Refugee livelihoods have become a crucial topic in contemporary geopolitical relations. One fundamental challenge within the current relief assistance model for refugee populations is the separation between inhabitants and local communities. IDeA invites innovative minds around the world to propose spatial design and programmatic solutions that provide opportunities for refugees and local communities to strengthen ties while enabling self-agency. This creative re-knitting of the city can rely on a shared organization and management of activities within co-constructed platforms that involve both refugees and the local community.

Solutions should focus on addressing the economic and social vulnerabilities that refugees face in urban environments and provide creative ways that expand access, participation, and interaction between refugees and their local communities.

The solution should include an operational plan for one of the urban sites below and should be able to run for long-term, i.e. 3-5 years, to benefit as many people as possible with a goal of permanent infrastructure. Your business plan should justify the overall budget limit for both construction and operation of the proposed project, and identify institutional partners and funding sources. Finalists have the opportunity to come to New York City to present at a symposium in April 2018.

  • Amman, Jordan
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Nairobi, Kenya

2018 Sites



1 Overall Winning Team  $3,500

One overall winning team of the 2018 Competition will be selected from the three winning teams to be awarded an additional $1,500.

3 Winning Teams  $2,000 Per Team

One winning team per site will be awarded a cash prize of $2,000.

Honorable Mentions (5-6 per site) will be notified but will not receive a cash award.

* Projects of the winning teams and honorable mentions will be presented to a group of related humanitarian organizations and philanthropies with credits to participants.


Registration (rolling basis): Nov. 13, 2017 11:59 PM EST - Feb. 1, 2018 11:59 PM EST

$50 Early Bird (Nov 13 - Dec 3, 2017)
$60 Regular (Dec 4 - Dec 31, 2017)
$70 Late (Jan 1 - Feb 1, 2018)

Submission : Dec. 4, 2017 11:59 PM EST - Feb. 1, 2018 11:59 PM EST


Late-February: Finalist teams are announced to advance into second stage of jury.
Early-to-Mid March: Honorable Mentions and Winning Teams are announced.

2018 Jury


With Student and Organizational Support From


2017 Past Jury - A Marketplace in Refugee Settlements