Substudy – Innovation Humanitarian Assistance

The Netherlands set innovation as a priority to address growing and increasingly complex humanitarian needs. This literature review has looked into the added value that innovative approaches bring to the pursuit of Dutch policy objectives. What are effective ways for the Netherlands as donor and diplomatic actor to promote innovation?

Based on assessed literature, the study has come up with a set of strategic recommendations for donors:

  1. Collaboration
    Ensure stronger coordination, knowledge exchange, and bundling of resources for innovation within the humanitarian sector between donors, innovators, humanitarian organisations, and private sector actors.
  2. Accountability to affected population
    Ensure active participation and inclusion of affected populations in innovation agendas and processes.
  3. Strengthening the evidence base
    Facilitate evidence-based approaches and data-driven decision-making. Research and evaluations are essential.
  4. Funding
    Increase the quality and quantity of funding going to innovation actors. Common pooled funds are expected to deliver more on innovation than one-off ad hoc support of individual donors. Steer funding towards innovations explicitly catering to the needs of affected populations.

This substudy was conducted by the United Nations University at Maastricht University on behalf of IOB. The views, findings and conclusions as expressed in this report are the responsibility of the authors.