Welcome to the Matchmaker

A project born from Response Innovation Labs around the world. The Matchmaker program seeks to connect humanitarian problem holders with tested solutions. The project is being piloted in Jordan and is available to any organisation that is open to solving problems in new and innovative ways.

What is the Matchmaker?

The Matchmaker is a new online platform developed by the Response Innovation Lab. It aims to connect challenge holders in the humanitarian sector with tested innovations.

Currently, the program is available to any organization open to solving challenges in a new and innovative way in the five countries where RIL is operational: Iraq, Jordan, Puerto Rico, Somalia, and Uganda. Users of the service can be humanitarian organisations, government ministries, private sector, CBOs, social enterprises or any organisation that is interested to use new solutions to solve humanitarian challenges. 

The Matchmaker has been piloted in the five RIL country labs since the beginning of 2018 and the organisation now needs to further build this service and its products. The Matchmaker is currently being delivered free of charge with support from DEPP Innovation Labs, Start Network and DFID.

Steps to the Matchmaker

  1. Read the details, criteria for entry, and expectations below, as well as our terms and conditions.
  2. Fill out the Matchmaker Application.
  3. Immediately, you will receive a brief composed of your responses and match criteria for your record.
  4. Within a month, our team will evaluate the application and decide if it meets the criteria for entry. The problem will either be accepted into the Matchmaker program or denied.  On approvala customized resource package (see sample below) will be built for you and we will put you in touch with contacts that may assist in helping solve the problem or build the given innovation.
  5. After three weeks, we will send a follow-up feedback survey. We highly value constructive feedback and understand that this is an iterative process. Please take the time to fill this out – it is an expectation of you as you participate in the Matchmaking process.
  6. After 3-6 months, we will send another survey to gather feedback on your Matchmaking experience and also expect you to complete this survey as a participant in the Matchmaking process.

Matchmaker Details:

Timing of Solutions:

The Matchmaker will aim to deliver your resource pack within a month of submission. For more niche challenges, this process may take longer. We will update you after week 1 to provide a more defined timeline.

You will receive options, not an answer:

The Matchmaker is designed to select from and filter opportunities giving you a range of potential solutions to your humanitarian challenge. 

We will contact you through the process:

We may need more information from you and may contact you to clarify details. Where possible, specify how much time you may be able to spend on the process. If you do not want to be contacted – this may lower the quality of outputs we can produce.

You are required to conduct due diligence on potential solutions:

The Matchmaker provides options we think are credible but the responsibility for making a match and implementing a solution is yours.

New opportunities may not have a solution:

For some more unique challenge spaces, there may not be an appropriate solution. Where this is the case, the Matchmaker will detail how it came to this conclusion and offer possible next steps.

We will provide connections where possible:

Where possible we will help to connect you to the solution providers we identify but we will not have a relationship with every solution we identify.

Don’t go into this process assuming we will find an answer:

This is a new process and there may not be an answer to your challenge, or there may be multiple answers that you need to make a decision on.

Your challenge may not be accepted:

If it is not deemed to meet our criteria or if we need more information, we will deny your application and inform you why and what might be done.

We will publish your results:

We want the Matchmaker to help not only its clients, but the humanitarian sector in general. Two months after the process, both your problem definition and elements of your resource pack will be posted on our website but without your name or organizational affiliation so others can learn from this. We will make sure to review any posting with you before it is published to give you the chance to remove any language you feel does too much to identify your organization. You can of course, give us permission to publish organizational details if you would like to.

Feedback is required:

We value constructive criticism as we try to develop and improve the Matchmaker. Users of the service will be expected to engage in 2 brief surveys – conducted online, over the phone or face to face. The first survey will be conducted immediately after the process is complete and the second in a further 3-6 months to help us understand what works well and what can be made better

Multiple submissions:

You can go through the Matchmaker with more than one challenge but each challenge will be assessed on its own merits

Terms of engagement with RIL:

The Matchmaker is meant to identify potential solutions to your problem. We will talk you through these solutions in detail but do not currently offer any implementation or deployment support

Criteria For Entry:

We do our best but our Matchmaker program isn’t suited for everyone. The program will not work for you if:

  • You need a solution in under 4 weeks time – we require 4 weeks from the time the proposal template has been submitted
  • You want a single recommendation – we offer a range of solutions that will match your need but we do not specifically recommend or endorse a single option
  • You want us to help you implement it – we do not provide any implementation support, we only suggest possible solutions.

The rest of the criteria are scored by the team and the final decision is made in consultation with team members.

If you are not selected to go through the process, we will always provide you with our reasoning and in some cases, it may be possible to alter your own criteria to get it selected or, where there are capacity issues, to delay selection for a period of time.


Here are important guidelines you should understand before you begin the Matchmaker application:

Is Matchmaker the right fit for your problem? 

The Matchmaker is meant to identify potential solutions to your humanitarian problem. We will talk you through these solutions in detail, but do not currently offer any implementation or deployment support.

After you submit your application you will receive a brief of your problem. If you are approved for the Matchmaker program, you will receive a resource package identifying possible solutions. We aim to deliver your resource package within a month of application submission. We will contact you after a week if we believe for any reason that the resource package will take longer.

We will likely contact you within the month timeline to gather more information and clarify details to find an optimal solution.

When possible we will help to connect you to the identified solution providers, but we do not have a relationship with every solution holder identified.

You will be expected to conduct your own due diligence on the potential solutions. The Matchmaker provides options for a match, but you must own the match.

We may not accept your challenge if it does not meet our criteria for entry defined below. If this is the case, we will provide you with a reason.

We believe in the process of ongoing improvement and the importance of your feedback. Users of Matchmaker will be expected to engage in 2 brief surveys. One survey will follow 3 weeks after completing the application and the second would be after 3-6 months.