We often talk about innovation being a survival issue - but in the context of humanitarian aid it takes on a very literal meaning. Crises, whether natural or man-made, require rapid problem solving if agencies and aid workers are to avoid the huge negative impacts of such disasters.
For a long time humanitarian innovation (HI) took place in a responsive mode, often on an ad-hoc basis; the focus was on the innovations themselves rather than looking for an underlying process which could be mobilised to generate a steady stream of solutions and enable learning between projects. But these days there’s widespread recognition of the importance of learning to manage innovation as a repeatable process, one which builds an important capablility which (sadly) we’re likely to need in the future.
In this interview Abi Taylor shares some of her experiences working as Innovation Manager with ELRHA’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund.