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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After two years of intensive efforts, the comprehensive report titled ‘Global Insights: Humanitarian Research and Innovation Landscape 2024 is now released. Drawing insights from 16 thematic, regional and country-level consultations, this report offers the most comprehensive overview of the humanitarian research and innovation (HRI) ecosystem to date, encompassing findings, conclusions, and actionable recommendations to drive policy and practice changes. 

Key findings:

Increasing investment, insufficient impact: Despite a notable surge in resources allotted to HRI, practitioners perceive these investments as inadequate. The report prompts a critical inquiry: How can we optimise funding and resources to yield substantial and sustainable impacts? 

Shifting the power and demand-driven HRI: The dominance of a supply-driven approach underscores the urgency to align priorities with the genuine needs of communities affected by crisis. Empowering diverse voices and fostering equitable partnerships are paramount for meaningful change. 

Balancing thematic dominance with systemic innovation: While thematic issues like health and food security claim precedence, there’s an increasing demand for systemic research, particularly concerning climate change impacts. Striking a balance is imperative to bolster community resilience. 

Insufficient coordination, duplication, and gaps: Inadequate coordination poses risks of duplication or research gaps. Enhanced collaboration and synergy among stakeholders are essential for maximising research impact. 

Collaborative leadership for genuine transformation: The report underscores the significance of collaborative leadership in propelling transformative change within the HRI ecosystem. Leaders must transcend sectoral boundaries, embrace innovation, and champion ethical practices to drive genuine transformation. 

“The scale of unmet humanitarian needs remains stubbornly high and political will to address them so weak. Science, innovation and technology offer one important avenue of hope in the face of rising humanitarian crisis. We know research and innovation (R&I) are drivers of change and have always been part of how humanitarian practice has developed. 

“It is our hope that this report and recommendations provide a catalyst for collective reflection, dialogue and action. To effectively address the most pressing humanitarian issues, it is necessary to prioritise R&I needs and investments more strategically.”

— Mark Bowden, Chair, GPE Reference Group

This report aims to inspire change in the humanitarian community and beyond.

What is the Global Prioritisation Exercise?

This report is produced as part of the Global Prioritisation Exercise (GPE) for HRI, an Elrha-led initiative for the humanitarian sector that aims to increase the impact of HRI for communities affected by crises, by targeting resources at the most pressing problems. The GPE is a landmark, multi-phased initiative commissioned by Elrha and funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Find out more about the GPE

Related Events

Follow the money: a deep dive into investments for humanitarian research and innovation

11 May 2022, 13:00-14:30 BST Hybrid: Geneva, Switzerland or virtually (Zoom)

Regional launches: Solutions for addressing humanitarian needs – insights from regional consultations on the role of research and innovation

Multiple dates Multiple locations
View report (Accessible PDF) in English View report in Spanish View report in Arabic View report in French

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