What is Humanitarian Innovation?

The HIF is guided by a definition of ‘humanitarian aid’ developed by Development Initiatives’ Global Humanitarian Assistance project:

“‘Humanitarian aid’ is aid and action designed to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain and protect human dignity during and in the aftermath of emergencies.”

The definition provides some useful examples of traditional responses to humanitarian crises:

  • Material relief assistance and services (shelter, water, medicines etc).
  • Emergency food aid (short-term distribution and supplementary feeding programmes).
  • Relief coordination, protection and support services (coordination, logistics and communications).
  • Reconstruction relief and rehabilitation (repairing pre-existing infrastructure as opposed to longer-term activities designed to improve the level of infrastructure).
  • Disaster prevention and preparedness (disaster risk reduction, early warning systems, contingency stocks and planning).


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

Web design by Teamworks