Shaping the future: Our strategy for research and innovation in humanitarian response.

A global organisation that finds solutions to complex humanitarian problems through research and innovation..
Our purpose is clear: we work in partnership with a global community of humanitarian actors, researchers and innovators to improve the quality of humanitarian action and deliver better outcomes for people affected by crises.
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UN OCHA’s Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks (HNPW) is a unique forum for actors and experts across the humanitarian sector to engage and collaborate on the challenges and solutions that impact their work and the lives of people affected by crisis.

We’re pleased to share we’ll be hosting three sessions at this year’s HNPW, both online and in-person.

Showcasing innovations in protection sector programming: gender-based violence and inclusion of people with disability and older people

Tuesday 30 April 2024, 9AM (UTC/GMT), online

Join us for a webinar showcasing innovations in Protection Sector programming, with a focus on gender-based violence (GBV) and the inclusion of older people and people with disabilities.

The webinar will highlight a selection of innovations supported through our Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF), including tools for safer programming, assessment and M&E frameworks that orient programmes towards more inclusive programming and better outcomes for people affected by humanitarian crises.

We’ve invited innovators to share their work, their successes and lessons learnt, and to shine a light on new approaches developed through the innovation process.

Find out more and register for the webinar

Charting the Roadmap for AI Uptake in
nitarian Action

Thursday 9 May 2024 at 09:0012:30 (UTC+2), in-person and online

Our HIF programme, together with The UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub (UKHIH), Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge, and UNICEF, are hosting a session on the possibilities and challenges surrounding AI use in humanitarian action.

This event offers participants the opportunity to dig into the pitfalls and potential of the technology and identify key actions to enable its safe and ethical uptake, both in their own work and within the wider sector.

The session features a keynote discussion between a leading AI expert and the head of a prominent humanitarian organisation who will be trading perspectives on the prospects of AI for humanitarians.

Participants can also get involved in presentations and short workshops across a range of topics, such as problem-led AI design, data needs, ethical decision-making, and AI’s potential to create challenges for localisation and equity in humanitarian operations.

Find out more and register for the event

Roundtable: Consultation on how a Humanitarian Research and Innovation (HRI) Agenda can support the Clusters in improving outcomes for those affected by crisis

Monday 6 May 2024 at 9:00 – 10:30 (UTC), in-person

This roundtable discussion will bring together cluster representatives to highlight the need for better coordination of humanitarian research and innovation (HRI) – as noted in our Global Insights Report – and to identify the needs, priorities and challenges facing clusters in relation to evidence, research and innovation.

The objective of the session is to:

  • Understand how clusters currently identify needs and priorities relating to evidence, research and innovation, with a focus on identification of evidence gaps.
  • Identify what additional resources (eg, capacity, coordination, partnerships) are needed for clusters to set research and innovation agendas and opportunities for the humanitarian system, including donors, to address these needs.
  • Determine next steps to underpin shared action and future collaboration.

The conversation will be facilitated by Colette Fearon, our Director of Impact and Engagement, and Cordelia Lonsdale, Senior Research Impact Advisor for our Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) programme.

UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub Events

Our colleagues in the UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub (UKHIH) will also be hosting a number of sessions during this year’s conference:

Real time learning in humanitarian crises

Tuesday 7 May at 14:00 – 15:00 UTC+2, in-person and online

This event will focus on how humanitarians can improve the uptake and use of learning in new and emerging crises. During this session, we will share the results from our recent ALNAP/UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub/ Humanitarian Outcomes study. The content will be useful for both humanitarian policy makers and practitioners who are interested in improving responses to emergencies.

Navigating ethical dilemmas in humanitarian action: A tool to support deliberation

Wednesday 8 May at 14:00 – 15:30 UTC+2, in-person and online

This session will discuss how a new ethics tool from Humanitarian Outcomes can be used internally by humanitarian actors and inter-agency forums to encourage dialogue and decision-making. During this session we will explore key humanitarian ethical dilemmas and discuss how humanitarian actors tackle these issues.

How can we harness community crisis intelligence for better prevention and response?

Thursday 9 May 24 14:00-15:30 UTC+2, in-person

This interactive workshop will focus on accelerating the uptake of digital tools that leverage input from crisis-affected communities for better crisis preparedness and response. During the session, participants can learn how these tools can help to address existing operational challenges and sectoral priorities.

Read more and register for the events on the UKHIH website


About HNPW

HNPW takes place from April 29 – 10 May 2024. It is co-hosted by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

You can find out more about HNPW 2024 and browse the full programme on the HNPW website.

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