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Future Vision of Migrant Healthcare

8 months
International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
Design support
Design departments at Trinity College, UL, NCAD, IT Carlow


Currently there are over 65 million displaced people globally, and while healthcare is a fundamental human right, the growing number of migrants and refugees means access to basic healthcare is becoming increasingly difficult.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) is the UN body looking after the welfare of migrants. Working with Masters level design students at Trinity College, the University of Limerick, IT Carlow and the National College of Art & Design, Frontend helped IOM to conceptualise a Future Vision for Migrant Healthcare.

How design helped

Students from four continents applied to join Frontend for an intensive bootcamp exploring the issues raised by the IOM. From there, ten students were chosen to work with the Frontend design team in exploring wide-ranging concepts around migrant healthcare whereby they conceived four separate, but connected design solutions.
Following the bootcamp, Frontend and IOM worked to refine the student designs focusing on ideas which were practical to implement and which integrated well with IOM’s other initiatives and programmes. This included a design workshop with senior representatives across IOM, many of whom were being introduced to ‘Design Thinking’ for the first time.


Initially the collaboration was intended to be conceptual in nature, allowing masters students to engage with the Frontend team in exploring an issue of great importance. However, IOM (an organisation famed for lean practices and quick responses), soon realised the value in the holistic approach adopted by the designers and as a result have expressed a willingness to attempt to use this type of thinking to examine their current practices.
Moreover, the IOM are actively looking at incorporating many of the health ideas into an app framework, and are seeking to advance a medication labelling system which would set a global standard for all emergency healthcare provisions internationally. The full project can be explored at