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...
OverviewOverviewUpdatesOur Focus Areas & What we FundTools & ResearchFunding Opportunities

Aim: to improve outcomes for people affected by humanitarian crises by identifying, nurturing and sharing more effective and scalable solutions.

The HIF is a globally-recognised programme leading on the development and testing of innovation in the humanitarian system. Established in 2011, it was the first of its kind: an independent, grant-making programme open to the entire humanitarian community. It now leads the way in funding, supporting, and managing innovation at every stage of the innovation process.

The HIF’s portfolio of funded projects has informed a more detailed understanding of what successful innovation looks like, and what it can achieve for the humanitarian community. This work is leading the global conversation on innovation in humanitarian response.

2018-2020 Programme Strategy

This document sets out a new strategic direction and priorities for the HIF for 2018-2020. It is informed by an independent Evaluation of the HIF’s performance to date and a review of the humanitarian innovation landscape. It is aligned to the strategic evolution of Elrha as an organisation. This is a ‘responsible ambition’, one that is creative and dynamic whilst also focused on accountability and sensitivity to the humanitarian ecosystem of which we are a part. We will work collaboratively with partners and stakeholders to collectively drive forward innovation for a more effective humanitarian response.

Read our programme strategy


Our Evaluation, conducted by Triple Line between December 2016 and June 2017, covers the period from the launch of the HIF in early 2011 to December 2016. Its purpose is to provide accountability to our stakeholders through an independent assessment of the HIF’s performance; to support learning about the effectiveness of our own processes and to contribute to our strategic development.

We welcomed this opportunity for a formal review as we fully believe in the importance of robust evaluation for improving how we work and helping us maximise our value to the humanitarian sector.

Learning from 5 years of action

Our response to the Evaluation shared our learning and set out our actions. Our commitment is not only to learn, but to continue to improve as a result.

Read our response

The Humanitarian Innovation Fund External Evaluation, Triple Line

View the Evaluation in Full here.

this Evaluation also carried out three case studies:

  1. World Food Programme’s mVAM: Mobile Voice Technology for Food Security Data
  2. IFRC’s Improving Menstrual Hygiene Management in Emergencies
  3. Translators Without Borders’ Words of Relief

Our Donors

Explore the HIF

Meet the Team

Meet our Advisory Group


Latest News


Eight innovation grants awarded to support wider adoption of projects


We’re changing the way we fund innovation to tackle humanitarian problems in more depth


Five new innovation projects taking a local perspective on measuring the impact of GBV programmes


Hear our Voices of WASH


NEW videos: next steps on the Journey to Scale


Introducing our new Humanitarian Innovation Guide (by an innovation sceptic)

The HIF’s current thematic focuses are:

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)

Since starting our work on innovation in humanitarian in WASH in 2013, we have supported more than 50 innovation or research projects in this area and continue to support many more...

Gender-Based Violence (GBV)

Realising the potential for innovation to improve humanitarian GBV we established this area of work in 2015, which was previously relatively unexplored, with a lack of evidence as to what works...

Accelerating the Journey to Scale

We set out to address the sector wide question of how to scale humanitarian innovation. In many cases, the complexities involved in scaling innovation beyond prototyping and piloting has stagnated projects meaning valuable, innovative ideas do not get the chance to develop, progress or achieve their potential...

Explore our innovation portfolio

Explore over 150 HIF-funded innovations…

Discover more about the projects we fund

Key Tools, Guidance & Research published by HIF

Report Disability & Older Age Inclusion, Gender-based Violence

Rapid review of disability and older age inclusion in GBV

Tool Water, sanitation & hygiene

WASH Innovation Catalogue

Report Disability & Older Age Inclusion, Water, sanitation & hygiene

Rapid review of disability and older age inclusion in WASH

Tool Innovation Management

Humanitarian Innovation Guide

Report Innovation Management, Scale

Too Tough to Scale? Challenges to scaling innovation in the humanitarian sector

Report Gender-based Violence

Gender-Based Violence Interventions: Opportunities for Innovation

Tools & Research from HIF funded projects

Peer Reviewed Maternal and Child Health

A postpartum haemorrhage package with condom uterine balloon tamponade: a prospective multi-centre case series in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Nepal

Report Information Management, Communication & Technology

Final Report: Digital PH

Report Nutrition

Final Report: OptiDiag – Improvements in the diagnosis of child undernutrition through assessment of emerging biomarkers of deprived metabolic status and vulnerability

Report Human Rights & Security

Final Report: Open Drone Map

Briefing Note Information Management, Communication & Technology

Innovating mobile solutions for refugees in East Africa: Policy brief

Briefing Note Maternal and Child Health

Briefing: Every Second Matters – Uterine Balloon Tamponade

We don’t currently have any open Funding Calls. To find out more about the types of funding we offer, you can read our previous Funding Calls below.

If you’d like to know when we launch a new Funding Call you can sign up to our newsletter or follow us on Twitter.

Previous Funding Opportunities

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Elrha © 2018 - 2019 Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).
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