Global Meeting on Innovation in Humanitarian Action

The Global Meeting on Innovation in Humanitarian Action, organized by the International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Solferino Academy and hosted by the Qatar Red Crescent, gathered over 130 people from 50 National Societies from October 6 to 8 in Doha.

Shaun Hazeldine, Head of Innovation and Futures on the IFRC, explained that the discussions and workshops went around top innovative topics like forecast-based action, innovative and disaster risk financing, digital identity, data literacy, the use of cutting-edge technology (virtual reality, 3D printers, artificial intelligence); and transformation projects happening in the National Societies. For example, the British Red Cross presented MapSwipe, developed in support of the Missing Maps Project. The mobile app allows users to remotely contribute to humanitarian missions by identifying and locating people who need help, through satellite images.

Human center-based solutions, cutting-edge technology, and processes’ innovation were the common discussions among these days. Anderas Hjorth Frederiksen, Head of Innovation at the Danish Red Cross, mentioned on this interview, that one of his takeaways is understanding other perspectives of innovation “We talk about Innovation as something where we need to create new ideas, new technologies, but sometimes innovation is just to removing obstacles, making things simpler.”  Also, Heather Leson, Data Literacy Lead at the IFRC, stated in an interview that the challenge is “to keep building projects together because humanitarian response needs it.”

Check more about other projects like the use of affordable prosthetics to people in need by the Norwegian Red Cross, the 21 initiative an accelerator for social innovators and entrepreneurs from the French Red Cross, and many other insights from the participants, following the hashtag #RedInnovation on Twitter.

The IFRC’s Global Innovation Team promotes and develops strategies and tactics aimed at transforming business as usual. The objective is to localize a range of innovation and futures approaches ensuring that organizations and programs remain agile while cultivating an anticipatory mindset to meet the needs of vulnerable communities. Find out more about the projects currently in practice on the Innovation and Futures webpage.

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