Call for Innovations

Inclusive Response During Emergencies in India

The India Humanitarian Hub Innovation Initiative invites applications from organisations that are creatively working to make disaster response more inclusive. The aim of the initiative is to use local innovations and knowledge to drive humanitarian sector in India to a new level. Under the current call, we are seeking to support innovations that address the gaps in fostering an inclusive response.

Why are we doing this?

The climate crisis is a current reality and not just a fearful future. It has resulted in disasters becoming more frequent in occurrence, intensive in nature, and increasingly unpredictable. While large scale disasters might get some attention, unexpected, rapid-onset, and small to mid-scale disasters are largely invisible and hence underserved. Immediate response, which is assistance starting within days and extending to about 6 weeks, in such disasters require urgent attention.

Access and availability of safe evacuation, shelters, water, sanitation, hygiene, and health services are some of the immediate concerns for disaster hit communities. Populations that are at the intersections of discrimination due to gender, caste, occupation, sexual orientation, age, physical and mental ability need specific attention. These unmet needs present an opportunity to centre their experiences for developing innovative local solutions for ensuring inclusive and dignified response.

What do we mean by innovation?

Innovation is about more than new technology. While technology often drives innovation, we believe that innovation is a process of defining problems, adapting, and developing new context-based solutions, and taking them to scale. Good innovation has clear problem definition at its heart and requires us to reassess our basic assumptions, and commit to collaboration, learning and the generation of evidence. Innovative ideas come in all shapes and sizes, but we are primarily focused on the development of new products, services, and processes with the potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of disaster prevention, preparedness, and response.

We also lay strong emphasis on the involvement of the at risk population in the design, development and delivery stages, thus catering to a more informed and inclusive decision making.

Who are we looking for?
  • Teams who continuously question how to centre inclusion when responding in environments of scarce resources and acute needs.
  • Ideally a multi-disciplinary consortium of people or organisations having complementary skillsets – entrepreneurial spirit, robustness in research and community-first approach. (Wherever needed, we will help bring in the missing skillsets from the networks of the India Humanitarian Hub)
  • Diversity in teams. We encourage composition of team members from marginalised castes (SC/ST/OBC), genders, sexuality, religions, and abilities. We also strongly encourage partnering with grassroots innovators.
  • Ideas that have been formulated and tested on the ground. It is alright if these ideas haven’t been very successful so far! We value the drive and intent to make progress, despite hiccups.
  • Clearly defined social impact and sustainability of the solutions.
What are we offering
  • 4 – 6 teams will be provided a maximum of GBP 15,000 each as financial award.
  • Mentoring and hands-on support as per need.
  • Opportunity to network with stakeholders including non-profits, researchers, media, private and government agencies.
  • Visibility on various platforms to attract attention and future mileage.
Application Process

Call launch: 7 June 2022

Application Deadline: 30 June 2022 by 6:00 p.m IST.

Shortlisting of Applications: 12 July

Final round of Interactions: 18 – 22 July

Final innovators will be announced shortly after that!

Important Note: The lead agency, whether non-profit or enterprise, should be registered in India and must have requisite permissions to receive foreign grants.

Get in touch

If you have any further questions regarding the opportunity and the process, please contact Mridula Garg (mridula@seedsindia.org) with subject line “Innovations Call: Inclusive Response during Emergencies”

Who are we?

India Humanitarian Hub is an initiative to bring together local, national, and international humanitarian agencies operational in India, with a purpose of reflecting, mobilizing, and acting in ways that has never been done before and is beyond the scope and culture of the current humanitarian architecture. It aims to work on three core pillars a) Knowledge and Innovations, b) Localisation and c) New Financing Mechanisms.

The Innovation Initiative for the India Humanitarian Hub is being hosted by SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society). SEEDS is a not-for-profit organisation that enables community resilience through practical solutions in the areas of disaster readiness, response, and rehabilitation.

Start Network is made up of more than 50 aid agencies working in humanitarian response, ranging from large international organisations to national NGOs. Together, their aim is to transform humanitarian action through innovation, fast funding, early action, and localisation. These innovation awards are generously supported by the Start Network.