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About the programme

Group of people smiling© CARE
The Humanitarian Innovation Programme team visiting innovation projects in Uganda. Here together with CARE in Kyangwali refugee settlement where CARE and private partners are developing a concept for a sustainable refugee settlement.
The Humanitarian Innovation Programme is Norway’s flagship effort supporting humanitarian innovation, anchored in the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s humanitarian strategy. Since 2018, the Programme has supported 58 innovation projects and taken a leading position in facilitating innovation partnerships across the humanitarian and private sector.

Who we are

We believe that innovation and cross-sectoral partnerships are essential to address current and future humanitarian needs. Well rooted in Norway’s humanitarian strategy, the Humanitarian Innovation Programme is set up to support and de-risk innovation partnerships between humanitarian organisations and private companies. The programme is administered by a core team at Innovation Norway with specialised expertise on humanitarian-private innovation partnerships and needs-based innovation processes.

We support projects that:

  • Respond to the needs of people affected by humanitarian crises and involve them throughout the innovation process
  • Are seeking partnership with private sector actors to develop and scale innovative solutions
  • Have a high level of innovation
  • Focus on new approaches and business models to support the sustainable uptake and scale of the innovations

What we do

We support innovation projects with flexible grant funding, advisory and access to a wide network of fellow humanitarian innovators.

The programme has an annual call for proposals that is launched in the spring. Through the call, humanitarian organisations can apply for grant funding for innovation projects seeking the expertise and know-how from the private sector. Organisations can apply for either early-stage innovation projects or scaling of existing innovations.

In addition to the grant funding, we develop new tools, reports and resources on various thematic areas like innovation-friendly procurement, scaling and business modelling tailored to humanitarian contexts. The projects we support also get access to a large network of fellow humanitarian innovators across the humanitarian and private sector.

As a leading donor to humanitarian innovation, we take an active part in the global dialogue around how we can foster solid innovation partnerships in the humanitarian sector for bigger impact. We advise key stakeholders, build networks and collaborations between humanitarian and private actors, and guide the partnerships we support through the process of implementing and scaling new solutions.

Read more about the projects that have received funding here.

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