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A grant from £75,000 to £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, the development stage takes designs from the drawing board and transforms them into real-world solutions.

View projects we have funded in this phase.

Please apply via our online grant management system:

Developing a potential solution is the third phase in the innovation process

By Development we mean testing out the idea/prototype, getting feedback from a wide range of people, and improving the innovation so that it’s ready to be tested in a humanitarian setting.

Development and implementation are two stages that are strongly interlinked in the innovation process where fluidity is key to create wider impact. But we see development as a preliminary stage involving initial testing in the field as opposed to implementation which is a more mature phase involving refinements for wider testing and scale readiness.

Types of Development projects we fund

  • Testing ideas that have demonstrated success at a small scale 
  • Testing methods and business models
  • Testing social impact and cost-effectiveness
  • Making operational refinements
  • Examples of Development projects 

Examples of Development Projects

RAM-OP is a project by Help Age International. It is a rapid assessment method for measuring the nutritional status and needs, and other related factors that affect older people in humanitarian situations. It includes a questionnaire, a sampling method, and software for data analysis. This project is in the development phase which means it needs to be finalised and tested to produce guidelines that will allow humanitarian workers to gather evidence on the nutritional vulnerability of older people in emergencies and plan the response accordingly.

Innovating Disaster Micro-insurance for local Market Recovery by the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI). The innovation is a small business disaster micro-insurance program to enhance recovery of local markets that play a critical role in providing goods and services to disaster affected populations in urban settings. This project adapts proven microfinance mechanisms to address a major part of the humanitarian crisis recovery process for which standards do not exist. This innovation aims to enhance resilience of small enterprises that are vital to these communities.

What we don’t fund

Any application to the HIF must be related to a humanitarian context and meet the eligibility criteria below. We do not consider applications for the following types of projects:

  • Replication of existing solutions or practices (e.g. building schools or orphanages)
  • Individuals or private sector without partners
  • Projects that exclusively serve religious purposes
  • Political campaigns
  • Expansion of private business


(1) Humanitarian
The aim of your project must be to improve humanitarian practice. Guided by the Global Humanitarian Assistance’s definition we see “Humanitarian aid” as aid and action designed to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain and protect human dignity during and in the aftermath of emergencies. We do not accept applications for projects that are to be applied in wider development contexts.

(2) Innovation
The aim of your project must be an innovation: creating and implementing a new or improved technology, product or process. The innovation must contribute to improving the relevance, appropriateness, coverage, efficiency or effectiveness of humanitarian aid relative to existing practices.

(3) Field Experience
We welcome applications from all sectors. However, at least one of the partner organisations must be able to demonstrate experience working in humanitarian response. This is to ensure that the innovation is embedded in the humanitarian context and to improve the chances of systemic impact.

Two-stage Process

Applying for a development grant is a two-stage process:
First stage:

Expressions of Interest (EoI) must be submitted via our online grant management system by 2 December 2016. Initial screening will be carried out within the first 2 weeks after the EoI deadline.

Expressions of Interest will not be considered if:

  • The application is incomplete
  • The applicant, project or costs are not eligible
  • The application was received after the proposal submission deadline
  • If legal registration documents are not provided. (if there is a valid reason why you cannot provide these documents on time please contact us)

Second stage:

Successful applications at this phase will then be invited to submit a full proposal.
If invited to submit full project proposals, applicants will have from 16 December 2016 – 24 January 2017 to submit. A detailed screening of the proposals will commence, including enclosed budgets, and the capacity of the applicant will be judged in accordance with our selection criteria.

The proposals will then be sent to the HIF Grants Panel with final selections announced approximately three months later.

Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

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