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Louise Bloom writes for the Humanitarian Innovation Project Blog about recent publication 'The two worlds of humanitarian innovation'

A young Ugandan woman stamps expiration dates on the bottom of hand-packaged MakaPad packets UNHCR / K Mahoney / 2013
A young Ugandan woman stamps expiration dates on the bottom of hand-packaged MakaPad packets

We recently published our work-in-progress on the emerging ‘two worlds of humanitarian innovation’. One world that is traditionally ‘top-down’ in nature, mainly focusing on finding ways to improve organisational responses, and the other, less recognised world of ‘bottom-up’ innovation. This other world is a “potential way to engage the skills, talents and aspirations of so-called beneficiary populations, and thereby nurture self-reliance and sustainability”. At the core of my research within the project we are finding both opportunities and barriers that affected populations face in creating their own solutions. In a humanitarian crisis, new ways to foster these bottom-up innovations and overcome some of the barriers must be considered.

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