In 2018 Jigsaw worked with the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation programme to create a dataset capturing refugee use of mobile technologies in three refugee settings: urban refugees in Jordan, Kiziba refugee camp in Rwanda and Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in Uganda. The research was carried out in collaboration with UNHCR.

The research explored the ways in which mobile technology can improve access to and delivery of utility services, cash transfers, climate resilience information and identity services. There were two main objectives of the study:

  • Provide data and insight for humanitarian organisations seeking to design digital interventions that can better serve refugee populations and ensure that the most vulnerable are not left behind.
  • Generate robust evidence to inform the private sector, particularly mobile network operators, of the market opportunity of serving refugees and host communities.

The dataset was collated through a mixed-method study in each research context. Quantitative data was collected through a household survey that covered the following areas:

  • mobile phone ownership, access, usage and impact among refugees;
  • barriers to phone ownership, access, usage and mobile-enabled services;
  • preferences for digital services, including ability and willingness to pay.

Overall, 2,210 household surveys with refugees and 744 with host community members were collected. In total, 728 refugees in Jordan, 727 in Rwanda and 755 in Uganda were surveyed as part of the study. The survey was conducted by refugee enumerators in Uganda and Rwanda. Qualitative data was collected through 49 focus group discussions with refugees and six with host community members, 22 market observations in refugee communities, 14 case study interviews with refugees and 6 key informant interviews with UNHCR and mobile network operators. The findings of this research study are presented in reports produced by GSMA Mobile for Development (see links below).

The dataset Jigsaw produced builds the evidence base for understanding the ways in which refugees currently access and use mobile technology and the specific digital needs and preferences of refugees populations. The dataset will inform the future publications by the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation programme and support their work to accelerate the delivery and impact of digital humanitarian assistance.

The GSMA produced the report Bridging the mobile gender gap for refugees report using the dataset. Check out more reports as they are published by GSMA Mobile for Development here.

Jigsaw Consult is a certified Social Enterprise and a company registered in England and Wales under company number 06844615 and VAT number GB173850004.
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