LONDON, 21 May 2012 (IRIN) – A sturdy wheelchair specially designed for emergency situations; a network of local radio stations providing real-time mapping of developing crises; a compendium of ideas for getting better accountability in remotely managed programmes – they are all original ideas and all have been funded from a special pot of money created to foster new thinking in humanitarian practice.
The Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) was set up just over 18 months ago, with money from the UK’s Department for International Development, the Swedish Foreign Ministry and the Canadian International Development Agency. It has so far given six small grants (up to US$32,000) and eight large grants (up to $238,000). Its manager, Nicolas Kroger, says what they have been trying to do is not just give grants, but also learn about innovation. “We are interested in `How do you innovate?’ and `What brought you to innovate?’ In a way the grant-making is just an excuse for the rest.”
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