The Two Worlds of Humanitarian Innovation

This working paper by Dr Alexander Betts and Louise Bloom (Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford) examines the increasinngly important role that innovation is playing in humanitarian practice.




In this respect, the authors identify two worlds of humanitarian innovation: humanitarian actors have traditionally resorted to a "top-down" approach to innovation, designing solutions for improving institutional responses and organisational effectiveness. However, the authors argue there is a "bottom-up" approach to innovation which has not yet been integrated into the humanitarian community. This approach focuses on aid beneficiaries rather than aid providers, and involves recognizing and engaging the skills, talents and aspirations of local communities.

Drawing on innovation theory, design theory and participatory approaches to development, the paper seeks to define an applied research framework for humanitarian innovation which can provide a basis for "bottom-up" humanitarian policy and practice.

  • Last updated on: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by: arturorago
  • Category: Publications
  • Views: 864