The Role of ICTs for Evaluating Access and Mobility of Refugees Using Assistive Devices: Case Study of Rohingya Camps in Cox’s Bazar
This paper reflects on the role of ICT tools and their support in a project addressing the mobility needs of refugees with physical disabilities. The authors share those observations and their solutions to improve the understanding of working with Rohingyas, one of the most vulnerable groups, on the border of Myanmar and Bangladesh, a conflict-prone and highly volatile zone. The team used a range of ICT collaboration and communication tools, such as: 1) audio-visual recordings to remotely assess refugees using assistive devices; 2) 3D printed plastic molds to develop customized crutch shoes for refugees; and 3) customized assistive devices, mass-produced by transferring CAD files from the engineering laboratories in South Korea and Greece to the barefoot workshops in Cox’s Bazar. However, many of the key tasks were not accomplished using ICTs. This research reflected on the critical disconnections discovered in different phases addressing issues related to the project’s communication, design, knowledge transfer, production, and device usage by the beneficiaries. Even with such challenges, this research project on assistive devices using ICTs for marginalized refugees became successful. According to our observations, success came due to hiring a local ICT expert with contextualized technical and cultural knowledge, engaging equitably with the local engineers for field-level productions, and collaborating with refugee beneficiaries for their feedback on ICT-based accessible, assistive products.
Hussain, Faheem and Brown, Suzana, "The Role of ICTs for Evaluating Access and Mobility of Refugees Using Assistive Devices: Case Study of Rohingya Camps in Cox’s Bazar" (2022). GlobDev 2022. 9.