Despite there being an increasing range of engaged actors, the environment for research and innovation is still relatively underdeveloped within the humanitarian system. In particular, there needs to be a greater focus on identifying and understanding clear global priorities and barriers to impact for research and innovation. There’s a key opportunity for us to advocate for transformative change in the humanitarian system, using our evidence-based research and innovation to show how this is possible.
We’re uniquely positioned to use our global networks and experience in supporting over 200 research and innovation projects to speak with authority and to drive attention towards fundamental challenges facing the community.
We listen to and document the experiences of our grantees to better understand the challenges they face when conducting research and innovation.
We consult and undertake research with our global stakeholder community and key expert groups to further our knowledge and understanding around key challenges and needs.
We use this knowledge to call for action and to collaborate with others to address challenges and improve humanitarian research and innovation practice.
"Evidence must be made widely available and accessible to achieve the greatest possible impact." - our guiding principle #4
We have taken a lead in calling for humanitarian research and innovation to be undertaken within a responsible and ethical framework. We have developed unique, open access guidance – for instance our Research Ethics Tool – to support our grantees and the wider community in adopting this approach. We continue to drive this focus throughout our work. We’re always looking for opportunities to collaborate on the development of shared approaches to support responsible and ethical innovation. And we call for the funders of research and innovation to insist on ethical standards being met.
We’ve researched and documented innovation pathways from our own project portfolio so we can support others in successfully innovating within humanitarian contexts. Our ‘More than just luck: Innovation in humanitarian action’ report, was the first analysis of specific project-level humanitarian innovation processes, and it provided a clear evidence base for the need for support, guidance and finance that specifically aligns to those pathways.
We’ve formed a strategic partnership with The Sphere Project to support it in the development of the fourth revision of the Sphere Handbook. Working in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), we undertook a rigorous analysis of the evidence supporting the public health standards and indicators in order to contribute to the empirical evidence on which the Handbook is based. Published in 2018, the Handbook is now widely used by the humanitarian community across the world.
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