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We are seeking for proposals to conduct a mapping exercise of the key outputs, actors and investments in humanitarian research and innovation globally. It builds on a previous global mapping exercise and report conducted by Elrha in 2016/17. The new mapping exercise will build on the 2017 report by identifying trends, but will also have a stronger focus on certain areas such as emerging strategic interests and investments. It will form part of a wider process, the Global Prioritisation Exercise (GPE), coordinated by Elrha.


In 2016/17 Elrha conducted a global mapping exercise of the humanitarian research and innovation landscape which will provide a useful basis for this exercise. The resulting Phase One Global Mapping Report provides a baseline of global humanitarian research and innovation activity as viewed through published outputs during 2016-2017. The research identified a dynamic and growing community and reported there were at least 825 research and innovation actors, supported by 218 funding agencies. Actors considered were organisations, centres or other entities or stakeholders engaged in research and or innovation. These included donors, academic, research institutes, humanitarian organisations, networks and alliances.

With humanitarian needs growing and a growing number of research and innovation actors  we see an urgent need for effective mechanisms to make research and innovation activity visible in real time and to support coordination between actors to maximize the impact of investments. Elrha has already undertaken work to identify trends and priorities in some areas of humanitarian action, notably in the health sector e.g. Elrha has worked on gap analyses for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Gender Based Violence (GBV) and the inclusion of people with Disability and Older people in humanitarian response (DOAI) which also provides important data for this  initiative.

The assignment in these ToR is one part of a broader Global Prioritisation Exercise (GPE), through which Elrha aims to improve outcomes for people affected by humanitarian crises by enabling the humanitarian community to target global humanitarian research and innovation capabilities and resources to the most pressing problems.


The purpose of the Global Mapping Process is to:

  • Identify and map global humanitarian research and innovation initiatives and provide an overview of global outputs
  • Update data on key actors for humanitarian research and innovation around the world, since these were last identified in the 2017 mapping exercise
  • Map the type of humanitarian research and innovation investments globally and the quality of outcome
  • Analyse strategic interests, and investment trends.


The GPE mapping process will generate a report and annexes to cover key actors in the humanitarian innovation and research space, investments and funds in this space, and an overview of current strategies to support more use of innovation and research. The report should map and analyse:

  • Actors in the humanitarian innovation and research space
  • Areas of current and planned funding and investment
  • Overview and analysis of current strategies to build and support coordination
  • The mapping should provide an overview with selected case studies of processes used, involving multiple actors to identify priorities for research and innovation investment and/or actors.

Terms of Reference

Find out more information in the full Terms of Reference.


  • 9.00am, 22 February 2021: Submission Deadline
  • 22 February – 3 March: Review of shortlist and selection
  • 12 March: Selection Committee Proposals
  • 14 – 27 March: Finalisation of contract
  • Mid-April: Inception plan development
  • End of May: Revised (as appropriate) structure for final outputs
  • Early July: First draft of the Global Mapping Report(s)
  • Early August: Final draft of output(s)


A budget of up to £180,000 is available, excluding applicable UK VAT but including any taxes that overseas suppliers may be liable for outside the UK. Please indicate if you/your company is VAT registered and where. The budget submitted to us should be broken down by activity and with any allocations for individual team members shown clearly. This should include any travel costs and other expenses.


The application deadline is 09:00 GMT on 22 February 2021.

Proposals must include the following:

  • Covering letter explaining your team’s interest in and suitability for this research project (2 pages maximum)
  • Proposal with intended methodology and project plan for delivery of the outputs. Maximum length excluding annexes [12 pages maximum]
  • Budget with proposed remuneration in pounds sterling (days and rate) and any other costs. Please indicate any remuneration difference between team member roles – i.e. research fellows, research officers, research assistants, etc.
  • CVs and evidence of relevant past projects of each team member and the group with links to relevant outputs.

Please submit applications to for the attention of Jean McLean.

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