How to do an innovation initiative right: Lessons from UNHCR

Model of a product that could provide information about UNHCR services to urban refugees gets a thumbs up from a Humanitarian Innovation Conference participant. Photo by: UNHCR Innovation

Chris Earney, co-leader of UNHCR Innovation, has quite a few things to be excited about these days. The first batch of iFellows — the first innovation fellowship program within the United Nations family — will graduate at the end of September. The U.N. refugee agency is also now preparing to manufacture what could be the next-generation shelters for refugees.

Born November 2012, UNHCR Innovation also has thriving partnerships. In fact, much of its work, as we’ve previously reported, involves collaboration with private organizations such as the Ikea Foundation, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard Co., as well as with academic institutions and other U.N. agencies.

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About the author

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    Ma. Eliza Villarino

    Currently based in New York City, Eliza is a veteran journalist focused on covering the most pressing issues and latest innovations in global health, humanitarian aid, sustainability and development. A member of Mensa, Eliza has earned a master's degree in public affairs and bachelor's degree in political science from the University of the Philippines.