For the first time since World War II, the number of refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally-displaced persons around the globe has exceeded 50 million individuals. This total has climbed in recent years due to conflict and persecution, and includes more internally-displaced people (IDPs)—8.2 million as of 2013— than at any time in recorded history. A second sobering challenge is that refugee camps that were intended to be temporary have become permanent refugee settlements where the average length of stay is 17 years. The housing and services provided, while vital, do not fully meet the needs of their residents. These basic needs include: safety, clean water, electricity, heating or cooling, and sanitation. While we have seen innovation in this space, including flat-pack shelters and those that integrate native heating and cooling, there is a significant need for housing that integrates innovations from various sectors, including security, energy, water, and sanitation. There is also a significant need for locally produced solutions that integrate local materials and labor.
Two potential prize concepts are being developed to address these challenges. In the first, the winning team will develop an off-grid housing solution for vulnerable populations that integrates security, energy, water, and sanitation that can be assembled in less than TBD hours for less than TBD dollars per unit. The winning solution will also optimize on volume, weight, ease-of-transport, and durability. In addition to expert judges, families who live in the units will participate in judging the prize. In the second concept, the winning team will develop the most efficient and effective “factory in the box” for creating shelters with locally-available materials and labor.
To find out how you can help support this XPRIZE, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.