Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks
HNPW 2023 (17-28 April 2023)

Session title: Innovation is dead! Long live innovation!
28 Apr 23 (09:30-10:30)
Focal points• Ms Helen Kearney, H2H Network, Danish Refugee Council (ShowEmail)
• Ms Hanna Sjödin, Switzerland (ShowEmail)
Reference networks and themesH2H
Register for outcomes and follow-up
 UTCTime at venueLanguage
28 Apr 23 (07:30-08:30)28 Apr 23 (09:30-10:30) English

Innovation must grow up if the humanitarian sector is going to transform itself.
Why are so many people saying “Innovation is a passing fad! Innovation labs have failed! Scaling solutions doesn’t work in humanitarian contexts!”

A decade on from our big drive for innovation and the bold statements in its support at the World Humanitarian Summit, aid practitioners are asking themselves what’s gone wrong. Why does it so often seem that innovation has failed to live up to its big promise to solve problems and drive vital improvements?

One thing for certain, there is no lack of big challenges ... adapting to climate change, localizing aid, and really utilizing complex new technologies. The good news is that there are innovators who are taking on these kind of complex, messy problems but their journeys are turning out to be very different from what innovators in the past have done.

It’s with this backdrop, that the H2H Network launched its USAID-funded Innovation Accelerator, exploring how pioneers of bigger, more systemic solutions are best supported to achieve success. Plot spoil… human-centred design of a lightweight pilot project isn’t getting them there.

In this panel, we will explore what that has meant for three complex innovation initiatives in the accelerator, and the H2H Network itself, to scaffold up the creation of bigger, more complex innovations.

The panel will be chaired by Hannah Reichardt, innovation coach for the H2H Accelerator. Panelists will represent H2H Network members who have participated in the H2H Innovation Accelerator, as well as a representative of the H2H Network itself.