Repair and Repurposing for Pandemic Resilience in Low Income and Humanitarian Settings

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Social and Political Science


There is an urgent need for new research to inform the design response to overlapping refugee crises and the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic in countries across Sub Saharan Africa, including Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso is currently experiencing an unexpected escalation of conflicts, human rights abuses, threats to human security and peace building, coupled with unanticipated large scale forced population displacement, and an unprecedented public health emergency. Global disruption to supply chains for electrical and electronic technologies and components as a result of restrictions to transportation and shipping is restricting the distribution of essential humanitarian energy technologies. Against this backdrop the repair and repurposing of old technologies and systems, as well as the continued maintenance of existing humanitarian technologies is an urgent and essential humanitarian task; one that requires the mobilisation of locally situated repair cultures (skills, knowledge and practices) as well as the local sourcing of spare parts and components. In partnership with the UNHCR's Innovation Service and Chatham House this research project sets out to address a significant knowledge gap about the extent, significance and potential role of repair in meeting people's basic needs.


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