international standards, promoting transparency and enhancing their capacity to meet the demands of a growing organization. Policies and procedures governing human resources, procurement, asset management, and accounting, which enforced separation of duties and provided for effective checks and balances, were established.

IMC assisted in hiring qualified staff to fill the new positions that were required and redesigned budgets to appropriately account for overhead costs. They provided extensive and ongoing training and supervision to program managers on project design and management, quality control and monitoring and evaluation. They also offered numerous trainings to clinicians and clinic managers on best practices, including the integration of health education, maternal and child health care, and mental health care into the primary health care package.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Jordan
Organizations: International Medical Corps / Jordan Health Aid Society
Sector: Health

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Facilitating Return To Country of Origin

 

From the beginning of the Iraqi exodus, it has been evident that voluntary repatriation will have to play a significant role in the resolution of the refugee situation in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Only a modest proportion of the Iraqi refugee population has access to the solution of resettlement, while the governments of the three asylum countries are insistent that the Iraqis should not stay there on a long-term or indefinite basis. Local integration is therefore not a viable option.

UNHCR has taken steps to facilitate the return of those refugees who have decided that they wish to return to Iraq and resume their life there. In addition to pre- departure counseling and advice, such refugees are provided with free transportation and a cash payment of up to $500 per family. UNHCR also monitors the well-being of returnees by means of regular telephone interviews.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Countries: Iraq / Jordan
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Durable Solutions / Registration

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Expanded Text Messaging

 

Indeed, research participants were unanimous in their assessment that the majority of refugees and asylum seekers in Cairo use mobile phones, using phrases like “everyone” and “everybody” to describe how many have mobiles; one service provider said, “I’ve never met a refugee without one.” In a survey made by an Iraqi refugee in 2007 of 1,320 Iraqi refugees in Egypt, 99.9% said they could be reached by mobile phone (Name withheld 2012).

One Cairo service provider has introduced the use of group text messaging, both for reaching its beneficiaries and for contacting potential new ones, whose names and numbers they get from UNHCR. The service provider organization subscribes to a group text service with mobile company Vodafone, which provides computer software that allows them to easily send out announcements on a mass scale. This organization also uses SMS to reschedule appointments, to remind beneficiaries to bring in certain documents, of timing of activities or to renew their membership cards.

The SMS system was used after the revolution when multiple service providers cooperated to distribute a one-off cash payment to refugees in Cairo, and other service providers have used SMS to communicate about emergency closures in the year that has followed, alongside email notices to other service providers which were printed and posted – using multiple channels to reach the maximum number of people.

For more information, please see the working paper is entitled "Urban refugee protection in Cairo, Egypt: the role of information, communication and technology", published by UNHCR's New Issues in Refugee Research. You can find it online at http://www.unhcr.org/4fbf4c469.html

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Egypt
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Integration

      concern_worldwide_year3_research_report.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 2.68 MB

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Improved Hotline Manned By Volunteers

 

The benefits, strategies and interest in expanded phone use for asylum information are illustrated by a recent Cairo initiative. In spring 2010, a coalition of service providers acting under the name ‘Helpline Egyptians for Asylum seekers, migrants and Refugees’ (HEAR) took initial steps in the creation a volunteer-staffed telephone hotline that aimed to address information and communication gaps regarding asylum in Cairo. The helpline would allow people to call in and ask questions, for help with problems or for referrals from its trained volunteers, who would have a full guide of details of service and healthcare providers at hand.

For more information, please see the working paper is entitled "Urban refugee protection in Cairo, Egypt: the role of information, communication and technology", published by UNHCR's New Issues in Refugee Research. You can find it online at http://www.unhcr.org/4fbf4c469.html

For three months, with funding from the International Organization for Migration, the HEAR staff and steering committee laid a thorough groundwork for the project: 1) formal recruitment of 54 volunteers, orientation of them to the helpline, and the creation of a tentative staffing schedule; 2) the design of a twenty-hour volunteer training; 3) focus group meetings with a diverse group of refugees to assess interest in the helpline and what problems it might address; 4) creation of a reference guide based on older resources and supplemented by visits and discussion with more than 80 relevant service provision and health organizations; 5) the establishment of referral contacts at relevant organizations; 6) the creation of a website introducing the project to volunteers, funders and forced migrants in Egypt; and 7) the submission of applications for long-term funding for the project to six funders.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Egypt
Organization: NGO/International Organization
Sector: Community Integration

      alnap_urban_violence_summary.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 6.25 MB

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Brochures

 

An innovative use of printed information is the brochure used by service organizations. Many urban refugee brochure designs in Cairo have overcome confusion and miscommunication about organization’s services, the requirements for which may have previously explained only orally and are therefore vulnerable to misinterpretation or inconsistency between staff members. The brochures outline the details and requirements of services in simple, clear language. Many are printed in color on a single thick page folded into three panels, an envelope is affixed to the central panel which contains the appointment time of each refugee who applies for services. This simple technique ensures that each refugee receives the basic information about the service and has overcome the communication problems faced previously.

