The humanitarian innovation and research agendas are rarely integrated into humanitarian architecture or response. Their role and importance in improving humanitarian response is relatively new and needs to be better networked and supported.
Partnering with communities of practice provides strategic opportunities to advance our collective agendas:
We bring together those engaged in research and innovation in certain key areas and broker relationships with others both inside and outside the sector.
We connect research and innovation and make that combination central to addressing humanitarian problems and crises.
"Collaboration and partnership, including with people affected by crisis, improves the quality, impact and uptake of research and innovation." - our guiding principle #5
We’ve built and supported communities of practice at multiple levels: global, thematic and crisis-focused:
Our Humanitarian Innovation Forum in June 2018 was a one-day, high-profile event in Brussels, which included representation from across the sector. Our event explored the critical gaps in innovation skills and capability. It addressed cross-cutting challenges (measuring impact, standards and principles for ethical innovation, and meaningful engagement of populations affected by crises). We used the Forum as our opportunity to launch our Humanitarian Innovation Guide – our evolving online resource that helps individuals and organisations define humanitarian problems and successfully develop innovative solutions.
We convened a workshop in Geneva with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies (MHPSS) community, sharing information about MHPSS projects funded through our public health research programme (our R2HC). The workshop enabled responders to share challenges in maintaining quality standards when implementing new MHPSS interventions in the field. This led to us co-editing a Special Edition of ODI’s Humanitarian Exchange magazine, which included articles from many of the participants at the Geneva workshop. The publication showcases the innovative approaches that are being adopted in humanitarian contexts to support individuals suffering from mental health and psychosocial problems.
We’ve worked with the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN) and the Centre for Disaster Preparedness in the Philippines to look at earthquake awareness at a local level. The aim has been to mobilise the humanitarian innovation community around major predicted earthquake events, using the latest innovation management methods and tools to mitigate the impact of the disaster if and when it occurs.
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