About the Smart Communities Coalition (SCC)

Low- and middle-income countries host the vast majority of refugees, yet they have limited resources to provide for refugees’ basic needs without straining their existing systems.

The Smart Communities Coalition seeks to improve the delivery of essential services to refugees and host community members through enhanced coordination between public and private entities and strategic implementation of technology. Efforts will focus on three foundational pillars — connectivity, digital tools, and energy access — with the intent to launch pilots in Uganda and Kenya in 2019.

Through technology and process innovation, the Smart Communities Coalition seeks to improve outcomes for both refugees and host community members by:

  • Increasing efficiencies in camp management and service delivery
  • Empowering refugees to provide for themselves and their families
  • Equitably addressing the needs of host community members in and around targeted settlements

Working together, SCC members will identify new models to deploy innovative technology and partnership solutions to enable transformational change in the delivery of services to refugees and host communities. These efforts will empower refugees with increased ability to provide for themselves and their families, thereby helping to generate greater value to host communities.

Coalition activities will focus initially in Kenya and Uganda.  Case studies are available for our work in Kenya at the Kakuma camp and Kalobeyei settlement and Uganda at the Bidi Bidi, Kiryandongo, and Rwamwanja refugee settlements.

Coalition Members

Smart Communities Coalition Design Workshop

The Smart Communities Coalition held its first design workshop on March 27–28, 2018, at the Mastercard Labs for Financial Inclusion in Nairobi, Kenya, with 45 SCC members and collaborators in attendance from 28 organizations.

   The goals of the workshop were to:

  • Develop a shared understanding of success of the coalition, including how we intend to work together to achieve our goals
  • Identify opportunities for collaborative problem solving on a first round of pilot activities in Uganda and Kenya
  • Establish next steps and commitments to action via pilot roadmaps

The members developed nine pilot concepts that span the three SCC pillars.

The Coalition's second annual workshop will be held on February 27–28, 2019, at the Mastercard Labs for Financial Inclusion. It will offer an opportunity for members to share lessons from last year and build on the progress of the pilots.

2018 SCC Design Workshop participants in Nairobi

To learn more and join the Smart Communities Coalition, contact:

icon email

Sasha Kapadia, Director, International Development, Mastercard


Katrina Pielli, Senior Energy Advisor, Power Africa