For the humanitarian sector as a whole, this focus on local participation and innovation simultaneously has allowed a more local approach to innovation work to evolve. Local innovation initiatives now form a small section of overall humanitarian innovation. However, while recognising the great potential that local participation holds for humanitarian innovation, many organisations seem unsure how to best approach it.
Although progress against the many Grand Bargain commitments has generally been slow, there has been a proliferation of innovation initiatives aiming to support more resilient communities to develop new types of humanitarian solutions and to improve the relevance and effectiveness of aid.
Among these are the Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) Labs, an initiative of the Start Network and CDAC Network to foster and encourage locally based, locally focused innovators. The labs are located in four countries where disasters remain a clear and present risk, and are led by teams who engage local innovators on local problems. The labs were built using the principles of adaptive management, where decisions are made in response to evidence and feedback on a regular basis and at a local level.