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UNHCR Exchange

A tool created to help bridge the gap between practitioners and refugees.

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UNHCR Exchange is a tool and methodology to assist you in running successful learning and collaboration projects through two way communication between refugees and practitioners. Exchange’s offers online communities of practice and learning to accompany yourface to face learning and collaboration projects in areas such as: - Capacity Building Projects, including continuous peer to peer coaching - Innovation projects and idea generation - Learning programmes for refugees - Exchange of Best Practice - Collaborative Learning experiences between refugees and practitioners - Staff training (for UNHCR staff and implementing partners) - Learning programmes for refugees The system runs on computers (in browser), tablets and smartphones (in the app). Besides allowing for easy access to content, Exchange emphasises user-generated content: Users can upload any type of media and comment on each other’s content to further ideas in collaboration. The Exchange experience works best when combining online and face to face experiences. The platform then becomes the assistive learning Tool to enhance a specific learning programme.


The beneficiaries of this platform would be primarily the refugees, to have access to educational materials and other necessary resources, and UNHCR staff's (who are based 117 countries) to access and communicate with the refugees as well as with each other.


In a first pilot in 2014, the specialist skillset was formed by media creation skills, educationalist skills and journalism. Our first cohort was 20 participants strong, all with refugee status in the Nakivale Settlement, Uganda. The group, self-entitled ‘Entrepreneur 20+’ (E20+), was trained in the Core Curriculum, as well as in the creation of Educational Resources to meet their community’s learning and sensitisation needs. The training covered storytelling, script writing, directing, filming and editing, but most prominently, effective methods of collaborating with specialists and experts in different subject matters to achieve the transmission of valid, high quality information. The content produced by the E20+ is peer reviewed by their coaches from UNHCR and Fuse Foundation, before being published to the public on the UNHCR Exchange platform and in an offline experience to their community in Nakivale and beyond.


We have received feedback from UNHCR staff as well as the refugees, and in general they see it as an amazing technology that could really change the way we communicate and exchange information. Andrew Mbogori, UNHCR Uganda, Head of office I think this UNHCR Exchange platform is very interesting, connecting practitioners, refugees and partners. I’m so excited because it opens refugees’ mind to other things, showing them they have a future, it shows them what is out there, it’s not just the boundaries of the camp or of the settlement anymore. Doreen Nimusiima, UNHCR Uganda, Senior Community Services Assistant The refugees have a lot to offer, but they don’t know where to display their works and achievements, so this platform is helping serve that purpose. The refugees that we trained in Uganda all mentioned that, if wasn't for the slow internet, they would use the platform. We are trying to improve the offline feature, as well the mobile app!

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We would like to improve our access to our platform and our app! We are trying to improve and get more feedback on the user experience and journey on the platform! And most of all, we would like any partners, any refugees, etc. to come unto the UNHCR Exchange platform and use as a tool to collaborate and create innovative world changing projects.


The Fuse Foundation is a registered charity, based in London (UK) that strives to fight inequality and to provide children with their basic right to an education.


  • Yes, and we are implementing/operating partners of UNICEF or UNHCR.

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Photo of Keiko Odashiro

Hi Team, great post! What are some of the challenges in the project? How often young people are using the site?


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