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We are Elrha, a force for change in the humanitarian community. The research and innovation we support equips the humanitarian community with the knowledge of what works, so people affected by crises get the right help when they need it most.
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.
We empower the humanitarian community. Find out how we can support you...

We work in partnership with grantees

Trenton Dailey-Chwalibóg, a Ph.D. student and Research Project Manager, prepares serum samples during a field test at Redemption Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo Credit: Action Contre La Faim France.

Why we do this

We work in partnership with grantees to address the unique challenges of undertaking research and innovation in humanitarian contexts

Finance alone is not enough to see humanitarian researchers and innovators succeed:

  • Researchers need support to ensure academic rigour, on the ground relevance, feasibility and the potential for uptake – so that ultimately their research informs humanitarian policy and practice.
  • Innovators need a raft of guidance to truly scale an innovation, from business and sustainability modelling to monitoring and evaluation.

Through our targeted focus areas, we work with our research and innovation grantees to plug those support and guidance gaps.

What we do

Responsibility and ethics are at the heart of our humanitarian innovation programme. We understand the complex challenges involved when innovating in this sector and we work flexibly with grantees, providing bespoke support.

We proactively manage the risk involved working with smaller organisations, new teams and non-traditional actors, which large donors cannot necessarily do.

"Creativity, exploration & informed risk-taking is crucial to learn and bring about change." - our guiding principle #6

The public health research teams that we fund through our R2HC programme are required to include a research institution and a humanitarian organisation. To nurture these partnerships, we offer a range of support including seed funding, partnership workshops, and research impact workshops.

First use of Oxfam's new handwashing station for Burundian mother Bigeme Nadia, aged 23 with 1 year old son Frigasi. Photo Credit: Joel Trotter/Oxfam.

What we’ve achieved

In 2016 we began our three-year ‘Journey to Scale’ initiative, providing both finance and bespoke advice and guidance to three scale-ready organisations.

“We really felt like you had our backs, that you were truly our partners and that we could be open and honest with you all. Thanks for everything you’ve done for us – from the little things to the big.”
Eric James, Executive Director, Field Ready - Journey to Scale grantee

“There are very few donors that are prepared to take a chance on innovation, they tend to require a higher standard of evidence for something new and so it’s hard to get your foot in the door. Elrha recognised the difference that communicating in the right language could make on humanitarian effectiveness and they really wanted us to succeed.”
Ellie Kemp, Translators without Borders - Journey to Scale grantee

Our R2HC seed funding grants enable research teams to meet in person in the country where the research will be conducted. They add real value to the process. We offer workshops to support effective partnership management, helping them to identify clear roles and responsibilities within teams, communication channels and to develop partnership agreements.

“The workshop exposes and forces partners to explicitly discuss key parameters defining the partnerships, such as risks, roles and responsibilities, which are critically important and valuable, but often remain implicit.”
Respondent, 2018 Seed Funding Survey

Photo Credit: Elrha

In 2018 we commissioned the design of a Research Impact Toolkit to help ensure the uptake of research findings by those who can influence change. From 2019 onwards we’ll be conducting workshops to help research teams develop strategic plans and identify who they want to influence, in what way and when.

“This was a great opportunity for all members of my (research) team and the type of professional workshop that will make us a stronger group. We now have a concrete plan of action with regards to research uptake, which is great and will make sure that we have stronger impact - just what we want”
Stefan Jansen, Deputy Director, Centre for Mental Health, University of Rwanda

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