Preparation Meeting : "Refugee Camp Designs", Mouhsine Serrar

Preparation Meeting : "Refugee Camp Designs", Mouhsine Serrar

Table of Content


Daniel Rudolph

Was in India (Barefoot College) until 3 weeks ago (end of July)

He's responsible for the overall program

PraktiEdu & HKU Partnership Draft

Information on the site

Presentation with visuals

The Richardson Center

DEW Bazaar Introduction

IOM UN Migration

I am working on 6 different programs

  1. DEW Design Education (Research Lab) Develops programs: for the world. We look at the impact, where the impact is growing linearly. We need innovation. Prakti Education "PraktiEdu",
  2. Ablehood: App, Championing impact as social media. We have a beta version, proof of concept - and we have a team to carry it on. I would need to have a program lead
  3. Ashar: Professionals contribute 10% / week for causes. 2h of graphic design, software, Create a connection between people
  4. BADGE: Better a t doing good. Capacity building for funders. Specially CSR.
  5. Cookstove: Cookstove (oldest one). The latest design is awesome, cheaper, performance
  6. DEW Bazaar: Design centre, based in refugee camps (like a MakerBay)

Topics / Team

  1. Gardening
  2. Composting
  3. Sustainable Toilets
  4. Aquaponics
  5. Rainwater harvesting (and synergy with land sliding in refugee camps)
  6. Cartography, Human Geography

Format : Teacher Pilot (developing new/custom kits to support and fit existing academic class/requirements)

Produce 1) kits, 2) Instruments 3) Educational materials, graphics, videos


  • Dew Labs: Mouhsine Serrar (USA, Thailand) - CONFIRMED
  • Prakti Edu: Sabrina Fiorentino, (India, France) - CONFIRMED
  • Imperial College: Chris Tighe (UK) - CONFIRMED
  • Bengal Institute: Mohammad Tauheed (Bangladesh)
  • Toru Institute of Inclusive Innovation: Saif Kamal (Bangladesh)
  • RunHK: HK Refugees organisation, individual refugees (HK)
  • Justice Center (former): Piya Muqit (HK, Myanmar)
  • Kytabu: Tonee Ndungu. E-learning, (Kenya)
  • BRCK, Gearbox: Erik Hersman (Kenya)
  • Engineering Good, Johann Annuar (Singapore)
  • Burning Man expert: Unsu Lee (Singapore)
  • Synergy Social Ventures: Abbie Jung-Harada (ASEAN)
  • Communitere: Sam Bloch (Global)
  • Innovation Aid, George Hoehne (Germany)
  • MIT d Lab: Roberto Melendez, Shawn Frayne, Alex Hornstein (Honduras, USA)
  • Refugee and women rights activist: Garvey Chui (Lesbos, Greece)
  • News Deeply, Lara Setrakian (HK, Armenia)
  • World Food program: TBC
  • BRAC Innovation and University: TBC
  • Conserve worldwide: TBC
  • Stanford Extreme Affordability: TBC
  • World Food Program: TBC


We are not solving refugee problems

We are educating refugees to solve their own problems. We want educational kits.

Look at the most effective solutions

Produce kits to understand practice


Grow your own food: hydroponics can be an effective solution, kits. The Package could contain the 1) hydroponics system itself, 2) the instruments Ph meter, TDS, voltmeter) 3) Workbook, how to assemble, hands-on exercise (Assemble it, take a picture, measure voltage from water pump, measure the amount of water, compute efficiency)



Kit + Instrument + Education Material

Buy off the shelve AND/OR make it themselves

  • PraktiEdu
    • Cox Bazaar
      • Markets
        • Refugee Camps Still closed to outsiders.
        • Host community. Bangladeshi gets upset if we don't do something for the host community.

Courses Cesar is Teaching

Key Dates

Sessions (Fridays)

  1. Sep 4. Brief on Zoom, students enroll online
  2. Sep 11. Divide in 5 teams, Questions to refugees & Experts, Literature review of available technologies. {Mouhsine Serrar, Thailand}
  3. Sep 18. Student literature review, crowdsource design references, Creative time, design concepts, testing ideas {Sabrina Fiorentino, France Timezone}. What's the most relevant technology / Design. Create teams.
  4. Sep 25. Urban Design from Design and Technologies {Speaker: Urban Design Speaker} {Unsu Lee, Burning Man - Singapore}, {Sanitation, women issues, Lesbos}
  5. [Oct 2. Public Holiday]
  6. Oct 9. Show real Prototype 1, think of an application in Hong Kong {George Hoehne, Humanitarian Aid}, {Mouhsine Serrar, Thailand}, {Refugees from Hong Kong that have been living in Refugee camps}
  7. [Oct 16. Public Holiday]
  8. Oct 23. Prototype 2. {Eric Hersman, Nairobi}
  9. Oct 30. Logistics {Johann Annuar, Logistician MSF}
  10. Nov 6. Educational Materials. Template. Evaluation. {Tonee Ndungu, E-Education, Nairobi},
  11. Nov 13. Review of educational Material (Graphics / videos)
  12. Nov 20. How to present & pitch, Rehearsal of presentation with feedback
  13. Nov 27: Final Presentation to Stakeholders (Refugee, Refugees camps design experts) {Mouhsine Serrar, Thailand}, {Sabrina Fiorentino, France Timezone}, {Sam Bloch, Communitere}, {Chris Tighe UK Time zone}, {Innovaiton Design, BRAC University}, {George Hoehne, Humanitarian Aid}, {Johann Annuar, Logistician MSF}, {Tonee Ndungu, Nairobi},

