In the context of growing humanitarian needs and increasingly limited resources, finding innovative solutions to reducing human suffering is critical. However, the humanitarian sector lacks organizational frameworks, resources, and tools dedicated to managing innovation, and innovation strategies are rarely systematically adapted and applied to humanitarianism.
The past few years have seen an influx of initiatives looking at fostering innovation in humanitarian action, including the ICRC-led Global Partnership for Humanitarian Impact and Innovation (GPHI2); the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF); the Humanitarian Innovation Project (HIP) at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford; dedicated innovation units at UNICEF and UNHCR; and private sector initiatives such as the Deloitte Humanitarian Innovation Program. Given the current interest in innovation, it is important that we understand what we mean when we refer to humanitarian innovation, what the current trends are, as well as the challenges to achieving results in fostering innovation in humanitarian action.
The session was followed by a live online consultation event on the draft Principles for Ethical Humanitarian Innovation.