Through a series of clearly defined Innovation Challenges, the HIF is seeking novel solutions from far and wide to address some of the most pressing challenges faced by emergency WASH practitioners working in humanitarian crises globally.
The challenges have been developed by the HIF’s WASH Technical Working Group, chaired by Andy Bastable from Oxfam UK. In collaboration with the HIF they have explored, in detail, the gaps in innovation identified by the WASH sector, and developed and refined a number of specific challenges most suited to being approached through facilitated innovation processes.
Central to this approach is the belief that collaboration between different actors in the humanitarian system – aid agencies, the private sector, and academia – stimulates the identification of novel ideas, which can be developed and tested through structured Research and Development processes. To achieve this, the HIF is hosting a series of events looking at specific problems, brokering new collaborations between key WASH actors to support diverse groups with funding to develop and competitively appraise proposed solutions.
The HIF is testing if Slack Channels are a useful way for applicants to be able to ask questions to the team as well as reach out to potential partners for the Challenge. We’ve set up a brand new Slack group here—do have a look and post on it if you have any questions or are searching for another organisation to join up with for your application to the Challenge. Please use the designated channels for either the User-centred Sanitation Design Challenge or the Disposal Sites Challenge.
Developing and Disseminating Guidance on Faecal Sludge Disposal Sites in Emergencies
User-centred sanitation design through rapid community engagement
Emergency Household Water Filter Challenge
Surface Water Drainage in Emergencies Challenge
Effective surface water drainage is critical in safeguarding the health and surroundings of refugees or internally displaced persons in emergencies. Poor surface water drainage can pose health risks by supporting the development of vector-borne diseases such as malaria or cholera, but can also pose accessibility problems by making it difficult for people and humanitarian services to make their way through the camp.
Handwashing Challenge 2016
In a humanitarian crisis, handwashing with soap has proven to be one of the most critical and effective interventions to reduce infectious diseases causing death. However, increasing and improving handwashing is difficult and needs innovation!
View the challenge, our Innovation Sprint recap and videos with each of our shortlisted teams introducing their innovations...
In the acute stages of humanitarian emergencies such as floods, epidemics and conflicts there is a rapid demand for health facilities and therefore medical waste management. Concerns remain regarding disinfection capacity, volume reduction, operation and maintenance, sustainability and environmental pollution.
Lighting for Safer Sanitation Challenge
Safe Excreta Disposal in Urban Environments
In rapid onset urban emergencies, such as earthquakes, floods or conflict, water supplies are often disrupted or cut-off, toilets cease to work and wastewater systems are overwhelmed. This brokered innovation challenge was to develop new approaches, techniques and equipment to provide safe excreta disposal in urban environments in the immediate aftermath of disaster.
Solid-waste Management in Humanitarian Response
When large numbers of people are displaced due to natural or man-made disasters, they flee their homes and settle in formal or informal camps. One major problem is the management of solid wastes (trash, rubbish, garbage, litter) produced by large numbers of people in a relatively small area. This challenge sought for the most economical process of managing solid wastes without worsening the already poor living conditions in these areas or causing harm to individuals or the environment.
Space Saving Jerry Can
The importance of having a water container in an emergency situation cannot be overestimated. Often, refugees fleeing from conflict will arrive in a refugee camp or a village with virtually no possessions. One of the first activities they must accomplish is to collect water. This challenge sought a space-saving jerry can that can be easily stored and distributed during a crisis.
Latrine Lighting in Emergencies
When people are forced to leave their homes by conflicts or disasters, they often relocate to refugee or displaced persons camps. Safety and sanitation are of prime concern and this challenge sought to address the ongoing problem of lighting for latrine blocks in displacement camps.
Beyond these initial challenges, the HIF is conducting preparatory work on the following:
- issues of community participation
- sanitation marketing
- medium-to-large scale community level excreta management
Not all HIF WASH challenges will promoted through open calls. Please contact the HIF team if you are a WASH or innovation expert wishing to be involved in these processes.
More details about future challenges will be posted here in due course.