Collaboration Model

Intellectual Property


  1. Learning from Burning Man - apply to refugee camps (sanitation, water, power, "leave no trace". Even if Cox Bazaar is one of the best run refugee camps ever, they don't have much analysis. They look to save lives,

Ivy Notes

References, Reading List

  1. Video: Climate Change Could Force Over 140 Million to Migrate Within Countries by 2050: World Bank Report: 
  2. "5 ways to better engage with bottom-up innovations by refugees" Louise Bloom, UNHCR, Jan 12, 2016 "3
  3. GAME-CHANGING INNOVATIONS FOR REFUGEES IN JORDAN", UN Foundation in Jordan, Serena Jiwani, May 17, 2018
  4. "Redesigning refugee communities" UNHCR, 
  5. Refugees Deeply: 
  6. "Crisis in Lesbos as more refugees arrive", Helena Smith Athens, The Guardian, Sun 9 Feb 2020, 
  7. World Food Program: 
  8. The Hidden and Dangerous Refugee Slums of Hong Kong | Coconuts TV: 
  9. DEW Labs: 
  10. Prakti: 
  11. Communitere: 
  12. BRAC Innovation: 
  13. BRAC University: 
  14. Bengal Institute: 
  15. LANDSLIP, Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience: BUILD RESILIENCE. BEAT LANDSLIDES,
  16. Practical Action: 
  17. Low-Tech Lab: 
  18. Village Earth: 
  19. Appropriate Tech Wiki: 
  20. Aid Distribution Packs:
  21. "Disaster risk reduction in conflict contexts: Lessons learned from the lived experiences of Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, June 2020, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Shamrita Zaman, Peter Sammonds, Bayes Ahmed, Taifur Rahman:'s_Bazar_Bangladesh
  22. "Rohingya Refugees: Assimilation with Host Community and Socio-Political Impact on Cox's Bazar" Mohammad Hossain Bin IdrishHafiza KhatunHafiza Khatun's_Bazar
  23. "Experience of Displaced Rohingya Children at Cox's Bazar Camps" Amina Mahbub Md., Soumya Brata Guha, Orla Murphy:'s_Bazar_Camps

"The lives they lead: Exploring the capabilities of Bangladeshi and Rohingya adolescents in Cox’s Bazar, BangladeshAuthors: Silvia Guglielmi, Jennifer Muz, Khadija Mitu, Muhammed Ala Uddin, Nicola Jones, Sarah Baird and Elizabeth Presler-Marshall:

Painpoints to avoid working with social entreprises

Hello Cesar,

few thoughts, lessons learned from Prakti collaboration with ICL.

While i love Chris Tighe, as a professional/scientists/engineering/human (we are real friends now!), working with ICL, and in general collaboration between a social enterprise and academia has often many sore points!

What prakti and ICL each gave:

ICL giving prakti:

  • advanced R&D progress: advanced computation fluid dynamics. Mostly, advancing the state of art in biomass combustion in 'micro' devices such as cookstoves. Unfortunately, we can't act/use such learning in the short term, or without receiving major r&d funding. While this type R&D support is common, and very helpful for large organization, it is not very relevant/helpful to small social enterprises.
  • basic r&d support (experimental): students way way too slow ... we spend more time explaining to them, that time it would take us to do the work ourselves.
  • funding: we co-applied for an award and won. Award was for Prakti knowledge/impact. The grant was to support development of better/more cookstove research. We got 10% of the grant. 90% for ICL and other universities (IIT madras, coimbatore). It was a pain ... we spend a lot of time/resources to support this program, we where key in getting the award, ... and got love and peanuts (nothing wrong with love and peanuts ... but stove dissemination needs cash!). This was not on a bad faith from ICL, but just the nature of the award, and 'conventional' culture in academia ... not being creative, courageous, or work a bit more to get prakti funds.

Prakti giving ICL:

  • PR: "ICL saving poor women" was touted all over the place. Around 14 ICL students to date involved in Prakti stoves ... they often say "that was the most fun, interesting project, and where i learned most".

It was not a balanced relationship. ICL and academia at its core believe that working on a social enterprise project for free is enough ... i believe that academia 'also' supporting social enterprises growth (joint and balanced applications for funding, promotions, introductions to funders are necessary. This is not just to be 'nice academia', but to have a fair/balanced and sustainable relationship with social enterprises, and 'actual' and 'scalable' impact of academia on this planet and society.


Proposed solution by Cesar

  1. Make sure that the format of this output is relevant to you - usable
  2. make sure that we do not mobilize too much of your time and of your team
  3. make sure that we bring in experts to inspire the students that will also broaden your network and influence
  4. when we write a grant, we make sure a bigger slice of the money goes to Praki for PRODUCTION and DISSEMINATION - and if we do write grants, we would not submit without your approval first.