Parallel session: Understanding Humanitarian Innovation in Resettlement Contexts, 18 July 2015, 11:0--12:30, 2nd Panel Room.
Gavin Ackerly, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Innovation Hub: ‘Innovative ways of creating resource rich networks to support successful refugee resettlement’, Faith Nibbs, Southern Methodist University: ‘Innovative Strategies: How refugees have career-laddered in the US’, Eleanor Ott, Oxfam GB: ‘‘Forced’ innovation: A case study of US refugee resettlement’, Carrie Perkins, Southern Methodist University: ‘The Road to Resettlement: Transitions from the Thai-Burma border to Dallas, Texas’. Chair: Naohiko Omata, Humanitarian Innovation Project
This panel will consider how the concept of humanitarian innovation can apply to refugees who have been resettled to third countries. The first presentation will introduce a purpose-built e-mentoring and networking project which connects refugees to industry professionals, small business mentors and peer groups in order to give refugees the opportunity to connect deep within mainstream networks, reducing reliance on service agencies and increasing opportunities for prosperity. The second presentation will address how refugees career-ladder when their skills don’t easily transfer to the country of resettlement, presenting some of the innovative strategies refugees have used over the past 30 years in the US gathered through ethnographic interviews of the refugee communities of Dallas, TX area. The third presentation will explore how resettled refugees use and build their own networks to relocate, acquire employment, and find economic and social support, presenting qualitative and quantitative data on resettled refugee livelihood adaptation from findings of research with resettled refugees, practitioners, and policymakers. The fourth presentation will use qualitative interviews from refugees both preparing for resettlement and those who have already made the transition to life in the U.S to explore the many challenges, struggles and successes encountered along the way.