Community led innovation
DEPP Innovation Labs in action © Start Network

Community-led innovation

We believe that people affected by crises are best placed to address their own needs. We aim to foster innovation at a local and community level, recognizing the innate innovation capacity that is within communities and support community innovators in developing and testing their solutions.

What is community-led innovation?

Community-led innovation is a user-centred design approach to humanitarian programming which puts communities at its heart. It recognises that local people are those best placed to come up with solutions to their own local problems, and supports them in developing the skills to do this. 

Start Network is making this happen through providing local people (such as community members, community-based organisations, or cooperative groups) with the space and resources to develop, test, adapt and scale their ideas. This could include creating community innovation spaces, giving financial support, or providing mentoring, coaching, and technical advice.

The Community-Led Innovation Partnership (CLIP)

Start Network is part of the Community-Led Innovation Partnership (CLIP), launched in 2020.

The programme aims to support the emergence and development of locally-driven solutions to humanitarian problems, identified by people affected by crisis and promoting a more locally-led approach to humanitarian innovation.  We are working with ASECSA (representing Start Network Guatemala Hub), Elrha, Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), Yakkum Emergency Unit (Indonesia), and the Center for Disaster Preparedness (the Philippines). We are documenting our journey to develop locally-led innovation initiatives on Medium.

Community-led innovation in our hubs

We are working with our local hubs to run community-led innovation initiatives in:

  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo – we are working with the DRC Hub represented by MIDEFEHOPS to run a community-led innovation initiative in North Kivu which will support communities to identify and develop ideas in response to problems linked to volcanic eruptions and other crises.
  • India – Seeds is leading the India Humanitarian Hub Innovation Initiative to transform humanitarian action through innovation, fast funding, early action, and localisation. The innovation initiative is supporting local innovators develop inclusive ideas that can tackle the climate crisis.

DEPP Innovation Labs follow-up research

The DEPP Innovation Labs programme ran from 2016 to 2019. It was based in community-centred innovation labs in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, and the Philippines and aimed to strengthen disaster preparedness and response. We are running a scaling fund initiative for some of the innovators who took part in the DEPP Labs to help them grow and spread their ideas. 

Guatemala hub and innovation

The Guatemala Hub works to support cohesive communities with mutual solidarity, and to participate in and actively advocate for their rights to humanitarian preparation and response.

Discover the individual innovations that are part of the CLIP

Learn more here

Latest news

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