In 2021, 235 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection. This year, 68 million more people need access to life saving aid than in 2020, when need was already the highest it has been in decades.
The world’s most vulnerable need an effective and coordinated humanitarian response.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect communities globally. Extreme poverty has risen for the first time in 22 years, and the full impact of the economic fallout has yet to be seen. With a global recession, increasing economic pressures on all countries, and anticipated cuts to aid and humanitarian budgets, it is more critical than ever that humanitarian investments are as impactful as possible in supporting humanitarian action.
The 2016/17 Global Mapping Report reveals we’re missing knowledge of how much is spent on which areas of research and innovation.
There is a marked disparity between where those who receive and make decisions about funding are located and where research and innovation activities take place. Most research and innovation resources are provided and received by actors in the ‘Global North’.
The experience and insight of those in communities affected by crisis is vital to identify where research and innovation for humanitarian aid is most needed and resources best allocated. However, they tend to be in Low and Middle Income Countries and their input is routinely marginalised.
Our aim is to increase the impact of humanitarian research and innovation investments for communities affected by crises, by targeting resources at the most pressing problems.
Crisis-affected communities have a right to effective aid that is lifesaving, relieves suffering and promotes dignity. By targeting resources at the most pressing problems, the humanitarian community can have a bigger impact on lives.
The Global Prioritisation Exercise (GPE), which is an Elrha initiative, will improve outcomes for people affected by crisis by amplifying the impact of investments in humanitarian research and innovation.
We will do this by:
We know that countries that consistently invest in innovation, research and development (of a new product, process or service) are more productive and adaptive. Unfortunately, the spend on research and development across the humanitarian sector remains low.
The GPE will bring together major funders of research and innovation, the humanitarian community, and countries and communities affected by crisis. Together, they will identify and prioritise challenges within the system and create opportunities for positive change.
The Global Prioritisation Exercise needs expert advice and counsel to ensure its success, which is why we’ve established a Reference Group. Its members reflect a broad range of experiences and backgrounds, with a strong, proven commitment to research and innovation. They are critical to us achieving our vision of a world where people affected by crisis receive an effective and coordinated humanitarian response.
Mark is a Senior Research Associate with the Humanitarian Policy Group at ODI (Overseas Development Institute).
He was previously an Assistant Secretary General in the UN serving as the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan in UNAMA with responsibility on development coherence, governance, economic development, gender and rule of law. He was also concurrently appointed as the UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in charge of coordination of the United Nations System activities, humanitarian disaster management and development coordination. He served In Afghanistan between November 2012 and March 2017.
From April 2008 to November 2012, Mark was the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Designated Official and UNDP Resident Representative for Somalia, and was previously assigned as the Director of Civil Affairs in the UN Mission in Sudan. From 2001 to 2005, he was extensively involved in the design of humanitarian reforms as the Chief of the Policy Development and Studies Branch in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Prior to his work with the UN, Mark had extensive NGO experience and worked for Save the Children for twenty years as a country director, Regional Adviser and as Africa Director.
Mark was appointed CMG in the 2017 Birthday honours for his services to Humanitarian Assistance
Profile coming soon
Profile coming soon
Christina is Chief Executive Officer at Start Network, a global membership of more than 50 local, national and international aid agencies, working together to transform humanitarian action through innovation, local action and fast funding and financing.
With 20 years of experience in humanitarian policy and practice, Christina has lived and worked in Afghanistan, Pakistan and South Sudan. Prior to joining Start, Christina led research into local humanitarian action, drove policy initiatives related to counter-terrorism, humanitarian reform, refugee livelihoods and private finance and authored ‘Time to Let go: Remaking Humanitarian Action for the Modern Era’ at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). She has also served as the Chief of Policy Analysis and Innovation at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Christina serves on the board of the Risk Informed Early Action Partnership (REAP) and is a frequent writer and speaker on conflict and humanitarian aid.
Kimberly is the Head of Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation at the GSMA, a programme that works with mobile operators and humanitarian partners to accelerate the delivery and impact of digital humanitarian action.
Previously, Kimberly was the Head of Humanitarian Policy at the British Red Cross and acted as adviser to the Chairman on the organisation’s role on the Governing Board and General Assembly of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
She has worked on numerous multilateral negotiations and instruments, including the Sustainable Development Goals, the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, the Grand Bargain (World Humanitarian Summit), the Paris Climate Agreement, the Mine Ban Treaty, and the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
She holds a BA in Psychology from UBC (Vancouver), a MA in International Development Studies and Political Science from Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok), and in 2020 completed an Executive MBA at the London Business School
Profile coming soon
Tom is Executive Director and co-founder of Shelter Centre, an NGO which provides a central focus for humanitarian shelter and its global community of practice. He specialises in shelter, settlement and reconstruction and has operational experience in both conflicts and disasters in Africa, Asia and Europe for agencies such as FCDO (DFID), IOM, MSF, Oxfam, UNHCR and the World Bank.
