EC.750/EC.785 (G) Humanitarian Innovation

Design for Relief, Recovery, and Rebuilding


Humanitarian Innovation

The world is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with 65 million people displaced by conflict or persecution. Available resources are heavily strained and organizations urgently need creative solutions to providing basic needs to this population.

When you hear about wars and refugees do you wish you could figure out a way to put your skills to use in those situations? The D-Lab: Humanitarian Innovation class is about working with people affected by war, conflict, and natural disasters to use innovation and design to improve their lives. The course pilots a new approach to humanitarian innovation focusing on how to teach refugees and displaced the design process so that they can create technologies and tools to improve their lives and ultimately improve the way humanitarian work is delivered. Class work will include developing practical skills, a solid grounding in humanitarian work and hand-on projects for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, displaced in Colombia, and Afghan and Syrian refugees in Greece. Join us to make a difference in addressing the humanitarian challenge. Taught by D-Lab founder and co-director Amy Smith and veteran humanitarian worker Martha Thompson

Case studies and projects will look at protracted displacement as well as recovery and resettlement including efforts in Colombia, Uganda, Greece as well as examples from Mali and Lebanon.

Note: Students who are taking the graduate version will complete additional work.

Potential for students to travel over the summer to partner communities.

Read co-instructor Martha Thompson's blog about this course!


Course Information
Instructors: Amy Smith, Martha Thompson
Semester Offered: Spring (Offered since 2016)
Lecture Location: N51-305
Lecture Times: TR 1-3
Units (credit hours) 4-0-8
Class Size: 12 students
Grading: A/B/C/D/F