Thanks to the PDES Facebook page, I recently learned that UNHCR has a new Innovation Unit. Of course, if I had just read this Standing Committee document, I would have found out about it sooner! It was also hinted at in this news story about the UNHCR/NGO Consultations.
Their remit, according to the unit's (not yet officially launched) web site, is as follows:
UNHCR Innovation is a vocal advocate and curator of creative thinking, positive experimentation, and unconventional partnerships. Our work uses a three-pronged approach. WE AMPLIFY: showcasing innovations already happening in the field, we highlight good practices and lessons learned. WE CONNECT: in order to solve field-identified challenges, we link likeminded innovators within UNHCR and connect them to time, resources, and support. WE EXPLORE: to complement the abundant knowledge within UNHCR, we find specialists in the private sector, academia, and other organizations to share their own expertise. By strengthening the network of like-minded innovators across the agency and externally, UNHCR Innovation strives to create lasting space and time for critical thinking within UNHCR’s organizational culture and its work around the world.
For links to examples of innovative approaches, visit the unit's Facebook page. Additional thoughts about how to achieve innovation in the refugee sphere are provided in Alexander Betts' blog.
Other initiatives to promote innovation in the humanitarian field include the AidEx Aid Innovation Challenge and the Humanitarian Innovation Fund.
Tagged Publications and Web Sites/Tools.