Necessity breeds invention: Designing fit-for-purpose disaster relief products

By Devex Editor 15 September 2016

What does innovation look like on the ground? Devex took a tour through a disaster relief tent constructed at Devex World by NRS International, to see how innovative ideas can become tangible results.

Each humanitarian crisis is unique. In order to meet the needs of the most vulnerable — those affected by war or natural disaster — aid workers are often working in harsh conditions and against the clock. Under these circumstances, innovation is essential.

So what does innovation in disaster relief look like on the ground? Devex took a tour through a relief tent constructed at Devex World by NRS International, a disaster relief supplier that makes and develops tents for use in crisis zones.

“Innovation is the key to [the humanitarian] industry because you don’t know where the next disaster will be,” Farhaj Sarwar, managing director of NRS International told Devex reporter Naki Mendoza. “You have to come quickly with innovative products that could fit a purpose right on the count.”

NRS International’s Viva Family tent is one example of a shelter that incorporates specific design priorities to suit a family’s needs, including a cooking area, a vestibule, and solar lamps. They also ensured that it is fire retardant and made using lightweight fabric, and that manufacturing costs are kept low.

Click on the video above to take a tour around the tent and see how innovative ideas can become tangible results that impact the provision of humanitarian assistance on the ground.

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