The Iraq RIL is a partnership initiative led and hosted by Oxfam in consortium with World Vision and the Global Response Innovation Lab. The objective of the Iraq RIL is to improve and transform how response, early recovery, and resilience building is carried out in Iraq by supporting innovations to solve locally-identified challenges.
The Iraq RIL offers three main functions:
1. To convene, coordinate and connect actors in Iraq around Innovations and act as a central hub for innovations providing advisory services and innovation expertise in-country. The Iraq RIL will bring together diverse actors (private sector, entrepreneurs, academics, NGOs, UN agencies etc) to collaborate on identifying field-based challenges and seek innovative solutions/approaches/methodologies to address them. As part of this convening function, the Iraq RIL has developed an ecosystem map which is a tool to help identify and connect different innovation actors and facilitate partnerships, collaboration, and coordination.
2. To match context-specific challenges with existing local or global proven solutions using the Lab Online Matchmaker Platform. The aim of the Matchmaker is to support the adoption of innovative practice proven elsewhere which meet challenges in Iraq and drive the development and growth of locally-led innovative solutions. Organizations or anyone interested in receiving support from the Lab for a specific problem can submit their challenge online via the matchmaker platform here https://responseinnovationlab.com/matchmaker/.
3. To provide dedicated funding and support: Access funding for testing, piloting and scaling your innovation through our Iraq RIL Innovation Fund, a funding mechanism dedicated to supporting innovative projects which fall within the key challenges /thematic identified by the IRIL.
In consultation with the humanitarian community, the Iraq RIL has identified the following challenge area that the Iraq Innovation Fund will support:
Returnees: How will the 1.9 million displaced people in Iraq return home or integrate into new communities? Returnees face a host of challenges. This includes receiving reliable information on available services, security in their area of origin, reconstruction and rebuilding plans, and the condition of their home.
Social Cohesion, Protection and Trust: In order to return home and begin to rebuild their lives, displaced people need to feel safe to do so. Given the fracturing of the social fabric by decades of conflict, social cohesion and building tolerance and trust are essential for lasting peace in Iraq.
Economic recovery: In an economy reliant on oil and imports, how can other sectors be rebuilt? How do we create sustainable and impactful interventions that create new jobs and build a durable economy.
WASH and Environment: climate change and drought, agriculture, access to sustainable and clean energy, solid waste management and water treatment are all important issues to be addressed in the Iraq context.
Other cross-cutting themes such as gender, information management, stakeholder coordination, and localization have also been raised by the humanitarian community as key challenges
A call for proposals to the Innovation Fund will be issued in early 2019 so, watch this space!
The Iraq RIL space
The Iraq RIL has its own facility which is a space of creativity and collaboration. Organizations or entrepreneurs with innovative projects and ideas can get access to our space to design and create their project. The Iraq RIL is scheduled to open in January 2019 and will be in Ainkawa Erbil.
If you have an innovation, a humanitarian challenge, want to use the Iraq RIL space or just learn more about the Iraq RIL – contact us!
You can download the State Innovation in Iraq Report here.
The development of the Iraq Response Innovation Lab has been informed by a study conducted in January 2018 by Oxfam and the Global Response Innovation lab on the state of innovations in Iraq which included secondary and primary research as well as one to one interviews with over 65 stakeholders.