Press Release: GBP4R Announces Request for Information (RFI)

Global Broadband Plan for Refugees Announces Request for Information (RFI)

The effort to craft a plan to meet the connectivity goal set by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) -- that “all refugees, and the communities that host them, are connected to mobile networks and the Internet so that they can leverage these technologies to improve their lives” -- today released a Request for Information (RFI) to obtain information and advice from all relevant stakeholders as to how best to achieve that goal.

The RFI is an integral step in creating a Global Broadband Plan for Refugees that is being managed by leading experts on broadband policy and practice and funded by USA for UNHCR, Tent.org, and the World Bank. The effort reflects the recognition that, in addition to emergency responses, the world’s growing refugee population and the countries that host them require investments in long-term solutions and that, in today’s connected world, such investments should include initiatives that increase refugee access to broadband. The Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility of the New School is overseeing the effort.

The RFI requests information on a number of topics including:

  • Improving information gathering and dissemination for decision making;
  • Network deployment, with a particular emphasis on how government policies and technology trends and developments can affect the economics of deployment;
  • Adoption of services and equipment; and
  • Utilization to address critical needs for refugees, such as identity, education, health care, job training, and financial services, among other areas.

Building on the information received from the RFI, as well as other information gathering activities, the effort will propose specific action steps for government, philanthropic, assistance organizations, and the private sector to address the broadband needs of the global refugee population and their host countries.

Blair Levin, who directed the writing of the National Broadband Plan for the United States and is coordinating the effort, noted “Obtaining information from the wide spectrum of stakeholders is critical to crafting the best possible recommendations.“

The RFI can be found at: https://www.broadband4refugees.org/rfi .  Responses to the RFI should be submitted to: migration@newschool.edu.

For further information about the Project go to https://www.broadband4refugees.org/ or contact Aaron Alberico at aalberico@glenechogroup.com.