He also founded Aidworld Humanitarian Information Communication Technologies and the Humanitarian Library project. He has lectured on humanitarian shelter and reconstruction at the universities of Barcelona, Cambridge, Copenhagen, Oxford, Oxford Brookes, Coventry, Geneva and York. Tom holds a PhD in Architecture from King’s College, University of Cambridge
For the past 20 years, Kelly David has been leading diverse local, national and international teams to prepare and respond to the humanitarian effects of conflict and natural disasters throughout West, East and Southern Africa. As the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ Strategic Planning, Evaluation and Guidance Section, she has also been extensively involved in strategic planning, corporate performance monitoring, enterprise risk management, policy development and evaluation.
She presently chairs the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluation (IAHE) Steering Group. As such, she managed the first ever systemwide evaluations of: the gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in emergencies; the humanitarian response to multiple recurrent droughts, year on year, in Ethiopia; and of the new scale-up procedures for major crises, in the responding to Cyclone Idai in Mozambique.
She is presently leading the systemwide evaluation of the humanitarian response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to joining the UN, Ms. David was a journalist for major regional and national dailies in the US, including The Los Angeles Times and Newsday.
Profile coming soon
Profile coming soon
Dorothea is Professor of Humanitarian Studies at ISS/EUR, where she focuses on aid-society relations, and how aid is embedded in the context and shaped by actors in and around programmes for protection, service delivery and capacity development. She has a special interest in the intersections of humanitarianism with development, peacebuilding and gender-relations.
Dorothea’s research programmes have taken place in settings affected by disaster, conflict and fragility, including Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Sri Lanka. Author of several publications including ‘Disaster Risk Reduction and protracted violent conflict. The case of Afghanistan’ and Government and civil society organizations: Close but comfortable?’, her work focuses on the everyday practices of humanitarian aid, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, reconstruction and peace building. She currently heads an ERC advanced grant project on humanitarian governance.
Dorothea is also President of the International Humanitarian Studies Association and Honorary Director of Creged – Centre de Recherche et d’Expertise en Genre et Développement
Chris manages the Humanitarian Grand Challenge programme, which finds and accelerates life-saving or life-improving innovations to help the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach people impacted by humanitarian crises caused by conflict. The programme is a partnership of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, with support from Grand Challenges Canada.
Previously, Chris worked for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Papua New Guinea, Nigeria, Turkey, Ethiopia and Pakistan as a Logistician, a Project Coordinator, and a Deputy Head of Mission. He served on the board of directors of MSF Canada, worked for the Canadian Red Cross in Lebanon and Nepal evaluating and overseeing health projects and managed logistics and operational support for World Health Organisation in Yemen. He also co-founded kid-E-care paediatric urgent care clinic in Toronto and teaches the Complex Humanitarian Emergencies module at University of Toronto’s Global Health Education Initiative.
Profile coming soon
Profile coming soon
Mohammed is Regional Director, Africa for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). He has over 30 years of experience in humanitarian operations management, development work, representation, and strategic leadership.
In his previous role as IFRC’s Deputy Regional Director in the Asia Pacific, he led programmes on disaster risk reduction, community resilience, climate change management, agriculture, food security, nutrition, community-driven development, livelihoods, National Society development and capacity building. Mohammed has also held leadership roles in IFRC offices in Iran, Kenya, Pakistan, Beirut and Geneva Headquarters.
Prior to joining IFRC, Mohammed worked at the Ministry of Agriculture in Sudan, the Sudanese Red Crescent, Save the Children – Canada, Action Aid – UK, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the Cranfield Disaster Preparedness Centre at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom.
Profile coming soon
Max leads the global RIL initiative, a collaboration of leading humanitarian NGOs that operates a network of field-based innovation support platforms. RIL Country Labs foster partnerships that develop, pilot and scale innovations that overcome context-specific problems or barriers to the delivery of aid and community recovery or resilience.
Max previously served as Save the Children’s representative on the RIL Executive Committee. Before joining RIL full time, he was the Humanitarian Program Quality and Development Director for Save the Children US as well as the designated Humanitarian Innovation Champion. He has experience across strategic planning, emergency preparedness, programme monitoring and coordinating emergency responses. Max has also held senior positions with UNICEF in Madagascar and Palladium Group, AIDSRelief and Catholic Relief Services in the Caribbean.
Currently based in UNICEF’s Office of Research, Innocenti in Florence, Gavin is responsible for the organisation’s strategy and portfolio of humanitarian research for children and adolescents in humanitarian and fragile settings. Gavin began his career in 1994 in research and postgraduate teaching in GIS and Remote Sensing applications at Cranfield University in the UK, seconded as Deputy Director at the National Soil Resources Institute of England and Wales in 2005, Senior Research Fellow and Manager of the applied remote sensing and GIS unit at Cranfield University from 2006. He then joined the Haiti earthquake response in 2010, and then other missions, before formally joining UNICEF’s Office of Emergency Programmes in 2012, where he co-chaired and led several UN/inter-agency groups on information management platforms, decision support, performance monitoring for emergency coordination and, more recently (2019) on disability inclusion
The Global Prioritisation Exercise is so important because by investing strategically in research and innovation, we can accelerate the change needed to improve the lives of people affected by crisis. The world’s most vulnerable need an effective and coordinated humanitarian response.
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