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

Session title: The State of The Humanitarian Research and Innovation Ecosystem - First Look at Insights from a Multi-Level Global Consultation
27 Apr 23 (14:00-15:30)
Focal points• Mr Ziad Issa, United Kingdom (ShowEmail)
Reference networks and themesLocalization
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27 Apr 23 (12:00-13:30)27 Apr 23 (14:00-15:30) English

As part of this year’s Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks (HNPW) Elrha’s hosting a hybrid event to share emerging findings from its flagship initiative, the Global Prioritisation Exercise for Humanitarian Research and Innovation (GPE).

A recent analysis by Elrha revealed that global spending on R&I remains low, with a lack of coordination in aligning funding to the most pressing issues. To address these challenges, Elrha has launched a series of consultations, as part of the GPE, with a diverse range of stakeholders, including humanitarian practitioners, R&I actors, and funders working at the global, regional, national, and community levels to zoom in on different crises and draw insights into priorities. Informed by the findings from the multi-level global consultations, the event will explore issues and challenges confronting the sector, including:

• consideration of who has a seat at the decision-making table
• factors influencing priority-setting decisions
• why some issues and crises receive disproportionately more R&I attention than others.

Panellists will consider ways to overcome key challenges and how to transform the R&I sector to improve efficiency, equity and best inform humanitarian action.


The humanitarian system is facing increasing challenges and complexities as the number of people in need of humanitarian aid and protection continues to rise. According to the Global Humanitarian Overview, an estimated 339 million people will require assistance in 2023, with funding requirements estimated at $51.5 billion. Now more than ever, there is a need for the humanitarian system to become more agile, flexible, and responsive to achieve its objectives in identifying, preventing, mitigating and responding to humanitarian crises.

R&I play a critical role in the development and evolution of many professional sectors over time. The humanitarian sector is no exception. Despite an increase in attention and activity towards research and innovation within the humanitarian system, coordination mechanisms for humanitarian research and innovation priority-setting and funding remain inadequate, resulting in an underdeveloped R&I ecosystem.

To address this challenge, Elrha has launched the Global Prioritisation Exercise for humanitarian research and innovation (GPE). Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NL MFA), the GPE aims to improve outcomes for people affected by crisis by amplifying the impact of investments in R&I through understanding the priorities at all levels. This strategic initiative seeks to provide an overview of the status, structure and performance of the humanitarian research and innovation ecosystem and will ultimately establish a clear set of priority topics for R&I funding and attention.


Join us for a discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the humanitarian research and innovation system.

-          Introduction of the session and panellists

-          Opening remarks by Elrha CEO, Jess Camburn

-          Insights from Elrha's Global Prioritisation Exercise consultations

-          Interactive discussion

-          Q&A session

-          Closing remarks