Habitat: ‘In partnership with families and volunteers worldwide’

A member of Habitat for Humanity helps build a house. As an ecumenical Christian housing ministry, Habitat for Humanity International seeks to eliminate poverty housing worldwide. Photo by: Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity was selected as a Devex Top 40 Development Innovator based on a poll of thousands of global development professionals who are part of Devex, the largest network of aid and relief workers in the world.

Announced on April 18, Devex Top 40 Development Innovators is an impressive listing of the world’s leading donor agencies & foundations, development consulting companies, implementing NGOs, and advocacy groups.

We asked each of the Innovators four questions to learn how they stay ahead to the curve and tackle old development challenges in new ways. Here’s how Habitat for Humanity responded:

‘As an ecumenical Christian housing ministry, Habitat for Humanity International seeks to eliminate poverty housing worldwide’

If you had to condense it to just one or two sentences, overall, what is it that makes your organization innovative?

As an organization with affiliated groups in nearly 80 countries worldwide, Habitat for Humanity has always sought to assist in providing local solutions to the housing needs of each individual community.

Can you provide a specific example of something your organization has done that is particularly innovative?

Habitat’s MicroBuild Fund aims to help provide funding and technical assistance for housing improvements around the world. One of the most effective ways to improve housing conditions for millions of families in developing countries is to provide access to financial services to build or upgrade their homes.

The fund will provide capital to microfinance institutions that in turn will make small loans available to combine with low-income families’ savings for housing improvements. It will also make capital available for financing ancillary housing needs such as water and sanitation installation, informal settlement upgrades and disaster mitigation wherever possible.

Looking ahead 10 years, what are some of the innovations in international development that your organization wants to be a part of?

The field of international development is about looking more toward holistic approaches. Habitat has already started and wants to continue down this path by focusing more on community development, secure tenure, water and sanitation — all the things that lead to a safe, more secure homes.

Through such platforms as its international volunteer engagement and disaster relief programs, Habitat strives to help raise awareness of the burden of poverty housing around the globe while pursuing truly sustainable community develop initiatives.

One factor in driving innovation at any organization is the talent you hire and the partnerships you make. How does your organization take into account innovation when it comes to cultivating talent and partners?

As a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry, Habitat for Humanity International seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. To accomplish this goal, people of all backgrounds, races and religions are invited to build and renovate homes together in partnership with families in need of shelter.

Having recently surpassed the 400,000th home built, rehabilitated or repaired in partnership with families and volunteers worldwide, Habitat has sought to be on the forefront of innovation in its approach to addressing the housing needs of individual communities.

Check out the full listing of all Devex Top 40 Development Innovators on Facebook.

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