Outline for Proposed Workshop at DHIAD by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund http://www.elrha.org/hif/home/

The Humanitarian Innovation Fund supports organisations and individuals to identify, nurture and share innovative and scalable solutions to the challenges facing effective humanitarian assistance

Ideal Workshop Participant:

  • Donors and Fund Managers who are keen to understand how best to include innovation management principles in the design of their funding and programme strategies.       Agencies and Public or Private organisations who have innovation labs or innovation initiatives
  • Innovators themselves who have stories from the front line to tell about support systems that have been useful

There is a lot of hype around innovation and how it happens. At times it seems a rigorous science and at other times mysterious and unpredictable. And there are an increasing number of management tools for facilitating it.

At the humanitarian innovation fund we have 5 years of practical experience funding and supporting over 70 innovation projects that use creative problem solving in response to pressing humanitarian concerns. We have seen both success and failures and, of course, we are keen to understand what works and what doesn’t.

In summer 2015 the HIF ran an event in London bringing together leading thinkers and practitioners in the humanitarian innovation space, including many of our project leaders who are at the coal face of the process. We asked them how to translate “Principles” to “Practice” based on their diverse experiences.

In parallel we have also been working with a group of researchers at ALNAP to analyse the lessons we can learn from our innovation projects and a synthesis report is being launched at the end of March to share their findings and recommendations.

The insights of all these conversations are being captured by the HIF in a practical list of “Dos and Don’ts” that we would like to discuss with the participants of DIHAD.

A short document listing these Innovation Management Principles has been produced looking at a variety of scenarios. For example: – Is it true that collaboration is essential to innovation?

Is it true that users should always be central to the early ideation process?

This will be a highly interactive workshop in which the HIF shares its findings to date and invites discussion and debate. The aim of this workshop is to bust myths and discuss the gritty reality of innovation efforts.


Menka Sanghvi – Innovation Manager – Humanitarian Innovation Fund

Passionate about people, and therefore about human-centred design, rapid prototyping, and systems thinking. I have over 10 years of global experience working across sectors on innovation projects that have a positive social impact.

Core skills:
– Research complex problems and find opportunities
– Design and facilitate multi-stakeholder innovation processes
– Build and manage a portfolio of project investments
– Support teams to prototype, iterate and scale
– Measure and evaluate social impact