About the program

Team VipiCash at the Innovation Norway and UN Women hackathon in 2017. Photo: Innovation Norway
Team VipiCash at the Innovation Norway and UN Women hackathon in 2017.Photo: Innovation Norway

The Humanitarian Innovation Program grants funding and support to develop, test and scale new solutions that can contribute to a better and more efficient humanitarian assistance. The program facilitates collaboration with private sector in innovation processes. A call for proposals is published annually on this page. The next call will open in the end of May 2020. 

We support innovation projects led by humanitarian organisations where the expertise and technical know-how from the private sector is applied to find solutions to humanitarian challenges. The program supports both early stage innovation (Innovation Lab) and scaling and diffusion of solutions that have proven to be successful at the pilot stage (Scaling and Diffusion Program). Read more about the projects that have received funding here. 

The Humanitarian Innovation Program is a grant and support mechanism, fully financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and administered by Innovation Norway.



Who can apply?

  • UN agencies with a humanitarian mandate
  • Norwegian humanitarian organisations with an international mandate

The grant scheme aims to mobilise humanitarian-private partnerships. The humanitarian organisation/agency is the applicant and receiver of the grant. 


What are we looking for?
The Humanitarian Innovation program is looking for bold ideas that seek to improve resilience against natural disasters or improve humanitarian response in crises and conflict, specifically projects addressing issues related to

  • Protection: Humanitarian organisations’ efforts that contribute to protecting people from violence, abuse and violation of international law due to humanitarian crises. Applications focusing on protection from sexual and gender-based violence are encouraged.
  • Green humanitarian response: Humanitarian organisations’ efforts that contribute to more sustainable and more environmentally friendly solutions within humanitarian aid.
  • Cash transfer programming: Humanitarian organisations’ efforts to provide direct distribution of money rather than traditional relief items to people affected by crises.


NOK 30 million was allocated to innovation and scaling projects in 2019.

  • Applications for Innovation Lab projects may range from NOK 4-6 million (or up to NOK 8 million for multiagency projects with 3 or more agency partners)
  • Applications for Scaling & Diffusion projects may range from NOK 2-9 million.
  • The total funding allocated for each program is subject to applications received.

A call for proposals is published annually. The next call will be published on this website in the end of May 2020. See criteria below. These may be subject to small changes.