Pardee Students Partner with Microsoft to Develop App


A group of students at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University have partnered with Microsoft to turn their coursework into an effort to help refugees in Jordan access aid and other resources through the creation of an app, called Urban Refugewhich aims to connect refugees with resources through a simple mapping tool.

Pardee School Professor Noora Lori and students Kate Skow, James Sturtevant and Vicky Kelberer were interviewed by Jerry Nixon of Microsoft on Dev Radio on December 2, 2016.

The group discussed how they worked with a team of Microsoft Technical Evangelists to help create this cross-platform app using Xamarin.

Taking an idea from a Pardee School classroom to the real world, the group created the Urban Refugee App, an aid locator designed to geocode hundreds of international and domestic organizations serving refugees in Jordan including clinics, schools and aid distribution points.

The effort began in the IR 500 Forced Migration and Human Trafficking class taught by Assistant Professor of International Relations Noora Lori, bringing together a group of female undergraduate and graduate students with a variety of backgrounds who shared a passion for innovating solutions to the current refugee crisis as well as future crises. Lori founded the Pardee School Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking in 2015 to foster similar educational initiatives. Prof. Kaija Schilde, the acting Director of FMHT, is currently teaching the second iteration of IR 500, and her class is innovating digital solutions for NGOs working with unaccompanied minors in Europe. You can read more about her class here.