Humanitarian Innovation Funding Mapping:
A Framework Towards Humanitarian Equity
Keywords:humanitarian innovation, innovation funding mapping, local innovators, Global North, Global South, humanitarian innovation funders, innovation call and award, Silicon Valley
Deep-rooted colonialism is one of the most significant problems plaguing the humanitarian sector today. Humanitarian innovation in the Global North is associated with multiple approaches such as human-centred design, lean start-up and integrated innovation. These approaches are heavily influenced by Silicon Valley concepts based on market-based ideologies emphasizing technology, access, economic efficiency, business models and potential for scaling up geographical breadth. Using these concepts of innovation exclusively without being inclusive of a more globally informed approach widens the gap of existing inequity. Having dominant innovation funding largely committed to and from organizations in the Global North systematically fuels existing inequality gaps. In view of this, humanitarian innovation funders are constantly challenged to reflect on how they perpetuate a system of inequity and what they can do to change it. This is largely responsible for the sector-wide transition in the last decade in focusing on innovation in humanitarian response. Auspiciously, humanitarian innovation has been one emerging way to solve humanitarian problems. However, innovators are largely from Global North, which does not give room for innovators from Global South to emerge with locally driven solutions. As a result, several innovative approaches to global humanitarian challenges have emerged in various sectors with dominance in technology, health, education, and climate change.
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