Jordan On Forefront Of Innovative Solutions To Regional Crises — Report

January 19, 2018

AMMAN – A compendium on the good and innovative practices implemented in response to regional conflicts has highlighted Jordan’s efforts in developing new ways to tackle the challenges caused by the Syrian and Iraqi crises.
The document, which was published by the UNHCR and the UNDP this week, aims to document the evolution of the ways the international community has been working together to respond to the conflicts in the Middle East.
Through 52 case studies from various countries in the region (including Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt, among others), the document seeks to “provide a snapshot of good and innovative practices in responding to protracted crises at the nexus where development and humanitarian activities often meet”. 
The report highlighted the importance of these innovations and adaptations in “informing current and future programmes and policy design”.
Among the Jordanian examples cited in the report, the Mowgli mentorship programme was considered as an “innovative and cost effective project”, which helped strengthen social cohesion between Jordanian and Syrian communities. 
This mentoring programme, which started in 2008, brings together aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders to connect and create sustainable projects through training and exchange of expertise.
“The Mowgli model represents a service innovation. It utilises a tested, award-winning mentoring approach and engages its network of graduate alumni mentors in Jordan to address the needs of Jordanian and Syrian refugee micro-entrepreneurs and to strengthen the role of teachers in cultivating social cohesion,” the report noted.
The scale and complexity of the Syrian and Iraqi crises have provoked devastating human and material consequences, which have called for a high level of innovation from stakeholders to be able to deliver aid to people in spite of financial constraints and environmental hazards, according to the report. 
To optimise their humanitarian responses, the main actors, which include 75 UN agencies, international NGOs, businesses and locally led organisations, have had to increase cost effectiveness of their programmes, strengthen local capacities, and enhance resilience building, the joint report explained.
Another example of innovation in implemented in Jordan is Funzi, a mobile learning platform for women owned and small - and medium- sized businesses in Jordan, which partnered with the UN Office for Project Services, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UK Department for International Development and the Jordan River Foundation.
The eight-month course, which covers general business skills and addresses common knowledge gaps encountered by underprivileged businesses, constitutes a model of “process innovation”, the report stated, noting that it changes the way entrepreneurial learning is delivered in two ways. First, by increasing accessibility through a mobile app available to all and, secondly, by involving a network of partners into a blended learning model.
“Our intention when publishing the compendium was to uncover the most innovative practices at the regional, national and community levels across the region so we could share these practices with colleagues from all agencies and build our shared capacity to innovate, respond effectively, and build sustainable solutions,” the report said, citing the “great number” of proposals received for this second volume, which was three times higher than the first volume’s entries.
“This compendium is a tool that innovators, change makers and practitioners can use to advance good and innovative practices in response to prolonged crisis,” the report concluded, noting that it also constitutes a call for stakeholders to keep improving the tools and technologies used to “protect the human and physical capital”.
 
Jordan Times
January 15, 2018