Shaping the future: Our strategy for research and innovation in humanitarian response.

A global organisation that finds solutions to complex humanitarian problems through research and innovation..
Our purpose is clear: we work in partnership with a global community of humanitarian actors, researchers and innovators to improve the quality of humanitarian action and deliver better outcomes for people affected by crises.
We empower the humanitarian community. Find out how we can support you...

Our studies and projects

We've funded several new research studies and innovation projects in 2018 through our Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) and Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) programmes.

8 2018 R2HC Research Studies
52 Total R2HC Research Studies
17 2018 HIF Innovation Projects
160 Total HIF Innovation Projects

Our studies and projects – by focus area

Across the following areas we’ve been supporting innovators and researchers, among other actors, to produce the latest evidence on ‘what works’ when responding to humanitarian crises.

2018 R2HC

Grants awarded by R2HC in 2018

Communicable diseases (CDs)Gender-based violence (GBV)Health systems and servicesInjury and Rehabilitation (Injury) Mental health and psychosocial supportNon communicable diseases (NCDs)Sexual and reproductive health (SRH){"values":["Communicable diseases (CDs)","Gender-based violence (GBV)","Health systems and services","Injury and Rehabilitation (Injury)"," Mental health and psychosocial support","Non communicable diseases (NCDs)","Sexual and reproductive health (SRH)"]}{"values":[1,1,1,1,2,1,1]}{"values":["Grant","Grant","Grant","Grant","Grants","Grant","Grant"]}{"values":["","","","","","",""]}

2018 HIF

Grants awarded by the HIF in 2018

GBV - HealthGBV - ProtectionWASHAssessments, Monitoring and EvaluationHealth Protection, Human rights and SecurityNutrition {"values":["GBV - Health","GBV - Protection","WASH","Assessments, Monitoring and Evaluation","Health ","Protection, Human rights and Security","Nutrition "]}{"values":[2,6,4,1,1,2,1]}{"values":["Grants","Grants","Grants","Grant","Grant","Grants","Grant"]}{"values":["","","","","","",""]}

Total R2HC Grants awarded by primary focus

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Total HIF grants awarded by primary focus

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Who & Where We Fund

Our purpose is clear: to empower the humanitarian community to improve humanitarian response. We make this happen by supporting and championing the outcomes of robust research and proven innovations across the world.

Click through to our map - you'll find a snap shot of who we fund and where. Each has a profile of their research study or innovation project, with details of the humanitarian need their work seeks to address; the solution or research undertaken; and the (proposed) outcomes and impact.


Our grantees – Type of organisations

{"values":["Research institutions","Other","Humanitarian organisations"]}{"values":[34,68,52]}{"values":["","",""]}{"values":["","",""]}


The public health research teams that we fund are required to include a research institution and a humanitarian organisation. By the end of 2018, we were supporting the following:

Research institutionsOtherHumanitarian organisations
{"values":["INGOs","National NGOs or CSOs","Private companies","Red Cross\/Red Crescent Movement","United Nations Agencies or Programmes","Universities\/Academic\/Research Institutes","Unspecified"]}{"values":[77,17,21,6,4,34,1]}{"values":["","","","","","",""]}{"values":["","","","","","",""]}


Through our HIF programme, we fund a range of different actors - often in partnership - to carry out innovation projects in the humanitarian sector. At the end of 2018, these were the numbers:

INGOsNational NGOs or CSOsPrivate companiesRed Cross/Red Crescent MovementUnited Nations Agencies or ProgrammesUniversities/Academic/Research InstitutesUnspecified

Communication and outreach

We work hard to communicate the outcomes and impact of our research and innovation.

Over the past ten years we’ve built up targeted and engaged mailing lists and social media followers. We give regular updates about our funding opportunities; provide the humanitarian community with the latest tools and guidance on what works when delivering effective humanitarian response; and create opportunities for this community to come together to discuss some of the most complex humanitarian problems.

Here’s a snapshot of what 2018 has looked like for us:

3213 Elrha Mailing List Subscribers 2107 R2HC Mailing List Subscribers 7987 HIF Mailing List Subcribers 4630 Elrha Followers 5927 Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) Followers 324 Elrha company page Followers 150986 Total Website Sessions 103013 Total Website Visitors

Where our top visitors are based

In 2018, our website was visited most regularly by the following numbers of humanitarian research and innovators, among other actors:

17625 UK
16756 US
7268 India
3227 Philipines
2949 Kenya
2934 Uganda
2894 Canada
2512 Nigeria
2232 Australia
1950 Malaysia

Our Events

In 2018 we brought together the humanitarian community through targeted events – from face-to-face events such as our Humanitarian Innovation Forum in June 2018, to webinars and workshops where we provide bespoke support and tools to our grantees and the wider community, so they can effectively and ethically research and innovate in this sector.

18 621 Total Events Total Events Attendees

Number of Events

Large EventsWorkshopsWebinars{"values":["Large Events","Workshops","Webinars"]}{"values":[1,4,13]}{"values":["","",""]}{"values":["","",""]}

Number of Attendees

Large EventsWorkshopsWebinars{"values":["Large Events","Workshops","Webinars"]}{"values":[59,117,445]}{"values":["","",""]}{"values":["","",""]}

Media Spotlight

Our work and the research and innovations we fund received global coverage in 2018. Thirty-eight individual pieces to be exact. Here are our highlights:

Find out more >

Our HIF-funded innovative handwashing station, led by Oxfam GB, received coverage from Reuters and the Telegraph

Find out more >

Too Tough To Scale: challenges to scaling innovation in the humanitarian sector. Published October 2018. Our flagship report received coverage from Bond, ReliefWeb, ALNAP, the Aspen Network.

Find out more >

Our work and expertise on scaling innovation was covered by the Dutch Coalition for Humanitarian Innovation.

Find out more >

Our project by Translators without Borders and their online glossary of 700 words and expressions to help aid workers communicate with Rohingya refugees was covered by Devex in September 2018.

Find out more >

Our grantee study by Yale University and Mercy Crops highlighting how a particular psychosocial humanitarian intervention reduces the ‘stress hormone’ in war-affected adolescents, was covered by The Harvard Gazette in January 2018.

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