Read up on frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers about the Humanitarian Innovation Programme.
Can private companies apply for the grant?
Companies do not qualify to receive this grant. Only UN agencies with a humanitarian mandate and Norwegian humanitarian organisations can receive the grant. Collaboration with the private sector is however a prerequisite to receive the grant, but the grant applicant must be the humanitarian organisation/UN agency.
What qualifies as a Norwegian humanitarian organisation?
The organisation must be registered in the Brønnøysund Register, have an office in Norway and a Norwegian Board. The organisation must have a humanitarian and international mandate to qualify for the grant scheme.
We are a humanitarian organisation/UN agency with an ongoing innovation project, and we have already found our private sector partner. Do we qualify for this grant?
You qualify for the grant if you can document that the market dialogue process has been an open, competitive and transparent process of finding the right partner.
The general requirements state that the project should have a direct impact on people affected by humanitarian crises. Within green response it is often a more collective, long term outcome. How does this requirement fit with green response?
Yes, with green response the impact is not always immediate and direct. Within green response we will encourage to include users/affected populations in the innovation process. It is important that the solutions are designed with and for the users and we recommend that you try to define the possible long-term impact this can have for affected people.
The call encourages to share information across disciplines, sectors and organisations. How would you like us to share the information?
How you choose to share the lessons learned, successes and failures from the projects is up to each organisation. One of the projects we supported last year created a website to share information, and others shared learnings through their organisation’s webpage, across agency networks, social media etc.
What do you mean by tech agnostic? Does the program support the development of non-tech solutions?
By tech agnostic we mean that we do not focus on, or favor, specific technologies. We want the innovation process to be open by starting with defining the need, and then develop a solution that addresses the need in the best way. If the best way is technology, that is fine. If it is a non-tech solution that is fine too!
In the call you encourage joint applications from collaborating humanitarian organisations. Can the other humanitarian partner be an international sister agency etc??
Yes, and then the grant holder and project leader must be either a Norwegian humanitarian organisation or a humanitarian UN agency.
How many agencies are needed to qualify for the multi-agency proposals?
3 or more humanitarian organisations/agencies.
Is there a limit to how many applications an organisation can submit?
There is not a limit to how many applications an organisation can submit. However, if an organisation wants to submit several applications, we recommend that you do an internal prioritisation and select the projects that are most feasible and that could achieve transformational impact.
How long should a project last for?
The projects can last for up to two years (24 months) from the date the grant acceptance offer is signed.
Does the program prioritise any specific geographical regions?
Can the project we submit be part of a larger project?
Yes, it can. In these cases, we recommend that you define the part of the project where the HIP funds can contribute.
If we get funding in 2021, can project implementation start in 2022?
You are free to decide when you will start the project, but the project period is two years from the date the grant acceptance offer is signed.
Which currency will the funding come in?
The funding will come in Norwegian Kroner (NOK).
Will projects that address two or three of the focus areas be prioritised?
Qualified applications meet at least one of the three focus areas.
Are there natinoality requirements for the private sector partnership?
Is there a word or PDF version of the application form we can use to write the applications before filling them in to the online application portal?
Yes, you can download a word document here. Please note that all applications must be submitted through the online application form to be considered.
Can the deadline be extended?
No - all applications must be submitted through the electronic application portal before the deadline 25 June 2021, 4 PM CEST.
Do we need to have a defined partner when we apply for the Innovation Lab?
No, we prefer that you do not have a partner at the time of submitting your proposal, but you have an intent to form a partnership. 30% of the grant in the Innovation Lab will go towards doing a needs assessment and finding the right partner through a transparent, open and competitive process.
How do you want us to mobilise private sector in the market dialogue phase?
We encourage you to mobilise private sector through dialogue sessions, workshops, 1-1 meetings etc. It is important that everyone receives the same information, and we also encourage that you do a combination of in-person meetings as well as virtual info sessions to reach out to a global audience. Read more about how the DIGID project did their market dialogue here.
What was your experience with the Innovation Lab projects last year?
One of the projects that received funding in 2018 is the DIGID project, which is a joint project between Norwegian Red Cross, Norwegian Church Aid, Save the Children Norway and Norwegian Refugee Council. They started the process by exploring what solutions exist today, and what will be possible in the years to come. They arranged 4 virtual marked dialogues and one on-site meetup. Through this process they cast the net quite wide and were able to talk to 50-60 companies globally. This helped the project to formulate the problem statement in a better way. They also received support from innovation advisors and innovative procurement advisors along the way. The DIGID project recommends exploring innovative procurement procedures at an early stage of the project.
In the Innovation Lab the process could end in a procurement of an existing innovative solution, or it could lead to the development of a new solution. How does a development track differ from procuring an innovative solution?
We would like the organisations to go through an open, transparent and competitive needs assessment and market dialogue. If the marked dialogue shows that a suitable solution already exists, you can do a procurement of an existing innovative solution. If after a thorough needs assessment and dialogue with the market it has become clear that your need cannot be covered by existing solutions, it may be relevant to develop new solutions together with suppliers. There are several methods you can use to complete such development processes. Read about the methods here.
Do we need an existing partner in the Scaling and Diffusion Programme?
Yes, there needs to be a formalised partnership for the Scaling and Diffusion Programme.
Does the match funding have to come from the private partner in the project – because that might make it difficult for us to work with small startups who do not have the match funding?
The match funding does not have to come from the private partner in the project. The funding can come from impact investors, foundations, philanthropic contributions or other parts of the private sector. Example: One of the scaling projects who was granted funding last year got their match funding from their private partner and a lottery company.
Can the match funding be in-kind?
The funding granted from The Humanitarian Innovation Programme must be matched 1-1 with private capital. The private capital can come from sources such as investment funds, philanthropic funding, shareholders within the private company partner(s), loans and guarantees etc. This can include in-kind donations. However, we are looking for innovative financing solutions and new ways of working with investors and other partners, so an element of “hard capital” and/ or innovative business models will strengthen the application.
What can the private match capital be spent on?
The objective of private-public matching of funding is to increase overall funding to innovation and test innovative financing mechanisms within the humanitarian sector. The grant and matched funding shall cover costs related to diffusion and scaling of the solutions, including procurement and/or implementation of the solution, as well as testing of route(s) to scale in search of a viable and sustainable scaling model.