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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Gender based violence is a massive problem in crises and many relief NGOs do not prioritise GBV prevention. There is an opportunity to address GBV from a new entry point – tapping into the creative capacity of displaced populations by teaching them to use the design process to create solutions that prevent and reduce gender based violence in humanitarian situations.


The consortium’s innovative approach begins with their belief in and respect for people’s abilities to creates technologies, programs and systems that can improve their lives. Engaging refugees in design not only enables them to create innovative solutions but the process itself empowers them by building their confidence and strengthening their sense of agency. This project brings the people most directly affected by gender based violence to the forefront of creating products and systems that reduce and prevent it. Addressing GBV from this point of entry promotes generative discussions that bring new actors into the conversation about short term solutions and long term systemic change.


Through the creation of a consortium that provides a platform for knowledge sharing and bridging the gap between designers and GBV specialists, we propose to:

  • Bring together GBV experts, designers and humanitarian workers to develop a GBV-focused curriculum that engages refugees in the design process and can be adapted for use in multiple contexts. The curriculum will be based on the technical, hands-on creative capacity building (CCB) approach developed by MIT’s D-Lab.
  • Develop a project proposal for piloting this project on the ground in two or three sites. The plan includes formulating a strategy for using the curriculum to train refugees, establishing and equipping physical maker spaces and developing partnerships with host NGOs for on-going support.
  • Create a monitoring and evaluation framework that builds on the principles of participatory evaluation and Lean Research.

Project Resources

Report Gender-based Violence

Final Report: Addressing GBV through refugee-led innovation

Latest Updates

Using design and co-creation to address gender-based violence

20 Jun 2016

Rethink Relief brings together twenty-two people for the three-day kick-off meeting in Entebbe, Uganda.


Final report published

25 Aug 2016

Read the final report to learn about this project's methodology, activities, outputs, impact and dissemination of learning.


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