Managing Humanitarian Innovation: The Cutting Edge of Aid

Managing Humanitarian Innovation: The Cutting Edge of Aid


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The challenges facing humanitarian logistics are huge. Refugee camps present enormously challenging environments in which sudden spikes in demand, difficult to access locations, disruptions due to conflict or disasters, as well as normal supply chain problems are commonplace. This means that orders for medical and other supplies can take weeks and sometimes months to fulfill, severely impeding humanitarian operations. There is also a lack of or slow adoption of technology routinely used elsewhere. In addition, humanitarian logistics are also expensive. When customs clearance, transportation, storage, middlemen and administration are added in, the costs of basic items are often exorbitant.

Managing Humanitarian Innovation presents a new approach that is beginning to transform the way humanitarian logistics are conducted. Innovation in logistics includes disrupting and improving supply chains through the use of technology, especially 3D printers, and engaging people to manage this approach. The book discusses what innovation is, and strategies for supporting it; it describes practical innovations and how they have been applied; and it outlines how innovation labs can be run. Finally it covers how to fund innovation and it suggests how humanitarian innovation might develop in the future.

This book brings together the real experience of practitioners who have made innovation work. It is a collaborative work written by and for the community of people involved in humanitarian innovation, in particular in the making and manufacturing of humanitarian supplies. The book is full of practical and actionable points of value to the humanitarian community.

Managing Humanitarian Innovation is essential reading for humanitarian practitioners as well as volunteers and others involved in humanitarian supplies provision. It is equally helpful to thought leaders, policy makers and educators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781853399541
Publisher: Practical Action Publishing
Publication date: 05/31/2018
Pages: 260
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x (h) x (d)

About the Author

Eric James has studied and worked in international development for over 10 years. He has managed emergency programs in Afghanistan, Albania, Burundi, Liberia and Sri Lanka, among other places.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Key concepts and definitions
2. A humanitarian innovation primer
3. The potential of innovation: Relief aid of the future
4. How change happens and the process of humanitarian innovation
5. Problems and potential
6. Innovation lifecycle and the missing middle
7. Complexity theory and humanitarian relief
8. Knowing for the twenty-first century: Reflexivity and rigour
9. The leadership and management of innovation
10. Understanding change: How does change happen?
11. Ethical and responsible use of ICT
12. Building partnerships for innovation (and resilience)
13. Influencing innovation adoption using the matrix of influence
14. Additive manufacturing and humanitarian aid
15. Humanitarian innovation labs: Bridging innovators and humanitarian challenges
16. Lessons learned from the Nepal innovation lab
17. Turning a conversation into an opportunity
18. Collaboration and the importance of process
19. Three-stage design process
20. Design identification: Planting the seeds of empathy
21. Open source 3D printing
22. Piloting 3D printing technology to increase access to prosthetic devices
23. Opportunities and challenges in the HELIOS project
24. The Tao of extreme making
25. Field Ready: Transforming aid worldwide
26. Q&A with experts in humanitarian innovation
27. Concluding thoughts on humanitarian innovation

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