Aiming to improve the way the sector responds to emergencies.

Credit: Impact Hub

We exist to solve real, on-the-ground humanitarian problems.

Our aim is to complement traditional emergency response by adapting interventions and methods of relief operations to more effectively meet the needs of affected populations.

The Lab will develop, test and roll out proven concepts that overcome context-specific problems or barriers to aid delivery and community recovery. The Response Innovation Lab provides an inter-agency deployable team to set up a shared space which allows deeper problem solving in an emergency. On the ground amongst humanitarian agencies, innovations will work toward reducing the suffering of those affected by crisis and helping communities recover faster and build back better.


Demand-led change drives the way we work: developing a culture that supports innovation when and where it’s needed while being open to change, embracing experimentation and learning from failure. We intend to mitigate risk by being grounded in evidence, informed by operational excellence, and led by humanitarian principles.


We believe that by collaborating, together we can meet humanitarian needs and aspirations more efficiently and effectively. The Response Innovation Lab expects to speed up the innovation cycle in emergency settings, empower users to solve their own problems, support humanitarian operations and generate context-appropriate solutions, helping innovations achieve appropriate widespread use and sustainability.

To do this, the Lab collaborates with humanitarian staff and social entrepreneurs to gain meaningful and equitable access to platforms and spaces for humanitarian innovation. Innovation is enabled with locally driven problem identification, ideation, design and production of innovative products and services.


The Lab partners with international NGOs, academic institutions, governments, private sector, local and international innovators, and affected populations to improve humanitarian innovation knowledge, skills and practice, ensuring approaches that are effective, resilience oriented, safe and empowering.

"The nature of an innovation is that it will arise at a fringe where it can afford to become prevalent enough to establish its usefulness without being overwhelmed by the inertia of the orthodox system."
- Kevin Kelly