Mahali Lab other

A community-driven innovation lab in Amman, Jordan

The Mahali Lab fosters community engagement in vulnerable populations in identifying and solving challenges posed by long-term displacement.
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financing

Displacement Insurance

Displacement insurance disburses funds for swift life-saving action during crises, with an overall aim to make humanitarian aid more agile.

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resettlement

Resettlement Finance

In this new model for refugee resettlement finance, a self-sustaining fund provides countries with finance for refugee resettlement, and is replenished as refugees fuel economic growth.

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resettlement

Placement Algorithm

U.S.

Airbel is piloting and scaling an innovative machine learning algorithm developed by the Stanford University Immigration Policy Lab that matches refugees in areas where they are likely to thrive when...

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education

Pop Up Learning

Bangladesh

Pop-Up Learning is a computer-assisted learning program, aimed to mobilize quickly and efficiently on the onset of crisis.

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employment

Trade Accelerator

Focused support for Jordanian businesses to foster rapid growth and help them tap into the European market and hire refugees to do so.

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

nutrition

Virtual Baby

This portable game would let children earn points for raising a happy baby, teaching them about sexual health and nutrition.

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

resettlement

Ask Laila

A hotline, SMS, and web-based service to help resettled refugees get quick answers from a trusted local source - in their own language.

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This project became inactive following the Prototype phase

nutrition

Sprout

Niger

Over 16 million children under the age of 3 are afflicted by severe acute malnutrition. To pinpoint the most impactful prevention methods, Sprout is experimenting with 3 distinct approaches.

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education

Spark

Tanzania

Spark creates alternative learning spaces outside of refugee camp schools to practice play-based learning and social-emotional skills with primary school children.

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This project became inactive following the Prototype phase

resettlement

Caseworker Communications

United States

In partnership with Twilio.org, Airbel is developing an SMS-based system to streamline communication between caseworkers and newly-settled refugees as they adapt to their new lives in the United States.

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education

Coach Everu

Tanzania

Coach Erevu is a digital coaching program that aims to build the social emotional skills of teachers through weekly peer-to-peer video clubs, timely habit triggers, and bite-sized teaching materials

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nutrition

Low-Literacy Malnutrition Tools

South Sudan

In hard-to-reach areas local community health workers are key to treating malnourished children. Commonly used tools for diagnosing and treating malnutrition have been adapted to meet the needs of workers...

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

employment

Match

Jordan

Working to counter the high rates of unemployment that follow mass displacement, the Match project in Jordan is testing a set of new innovations for placing vulnerable populations and refugees...

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education

Sesame Seeds

In this historic effort, IRC and Sesame Workshop help children whose lives have been uprooted by the Syrian war to build brighter futures.

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

education

Tunakujenga

Tanzania

Tunakujenga is a family learning program that empowers caregivers to learn and practice social and emotional learning activities with their children at home.

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safety

Becoming One

Uganda

Becoming One is a counseling program designed to bring couples closer and prevent intimate partner violence. The program is delivered in partnership with local faith leaders, who guide couples through...

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safety

Modern Man

Liberia

Modern Man is a mobile messaging campaign that engages men with an aspirational and positive masculine identity to prevent intimate partner violence. It sends SMS messages to men who have...

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There are currently no projects in the Scale phase

The Syrian crisis has been ongoing for over seven years and millions continue to live in a state of long-term displacement. The economic and social consequences have been profound, and will persist for years to come. This has impacted neighborhoods, businesses, and government institutions throughout the region.

While the international community and the government of Jordan have focused significant resources toward this evolving crisis, there is still a huge need for grassroots leadership to develop new, locally-led, and sustainable ways of supporting social protection and integration efforts for the future. Mahali Lab supports Syrian refugees and Jordanian community leaders to imagine and design new solutions for long-term needs. It will make resilience-building efforts more inclusive and help Jordan emerge stronger from absorbing the shocks of massive displacement.

How does it work?

  • Three participatory design challenges: The IRC is launching a series of “design challenges” that engages the public to propose potential solutions to long-term problems faced by vulnerable communities throughout Jordan. The theme of each challenge is determined through consultation with Syrian refugees, leaders within host communities, and community-based organizations. Within each challenge, participants from many backgrounds have the opportunity to share ideas, insights, and solutions.
  • An intensive experience for entrepreneurial teams: A community review board will select a small number of teams to receive specialized support to fully develop their solutions. The IRC provides a co-working space, financial support, and access to mentors and experts, such as analysts and human-centered designers.
  • The IRC will invest in and support the most promising projects: The IRC  provides the most promising solutions with funding and support to implement, validate, and plan for scale.

What kind of problems does the Mahali Lab address?

The themes of the design challenges are determined through thorough consultation with affected communities, and will focus on topics where community-driven innovation could have a big impact. Challenges have included: access to sufficient, predictable income, improving access to health services, and education.

Who can participate?

Mahali Lab welcomes any individual, group, or organization based in Jordan, with a strong preference for ideas and actors that are under-represented in the aid sector, including: refugees and vulnerable people living in Jordan, civic and social leaders, community-based organizations, and local entrepreneurs.

We develop new solutions to better serve people suffering the effects of conflict and crisis.