Fostering innovation in the humanitarian sector

Start Labs is a collectively-owned incubator that aims to foster innovation in the humanitarian sector. It supports the development and piloting of new solutions to enable earlier, faster and more effective response to humanitarian crises.


Catalysing change for greater impact

When crisis strikes, solutions are all too often late, insufficient, poor quality or absent. We want that to change. We want to see innovation, both radical and incremental, because we want to strengthen the aid system, making it proactive and flexible in its approach and therefore more effective and efficient.


Developing and testing new humanitarian solutions

We trial new ways of working before introducing them to the field. Innovations we invest in can be taken to scale by our members and their local partners. Support from our members means we have a higher tolerance for risk and can explore opportunities that individual NGOs would not be able to approach by themselves. Below we explain more about the innovations we have launched and ones in development.

Latest news

News Article

Innovative insurance cover to help drought-hit communities in Africa

Humanitarian agencies are setting up innovative climate risk insurance policies to protect up to 1.3 million people in West Africa from catastrophic drought. Read more. 


Blog Post

What makes a good innovator?

The first of a 3 part blog series reflecting on the experiences of the DEPP Labs themselves. In this piece, Scarlett Sturridge explores some of the personal traits and skills required to make a successful innovator.


Blog Post

Learn at the 2018 Assembly: Risk Financing

Disaster risk financing and drought financing - all tools that we want to incorporate into the way humanitarian aid is managed. These will help us literally insure against damages to human life if a disaster was to strike.


Blog Post

The African Risk Capacity Replica

What are the significant challenges that humanitarian organisations face today when responding to disasters?


OUR PARTNERS and funders

Helping us catalyse change in the sector

Helping us scope, develop and pilot innovations.

Further Information

Find out more about Start Labs