Problem statement

In 2016, Uganda took in more refugees than any other part of the world, and the numbers continue to grow rapidly, and as of 30th June 2017, there are currently 977, 746 refugees and asylum seekers from South Sudan currently in Uganda, bringing the number to a total of 1.25 million refugees.

The living conditions they are subjected to are deplorable with lack of access to the basic essentials, such as education, food and clean water; limited access to financial capital for survival, health and medical facilities, especially young women in need of maternity care and children exposed to malnutrition, and sanitation related diseases.

Filippo Grandi, the UN’s high commissioner for refugees reported that Uganda is at a breaking point with the surging number of refugees fleeing war struck South Sudan. This influx implies tremendous pressure on the host communities and the Ugandan economy. In addition to that, the available aid and relief does not match the needs nor scale of the crisis.

Call to action

The Innovation Village in partnership with UNCDF, DanChurchAid and Mercy Corps are seeking for innovators with a passion for developing sustainable digital solutions that will address the highlighted challenges. These solutions are able to boost their connectedness to the wider socio-economic system and restore their dignity so that they become agents of development of their own lives as well as their host communities.

Using the principles of Human Centred Design, the selected teams will be immersed with the refugee community to co-create feasible solutions with the refugees before prototyping and testing their solutions over a 3 month period.

What: Bootcamp
When: 24th - 26th November 2017
Where: The Innovation Village, Ntinda Complex


Information dissemination, Delivery of Education / training /literacy
Distribution of items and goods
Agricultural Services for increased Productivity and marketing

Judging criteria


Ingenuity of a tech-driven solution or improvement of existing technology-based process


The solution should be easily replicated on a large scale


The team should consist of at least 4 members with various skillsets, demonstrate added value and cohesiveness.

Financial Sustainability

The solution should have a viable revenue or commercial model and maintained with limited external funding, in the long term.


The solution should be practical and easily implementable thereby positively impacting the lives of the refugees

The Process

  • Open application process
  • Preliminary team selection

Selection deadline: 20th November 2017

  • Info sessions to the innovation teams
  • Immesion in refugee communities
  • Setting up co-creation teams

Infosession: 23rd November 2017

  • 3 day competition bootcamp
  • Selection of winning innovations

Prototyping: 24th - 26th November 2017

  • Mentorship of winning teams
  • Iteration of the innovations
  • Testing the solution

Testing: TBD

BidiBidi Expedition

Following a successful Hack the teams visited BidiBidi in to test their solutions on ground. The objective of the visit was to understand the environment for which they are innovating for. This paved way for the Accelerator program to iterate in time for DEMO Day.

The 100 IDEAS Accelerator Program

The teams went through our custom accelerator program which is a 3-month immersive deep dive aimed at accelerating the life cycle of selected solutions, by compressing years’ worth of learning into a period of three months. The 10 solutions underwent a series of programs which are tailor-made to get the selected solutions up and running for DEMO Day in the shortest time possible.

The sessions focused on

  • Situational Analysis in relation to new developments (opportunities/ potential threats) following field visit to Bidi Bidi
  • Strategy - Overview of value proposition and rationale for focus areas
  • Business Operating Model - Review of business operating models within context
  • Funding alternatives for your solution
  • Preparations and review of Pitch Decks and Proposals
  • Interaction with Mentors, implementing partners and Innovation teams from Mercy Corps & Dan Church Aid


The day we have all been waiting for. 3 challenges, 30 teams, 90 days, 9 solutions. All the teams that participated in the challenge are winners. We are excited that our partners have accepted to collaborate with them to develop and or implement their solutions based on readiness.

Below are the 9 teams and their one sentence SIP PITCH!



REF Access

Information dissemination in a language of choice; messages sent in one language and received in another based on preference.


Building digital Social collaboration tools and a platform for information dissemination across issues faced by refugees

Kumi Kumi

The platform for refugees to sale to a global and regional marketplace. Feeds into savings, insurance & social security

Data Clan

Digitization of the entire distribution system using block chain to for transparency and to avoid duplication


Offers aggregation of both conditional and unconditional payments through their wallet. One platform for all partner needs. A loaded purpose bound voucher for all refugee needs.


Bringing relevant custom content to the settlements deployed by teaching assistants both online and offline.

Core Devs

Offering real time crop farming and market information to refugee farmers

Smart Capital

Peer to Peer Lending for Refugee entrepreneurs to access business capital.

Raising Gabdho

Enables low cost sustainable clean energy access through ICT and last mile distribution.