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 service being piloted in Jordan and Somalia. Its intention is to provide impartial and independent advice on solutions for challenges being pioneered in the humanitarian sector.

It is available to any organization open to solving challenges in a new and innovative way. Users of the service can be agencies, government ministries, corporates, CBOs or social enterprises. Users should be looking to deliver solutions quickly to those who can use it.

As a pilot service, the matchmaker is 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. 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 rejection, you will receive a composed brief with your application’s summary and reasons why the problem was denied. On approvala resource package 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Please read about our expectations before beginning the Matchmaker Application.

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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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


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

In order to do this most effectively and based on our small team, we have put some selection criteria in place. We currently have three red lines. The service 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 – The Matchmaker does not currently offer any implementation support


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.

Once accepted, users can expect the following from RIL:

  • Support and consultation in framing your problem

  • Review of your opportunity by at least one technical expert

  • A resource package with ideas, connections, products and an ecosystem map

  • A call with the team to review the resource package and discuss next steps

In addition, we also expect users to help us improve on proving the value of the Matchmaker model and improving it. Therefore, we want to work with users that:

  • Have the passion and enthusiasm to change the way opportunities are met in the humanitarian space

  • Can give 2-3 hours to complete the Matchmaker Application (including the initial application and future calls to gather more information as necessary)

  • Can make themselves available during the process to field questions from our team

  • Can be accurate in defining the parameters of the opportunity including, to the best of your ability, budget and capacity to implement 

  • Commit to providing feedback on the process immediately after completion and 3 month hence

"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