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THE GLOBAL HUMANITARIAN LAB IS A unique PARTNERSHIP BRINGING TOGETHER affected communities, HUMANITARIANS, the PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTORS WITH THE GOAL OF working on common challenges to increase efficiency and impact through bottom-up innovation


The world is witnessing extraordinary humanitarian situations affecting millions of people.  The humanitarian sector is expected to address prolonged displacement, fill gaps in social safety nets, promote preparedness, cope with urban violence, and face climate-driven crises.  While needs are skyrocketing resources to address them are not, creating significant shortfalls. 



There are innovative ideas emerging to solve these problems especially in the fields of big-data, digital fabrication, education, energy, health, robotics, sanitation, shelter and water. However, without global collaboration, across numerous sectors and partners, the potential impact of these ideas is lost: stuck in development, unfunded, or duplicated unknowingly across organisations, wasting resources and time.

THE GHL offers practical ways to incubate, fabricate, prototype and accelerate innovative solutions with, For and by disaster affected communities 


Our Functions

FACILITATE: we bring together a range of partners to accelerate ethical humanitarian solutions

Foresight: we scan for opportunities created by the 4th industrial revolution and explore how the humanitarian sector could implement them

Collaborate: we work in the open, share learnings and co-create to avoid silos, duplication and fragmentation

Aggregate: we aggregate needs and demand to create economies of scale and increase return on investment

Accelerate: we accelerate THE adoption, development and scaling of INNOVATIVE solutions through new funding streams AND RISK-OUTSOURCING



The GHL focuses on three key areas

Foresight & Futures

Mapping & analysing future opportunities & needs for the humanitarian sector. 

Bottom-Up Innovation

Enabling field-level innovation by humanitarian actors and affected communities.


Identifying and breaking down the barriers to innovation in the humanitarian sector. 



The GHL is administratively hosted as a partnership programme within the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)



The Governing Board is composed of representatives from each of the founding governments and humanitarian organisations. The Board Chair is Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The GHL Steering Committee is constituted of the heads of innovation units of the founding humanitarian organisations.   Together, the Steering Committee members identify innovation challenges, share information, set the agenda of the GHL and collaborate on joint projects.

Founding Governments 

Supporting Governments 

SUPPORTING organisations 



join us

If you would like to find out more about our projects, or learn how you can support our work, please get in touch.

Email: |  Geneva: +41 79 616 91 46

If you have an innovative idea or solution you would like to submit to the GHL please follow this link