The humanitarian innovation agenda has been broadly top-down to date, focused on improving the tools and practices of international humanitarian actors. Yet this top-down focus too often overlooks the talents, skills and aspirations of people affected by crises.
Our experience at Elrha shows that addressing the right problem is key to successful innovation; engagement with people affected by crises is essential for fully understanding problems and the solutions required.
HIF Innovation Manager Ian McClelland and Effective Partnerships Manager Frances Hill explore how strategic partnerships can support local innovation in an article published in the ‘Communication and community engagement in humanitarian response’ issue of the Humanitarian Exchange Magazine.
Photo Credit: NASSA/Caritas Philippines
Ian is an innovation management and strategic communications specialist, with over 10 years’ experience in the international development and humanitarian sectors. He is passionate about harnessing the right tools and methods at the right time in support of humanitarian practitioners and social entrepreneurs looking to solve complex challenges.
Ian leads our work on scale as well as the Humanitarian Innovation Guide, and has been instrumental in our drive to place meaningful engagement with affected communities at the centre of humanitarian innovation through our partnership with the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network.
In previous roles, Ian has led and worked on brand projects, digital campaigns and content strategy and development at Bond, Save the Children, Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre and Oxfam. He holds an MSc in Globalisation and Development from the University of Manchester and a BSc in Disaster Management and Technology from the University of Birmingham.
Frances has been with Elrha since 2011 working across Elrha’s programmes to strengthen and broker partnerships. She is currently working with the HIF on their localisation and scaling initiatives as well as strategic partnerships.
With over 30 years’ experience in the humanitarian and development sectors, Frances has worked to bring people together and break down siloes with the aim of bringing about more effective understanding of, and solutions for, the complex problems these sectors face. She passionately believes this cannot happen without stronger and more equitable partnerships for those closest to, and most affected by, crises.
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