The Global Prioritisation Exercise

A global collaboration to transform the impact of research and innovation
in the humanitarian system





Today, 125 million people’s lives are being devastated by conflict and natural disasters. In 2016 the world spent around US$28 billion to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance but it’s not enough. That same year there was a record 45 % shortfall and the scale of unmet need continues to grow.

Closing this gap requires more than just money; it requires more effective, evidence based and innovative solutions.

It is now more crucial than ever that the humanitarian community works together to mobilise resources and strategically invest in research, evidence and innovation.


We’re leading a new global effort to: map research and innovation investments and capacities; and to consult and identify shared priorities in the humanitarian system.

The Global Prioritisation Exercise (GPE) will bring together the major funders of research and innovation with the humanitarian community and countries and communities affected by crisis. For the first time, through the GPE, we will provide public visibility of the range of global investments, capacity and activity in humanitarian research and innovation.

The GPE will provide a clear and sustainable framework of strategic guidance for stakeholders to identify, invest in and improve humanitarian research and innovation priorities.

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“The Global Prioritisation Exercise is designed to ensure research and innovation are better connected to global efforts to improve humanitarian effectiveness. This is needed more than ever as the demands on humanitarian assistance continue to grow. Please join us now.”

Sir John Holmes, Chair of the GPE Advisory Board

Why are we doing it?

The GPE is part of our broader contribution to the shared commitment on humanitarian evidence. It advances our core mission of improving humanitarian outcomes through partnership, research and innovation by addressing a clear demand across the humanitarian community, for greater clarity and coordination around setting research and innovation priorities.

Our goal is to make interventions in humanitarian crises as effective as possible and reduce the suffering of millions of people.


  • Provide greater visibility and coordination of research and innovation efforts globally
  • Establish a clear framework to provide strategic guidance to governments, donors and leaders to inform investment decisions
  • Generate advocacy tools for leveraging increased and more appropriate resources
  • Develop new tools to monitor global investments, activity and priorities for humanitarian research and innovation

Our Process


  • Mapping of current centres of humanitarian research and innovation activity, strategic interests and investments
  • Capturing research and innovation outputs relevant to the humanitarian system
  • Analysis of key systematic humanitarian evidence reviews to date


  • Assessment of current access, use, and utility of research and innovation outputs
  • Detailed conversations with key stakeholder communities
  • Identification of key gaps and needs in evidence and innovation


  • Prioritisation of gaps and needs according to consultation groups
  • Synthesis of priorities by key groups/region and theme
  • Analysis of priorities against existing map of provision and capacities
  • Identification of critical gaps and opportunities and priority needs for resources by type
  • Production and dissemination of the final Global Report through regional meetings and media briefings

*Fully funded
**Subject to further funding

Together, we can reveal the bigger picture of humanitarian research and innovation. It’s time to build a new system.


Contact Emily Marlow, GPE Coordinator to find out more.

Elrha is hosted by Save the Children, a registered charity in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SC039570).

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