Components of the Humanitarian Innovation Ecosystem


This is the second in a series of outputs from the DFID-funded project on the mapping of the humanitarian innovation ecosystem, which aims to deepen our understanding of how it operates in practice and to make recommendations as to how it might be improved to operate in a more efficient and effective manner.

This report aimed to generate a qualitative view from an informed sample of individuals with expert knowledge of innovation and innovation management within the humanitarian aid sector (and in doing so to help develop and test a framework for subsequent in-depth case studies examining specific sub-sectors of the humanitarian innovation ecosystem). Informants included senior staff in donor organisations, governmental and international agencies, NGOs, as well as management consultants, academics and private-sector suppliers. The sample was selected to be well informed rather than statistically representative. Semi-structured interviews employed a questionnaire based upon principal components thought to be important in developing a systems map of the humanitarian innovation ecosystem: Resources, Roles, Relationships, Rules, Routines, Results, Restrictions and Recommendations.

Observations (around 1,500 were recorded from the 46 in-depth interviews) received for each of the components are summarised by sections in the report. The interviewees were invited to participate under conditions of anonymity and we have liberally used direct quotes in order to convey their strength of feeling and to reduce the likelihood of misrepresenting their views. It should be emphasised that both the views expressed and the recommendations put forth are those of the interviewees and do not necessarily represent the views of the sponsors of this project or the researchers.


Rush, H.; Marshall, N.; Hoffman, K.; Gray, B.; Ramalingam, B.; Bessant, J. Components of the Humanitarian Innovation Ecosystem. CENTRIM, University of Brighton, Brighton, UK (2014) 58 pp.

Components of the Humanitarian Innovation Ecosystem

Published 1 January 2014