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Geneva Technical Hub

Geneva Technical Hub

The Geneva Technical Hub (GTH) has been established to improve the lives of refugees, internally displaced persons and their host communities by enhancing the quality of technical programming in disaster risk reduction (DRR), energy, environment, shelter/housing, settlement planning, water, sanitation and hygiene.
View over the camp 1 in Kutupalong refugee settlement in Cox’s Bazar.

Background and context

The Geneva Technical Hub (GTH) brings together Swiss academia and expert practitioners to tackle complex technical problems, share learnings, and find solutions that can be applied in diverse UNHCR operational contexts.

The work of the GTH contributes to the Second Pillar of the UNHCR’s Strategic Framework for Climate Action and its Operational Strategy by studying solutions to support the conservation of the natural environment and mitigate environmental degradation.

Officially launched in June 2021 under UNHCR’s Division of Resilience of Solutions, the Hub will further the resilience of the displaced and host communities to climate-related risks and strengthen preparedness and early action. 

Support offered by the Geneva Technical Hub

Field support
In a targeted and time-bound way, both directly and remotely.

Operational guidance 
Tools and best practices developed and operationalized.

Think tank
In collaboration with academia, analyze, explore, develop and test new methods, products and solutions.

Capacity building
To jointly learn and strengthen staff capacity.

What technical issues will be tackled?

  1. Support planning for sustainable settlements that are resilient to climate change.
  2. Study sustainable and environmentally friendly housing solutions.
  3. Improve water safety planning, supporting hydrogeological assessments, feasibility studies on solarization of boreholes and water network designs.
  4. Improve safe and reliable access to energy and WASH services for community infrastructures such as schools and health centres.
  5. Foster access to clean cooking fuels and technologies.
  6. Enhance access to sustainable electricity.
  7. Mainstream environmental considerations throughout humanitarian responses.

Operational guidance, tools and best practices

Among other support, the Geneva Technical Hub supports the provision of operational guidance, tools and best practices contributing to the enhancement of technical programming in the following areas:

Further resources and materials

For more information on the support offered, please email the Technical Support Section in the Division of Resilience and Solutions at [email protected].

A humanitarian-academic partnership

Spatial layout optimization in humanitarian settlements

Improving humanitarian infrastructure and shelter design

Managing greenhouse gas emissions