Application and testing of an innovative private sector methodology to identify and support local innovators who have developed products and services to address humanitarian needs that they have experienced first hand.
Floods affect more people globally than any other type of natural hazard and cause some of the largest economic, social and humanitarian losses. Many people living on front lines are addressing the humanitarian impact of floods through their own ingenuity and means, but lack the support to scale and more widely disseminate their ideas and approaches. Through testing and adapting a proven local innovation methodology to the humanitarian sector, we can position ourselves more efficiently and effectively address humanitarian at a local level.
Our primary objective is to determine the feasibility of using the Lead User method in a humanitarian setting. We believe the methodology can help position us to better support local innovators, through funding, partnerships and the dissemination of their ideas. The current approach to innovation, which includes significant funding going into building innovation labs in Europe and North America, seems inefficient.
With our study we will find out different ways that individuals and communities innovate in order to better cope with the challenges and problems associated with floods. The key question is: What kind of user innovations exist in the area of flood resilience? Together with local partners we aim to discover people and organizations who have already developed workable solutions for their own needs, but who, for different reasons, could not yet diffuse those inventions to others. We will then closely investigate the inventions with regard to their potential to serve others and make them available to a greater audience.
Our objective is to confirm whether or not the Lead User method is applicable to humanitarian settings. Through the process we aim to identify local innovators and specific innovations that can be supported, disseminated and scaled. If the methodology is successful in a floods context, we will test it in other humanitarian contexts to confirm its wider applicability.
IFRC report back on their ESI project in Indonesia, through which they successfully identified local innovations that had the potential to increase people’s resilience to flooding, engaged 100+ people in an event to support local innovators, and planted the seeds for follow-on partnershipsView
After working with partners to implement a new lead user methodology, IFRC takes this approach to Indonesia.View
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