What We Do Innovation

Innovation is an inevitable force driving progress, helping humanitarians, development professionals and those affected by disaster respond and adapt to increasingly volatile environments and growing threats.

We’re looking to build a more inclusive future and involve people in crisis in the design and delivery of supportive services and systems that help them gain greater control over their lives.

We're seeking to tip the balance and create supportive environments for disaster-affected people to access and participate in humanitarian technology and innovation funds or programmes and ensure people have a say in aid-related decisions and can hold aid providers to account. We're striving for a bottom-up, locally rooted approach to innovating in disaster contexts - people in crisis taking part in shaping solutions. 

Along with Start Network, we're leading UK Aid's two-year Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) Innovation Labs -  four community-driven innovation hubs in Bangladesh, Kenya, Jordan and Philippines. The labs seek to find and grow local, scalable solutions to protect communities living in disaster-prone environments and advance innovation in the sector by involving people in crisis at all stages of the process. Each lab follows a human- or user-centred design approach to innovation - now a recognised viable model to reshaping action, which is giving rise to a ‘client’ focused approach to aid. Undoubtedly, this approach is driving progress on Grand Bargain commitments around ‘participation’ and ‘localisation’, opening up more creative channels for those affected by disaster to have direct input and lead action. 

CDAC Network puts people's information needs first and creates two-way communication channels between aid providers and affected populations so we can transform humanitarian assistance and reduce suffering collectively. 

Contact: Hannah Murphy, Communication and Community Engagement Advisor, Innovation and Technology Programmes

What they desperately needed was access to local information in a language they understood – could they go home? Where were the local services and who were all these foreigners who said they were coming to help?
Mark Frohardt, Executive Director of Internews Center for Innovation and Learning
I can’t see, so when my radio was destroyed in the cyclone, I felt very isolated. Now that I have a radio, I feel like I can see!
A blind monk in Burma who received a radio after Cyclone Nargis