Valentina Duque
Durable Solutions Associate
Duty Station: San Jose, Costa Rica

“Innovation is the ability to analyze and assess the challenges or protection gaps that affect persons of concern from a new perspective… Having a new comprehension of the challenges, innovation leads to the creation of new strategies to solve an issue. Innovation also supports the process to amplify and replicate best practices and innovative ideas that have been already implemented in the field.” Valentina has been working in the field of refugee protection for 8 years, first with a UNHCR implementing partner and for almost 4 years with UNHCR. She is a member of the Durable Solutions team and is based in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Project: Livelihoods Innovations in Costa Rica

Valentina’s main innovation project for her Fellowship is in development with the input of all members of Valentina’s office, implementing partners, and members of the refugee community in San Jose, Costa Rica. In addition, she will introduce innovation thinking into current ongoing projects in her office, including the creation of alliances with the private sector and a CSR program called “Vivir la Integración” (“Living Integration”). “Vivir la Integración” is a Corporate Social Responsibility program aimed at enabling better integration of persons of concern. Companies can join the program by providing job opportunities to persons of concern, utilizing refugee entrepreneurs’ services and goods, supporting livelihoods training, or conducting sensitization campaigns within the companies.