Technology plays a key role in all areas of life today. It connects like-minded communities to solve common problems together. But when certain problems are so big that they affect the whole world, a platform is needed that can engage prospects quickly across the globe and enable them to work together to find a solution.
One such global problem is the refugee crisis. The United Nations and host countries have worked on many refugee needs such as shelter, food, water, sanitation, medical assistance, education and many others. However, this crisis can only be resolved for those affected if they become financially independent and can live in a country that needs their skills. There are many organizations that work in silos or with partners to help refugees.
Technology can play a key role in bringing them all onto a common platform. This network is important in order to find partners quickly and to build one Ecosystem where refugees can improve their own skills and qualify for jobs and programs that would ultimately help make them financially independent.
Partners work together
This is an idea that harnesses the power of technology like Blockchain and process automation to achieve this. The list of partners that could come together on this platform includes the United Nations and its subsidiaries, the Governments from industrialized countries, corporate partners, universities and NGOs.
Let’s give a brief overview of how each of these partners would interact. The United Nations would create profiles of verified refugees on the platform, while governments looking for additional workers on their platform Industry sectors would have access to offer them jobs. Companies would offer training, sponsorship and other refugee employment assistance to people who are qualified for specific occupations. Universities could offer additional academic courses and certifications to improve their skills education. NGOs could also offer programs for vocational training, language training and cultural awareness.
This collaborative platform also offers refugees the opportunity to share their experiences about what they have learned to help others who are new to the process. Read my article for an in-depth look at the details and requirements for each of these partners Using blockchain and process automationFor more information on the different scenarios and interactions, see Scenarios and workflows.
What a solution looks like
The Refugee Empowerment Solution is a blockchain system that supports the purpose of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). As a leading provider of the blockchain network, UNHCR would own and manage the entire solution and have the ability to involve its current partners and invite new ones.
You could use any service provider to create and manage that solutionHosted in the cloud, on-premise, or a combination of both, and leverages containerized platforms and services such as Red Hat OpenShift and Cloud Paks. Here are the key components:
A Blockchain platform Provides a trustworthy and transparent layer for the solution. It helps to maintain the authenticity of the digital identities of refugees and enables accountability of partners who commit to providing employment, training in academic courses and providing refugees with professional skills.
The immutable nature of Blockchain also helps maintain the authenticity of the certifications issued by training partners to refugees, which help job providers find credible certified resources. Here the partners can manage their own blockchain instance as part of the network or be integrated into an instance managed by UNHCR.
This defines and automates the processes to ensure that the schedules of each task are monitored and adhered to. It can help maintain process continuity by running a workflow of tasks and monitoring the completion of each task. The likelihood of delays with many people involved in a process is higher. The workflow can automatically assign owners for each task and trigger them by sending alerts to the task owners and monitoring the status, which is passed on to higher authorities in the event of delays.
This makes the whole process of finding the right job for a refugee more efficient, reduces errors and ensures that rules and regulations are followed by collecting all necessary permits and relevant documents.
Web and mobile apps
These offer all partners the interface to register and join the network. Refugees can also use the applications to view and apply for jobs and other services made available to them.
Apps provide an interface that can be used for solution integration into the partner’s corporate systems. Optionally, partners can create an independent application to view, create and update the relevant data.
For a full review of these components, be sure to read my article about Reference architecture.
This is an unprecedented time of restlessness and movement for people in need, but not the first time we have faced these challenges. However, it may be the first time we have the right technology so all the right partners can work together on solutions. Technology can provide tremendous support to individuals and organizations working toward uplifting refugee communities.
Building a better world and a common network is essential to find partners quickly and build an ecosystem that refugees can use for education, qualifying for jobs that would ultimately help them gain independence for themselves and their families gain.
The main characteristics of blockchain, immutability and finality, help all partners to work with authentic data. Process automation is the key to using these resources effectively. This work was a collaborative effort so please feel free to get in touch myself or contact my solution colleagues, Ruchika Gupta and Indira Kalagara. Thanks to John Cohn, Fellow and Grace Suh, VP for their support and encouragement.