The Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) was launched in 2010 and is a landmark grant-making fund to support organizations working in countries and regions facing humanitarian challenges, such as Haiti, Pakistan and East Africa, to develop, test and share new technologies, products and processes that will make humanitarian aid more effective and cost-efficient in the future.
The Humanitarian Innovation Fund supports organizations and individuals to identify, nurture and share innovative and scalable solutions to the challenges facing effective humanitarian assistance.
- Core Grants – The organization’s grant making is based on its understanding of five stages in innovation:
- Recognition – A small grant up to £20,000 is available for the Recognition phase of the process. This means the recognition of a specific problem, challenge, or opportunity to be seized, in relation to the provision of humanitarian aid.
- Invention – A small grant up to £20,000 is available for the Invention phase of the process. This means the invention of a creative solution or novel idea, which helps address a problem or seize an opportunity.
- Development – A large grant between £75,000 and £150,000 is available for the Development phase of the process. This means the development of an innovation by creating practical, actionable plans and guidelines, turning ideas into action.
- Implementation – A large grant between £75,000 and £150,000 is available for the Implementation phase of the process. This means the implementation to produce tangible real examples of changed practice, testing the innovation to see how it compares to existing solutions.
- Diffusion – A small grant up to £20,000 is available for the Diffusion phase of the process. This means the diffusion and extended outreach of successful innovations – taking them to scale and leading to wider adoptions outside the original setting.
- Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) – The initiative aims to stimulate innovation in emergency water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the HIF seeks to use new innovation management approaches to address some of the most pressing challenges faced by emergency WASH practitioners working in humanitarian crises globally. Since 2011, the HIF has supported the several projects with grants via its Core Grant Facility and its Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Grant Facility.
- Gender Based Violence (GBV) – Gender-based violence (GBV), and in particular sexual violence, is a global problem. In line with the increased concern for gender issues in emergency settings, practitioners are seeking new ways to translate policy developments into changes at the field level, the HIF will work to design and deliver tailored innovation processes resulting in new thinking and approaches being tested in the field.
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