For more information, please see the working paper is entitled "Urban refugee protection in Cairo, Egypt: the role of information, communication and technology", published by UNHCR's New Issues in Refugee Research. You can find it online at http://www.unhcr.org/4fbf4c469.html

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Egypt
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Integration

      idmc_afghan_evictions.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 6.73 MB

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Simplified Service Provider Booklets

 

In Cairo, a service provider produces a printed booklet, every few years, for its clients; the booklet, 47 pages in its most recent form, provides an overview of how refugee status determination works, of frequent legal problems, of psychosocial and health services available in Cairo, of information for unaccompanied children and young people and sexual and gender based violence in Egypt, and of the resettlement process and programs. It is published in the languages of Cairo’s five predominant urban refugee communities, and distributed at the organization’s office and by its community outreach workers.

Although refugee referral guides and booklet efforts are formidable, they may be overly so. Long and complicated documents were cited by multiple studies as doing nothing to aid understanding of the processes, rules, services and rights of asylum and refugee protection. An Arabic-speaking refugee said that when she first arrived at the Cairo UNHCR office to begin her RSD process she was given a print copy of the 1951 Geneva refugee convention in Arabic, but did not understand how its rules applied to her situation.

For more information, please see the working paper is entitled "Urban refugee protection in Cairo, Egypt: the role of information, communication and technology", published by UNHCR's New Issues in Refugee Research. You can find it online at http://www.unhcr.org/4fbf4c469.html

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Egypt
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Integration

      ids_resilience_agenda.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 994 KB

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Referral Guides

 

UNHCR’s Cairo office prints the “Referral Guide for Refugees and Refugee Service Providers” annually. The 2011 version is 96 pages long and lists the street addresses, hours, websites, phone numbers, email addresses, neighborhoods, closest metro stations, contact persons, emergency hours, referral processes, fees, target populations and activities of NGOs, CBOs and governmental institutions providing services for refugees and asylum seekers in Cairo.

The Referral Guide is comprehensive and useful, but limited in language to English and Arabic, and limited in distribution. One refugee remarked;

“I read it, and I discovered that there were service providers that I never heard about, and this book hasn’t been distributed to all refugees here. There was a service for Iraqi refugees specifically, a free medical service for all Iraqi refugees, in the same area as UNHCR. No one knew about it. So I wrote a brochure to say that there’s a medical service for Iraqi refugees here, and put the brochures wherever there is an Iraqi bakery or Iraqi restaurant.”

For more information, please see the working paper is entitled "Urban refugee protection in Cairo, Egypt: the role of information, communication and technology", published by UNHCR's New Issues in Refugee Research. You can find it online at http://www.unhcr.org/4fbf4c469.html

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Egypt
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Integration / Other

      cbcpms_uganda.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 1.60 MB

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Posted Notices

 

UNHCR uses posted notices to communicate about the process of individual RSD cases. Such posters are also emailed, printed and posted by service providers. These notices list asylum applicants’ case numbers and result, usually instructing applicants to visit the UNHCR office between 8:00am and 11:00am on a specific date. Service providers sometimes use posters to publicize details of their services or programmes at their offices. INGO Refugees United use an online database to try to connect separated refugee families. They have also distributed and posted large, full-colour posters in English and Arabic, at various Cairo-based service provider locations. Using the posted notifications repeatedly in the same location and manner increases the likelihood that they will be utilized by the refugee community, particularly in urban settings.

For more information, please see the working paper is entitled "Urban refugee protection in Cairo, Egypt: the role of information, communication and technology", published by UNHCR's New Issues in Refugee Research. You can find it online at http://www.unhcr.org/4fbf4c469.html

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Egypt
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Outreach

      acted_behind_the_concrete_veil_3.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 3.50 MB

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Utilizing Print

There are many good practices in the form of print materials to overcome existing education, language and literacy barriers in urban environments.

Current printed material about asylum in Cairo include distributed letters, posted results listings, information booklets, posters, and occasional brochures. Sometimes, such as in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution, or when a major office has an emergency closure, UNHCR and other major service providers send announcements in the form of letters attached to emails, usually in Arabic and English, delivered electronically to the urban community-based organizations and service providers.

For more information, please see the working paper is entitled "Urban refugee protection in Cairo, Egypt: the role of information, communication and technology", published by UNHCR's New Issues in Refugee Research. You can find it online at http://www.unhcr.org/4fbf4c469.html

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Egypt
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Other

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DISPLAYING RESULTS 51 to 75 out of 139
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6