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.
We empower the humanitarian community. Find out how we can support you...

Elrha is born

January 2009

Elrha is born, and sets out to bridge the gap between academics and humanitarians.


We launch our Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF)

March 2011

We see the potential of innovating to improve humanitarian response and launch our Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) – the first of its kind.


We establish the Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC)

June 2013

We launch our second programme, Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) to generate more and better evidence of what works in public health interventions to improve outcomes for people affected by crises


Our work in WASH

October 2013

We establish our first thematic-focused area of work, looking at how innovation can address complex problems in humanitarian WASH.
(In 2019, we published our WASH Innovation Catalogue, showcasing over 30 potential solutions. Read it here)


Responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

September 2014

In response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, we ran a special rapid response funding call through our R2HC programme. Findings of the research contributed to the public health response, directly supporting efforts to bring the outbreak under control and inform future responses.


Our work tackling Gender-Based Violence (GBV)

September 2015

We develop a second thematic area of work, focusing on GBV and exploring how innovation can play a vital role in addressing this complex and global problem.




Scaling humanitarian innovations

March 2016

We establish our bespoke ‘Journey to Scale’ initiative in response to a sector wide demand for greater understanding of tackling the barriers to scale.

(We published our report about the barriers to scaling, sharing our knowledge and learnings in 2018. Read Too Tough to Scale.)


Leading a global effort to map research and innovation investments and capacities

February 2017

Through our Global Prioritisation Exercise, we identify shared priorities in the system, so that both research and innovation are better connected to global efforts to improve humanitarian response. See our Mapping Report .


We become independent!

May 2018

Originally a hosted entity of Save the Children UK, Elrha achieves a significant milestone and becomes an independent charity.


We publish the Humanitarian Innovation Guide

June 2018

We consolidated our innovation knowledge and learning and transformed it into a practical resource; the Humanitarian Innovation Guide. Whether you’re an innovator, a humanitarian, or both, our Guide helps people and organisations define humanitarian problems and successfully develop innovative solutions.

2019 Jan

We celebrate 10 years

January 2019

Happy birthday Elrha! In 2019 we celebrated our tenth year… Watch our 10 Years of Elrha video, and take a look at our stories which capture our first decade…

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