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According to the World Risk Report in 2016, the Philippines is the third most vulnerable country to disasters. The country lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire where 80% of earthquakes occur, and the Metro Manila authorities are increasing preparations for the so-called ‘Big One’. According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the fault moves every 400 to 600 years. It last moved in 1658, or 360 years ago.

The CDP-ATIH-HIF convening initiative aims to bring together civil society with academe, government and the private sector to explore unsolved problems in earthquake resilience and response in the Greater Metro Manila Area (GMMA), and develop new solutions and partnerships. Focusing on community and household resilience, and key preparatory measures in areas such as water, food, logistics, coordination and communications, two planned workshops will provide a forum for individuals and organisations to further understanding of current problems and potential solutions through the use of innovation tools and techniques.

The innovation process enables people to take a step-back from their day-to-day jobs and think about how traditional approaches to humanitarian programming might be improved, and to bring together different sets of expertise to work on cross-disciplinary problems. We aim to complement and reinforce ongoing planning efforts at varying levels by supporting different actors to come together and consider the challenges to effective resilience and response from the ground up.

We invite applications to participate in the convening initiative from groups that hope to gain a better understanding of the problem that they are trying to tackle in order to develop new and improved products and services for humanitarian action. Please see below for further information on how to apply.

Our approach

Most of what we do is about solving different kinds of problems, whether that’s the humanitarian problems that define our purpose, or the operational problems that knock us off course in our day-to-day work. To be successful as individuals and organisations, we must constantly respond to problems and look for improvements in the way that we work and the outcomes that we deliver.

This often involves relatively minor corrections or adjustments to standard practice, but sometimes a failure to see the change that we want, a reassessment of our priorities, or a greater ambition might lead us to rethink ‘standard practice’ entirely. Innovative ideas come in all shapes and sizes, but we are primarily focused on the development of new products, services and processes with the potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of humanitarian preparedness and response.

We think innovation is about more than new technology. While technology often drives innovation, we believe that innovation is a process of defining problems, adapting and developing new context-based solutions, and taking them to scale. Good innovation has clear problem definition at its heart and requires us to reassess our basic assumptions, and commit to collaboration, learning and the generation of evidence. 

We are driven by a set of principles and ethical guidelines, which inform our approach at all levels. These principles include a commitment to involve users and crisis-affected populations in the design, development and delivery of new products and services, and to develop appropriate, rigorous and actionable evidence to inform decision making. We also aim to bring together the complementary expertise of people who don’t normally work with each other in order to inspire new thinking.

The humanitarian sector has always relied on the determination and ingenuity of those on the front line working to deliver life-saving aid to communities affected by conflict or natural disaster. But while reactive innovation has always been central to humanitarian action, the proactive application of innovation is relatively recent. By having a common platform to discuss problems, collaborate on solutions, and generate collective action, we aim to generate lessons for the systematic application, study and implementation of innovation for humanitarian action in the Philippines.

Webinar, October 2018 (Optional)

This webinar will provide an introduction to the initiative, including a briefing on the current context, aims and objectives, and an overview of the two planned workshops. We will also provide further information on the selection process and how to write a strong application.



 DAY 1

Understanding the Problem

After initial introductions, the focus of Day 1 will be to establish a baseline of existing knowledge about the problem within each team, and to look at root causes and contributing factors.

 DAY 2

Building a Challenge Brief

The Challenge Brief transforms understanding of a problem into an actionable project. On Day 2 we will help teams to consolidate your learning, define your Impact Goal and develop Design Criteria for your solution.

 DAY 3

Searching for existing solutions

With Design Criteria in place to help develop a solution, on Day 3 we will explore ways to identify whether a potential solution already exists elsewhere. Ahead of the second workshop teams will be expected to carry out this research, with limited expenses available for each team. 

 DAY 1

Adapting existing solutions and inventing new ones

For teams who have found an applicable solution, we will help you to analyse where the solution might need to be adapted, and how implementing organisations might need to change to accommodate it. Where existing solutions do not exist, we will seek to develop ideas of what a solution could look like.

 DAY 2

Building a strong partnership and developing joint proposals

Day 2 of the second workshop will focus on building strong multi-sectoral partnerships and developing proposals to take forward the planned solutions. We will help teams to align your aims and objectives, and to understand the components of a good funding proposal.

 DAY 3

Developing proposals and applying for innovation funding

On the final day we will look at various sources of funding for humanitarian innovation. We will show why funding for innovation is different to traditional funding sources in the humanitarian sector, and we will look at the similarities and differences in different application processes.


We are looking to select 6-8 teams to participate in both workshops. The application requires you to:

  1. Identify a specific problem that presents a gap or opportunity for innovation

  2. Make an informed assessment of the different sets of expertise that are required to understand and respond to the problem

  3. Provide the details of a further 2-3 people with demonstrated expertise in relevant areas who are committed to attending the workshops along with you as part of your team


Initial applications should be submitted by a ‘lead applicant’ who works for a relevant organisation, is passionate about the problem they are seeking to solve, and able to coordinate and bring together team members. The lead applicant and all team members must commit to attending both workshops, and to carrying out 1-2 days of research in-between.  


What is included in the package?

  • 2 x 3-day fully facilitated workshops at a venue in Quezon City, including refreshments and lunch

  • 2 nights’ accommodation with breakfast for those outside of Quezon City for each workshop

  • Up to 25,000 PHP to cover expenses related to research to be carried out in between the workshops (available on the provision of receipts)


What is not included in the package?

  • Evening dinner

  • Transport costs

Deadline for Submission (Extended): 

19 October 2018, Friday, 5:30 PM local time

Sign up for the webinar

If you or your organisation are interested in participating in this convening initiative, we recommend that you sign up to the webinar on 1 October 2018 to learn more.


Apply now 

If you are unable to attend the webinar, you are still welcome to apply. Our online application form is now online.


Get in contact

If you have any further questions, please contact: 

Jom Pineda

Center for Disaster Preparedness

+63 02 508 3633/ +63 917 822 7750


Mambwe Chella
Elrha’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund




The Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP) works with non-government organizations, people’s organization, communities, and government agencies at all levels to enhance their capacities in disaster prevention and mitigation, preparedness, emergency response, and rehabilitation and recovery.


The ADRRN Tokyo Innovation Hub (ATIH) was established in 2017 as a new function of the Asia Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN) to promote innovative activities of member NGOs and institutionalize innovation in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness within the network.


Elrha’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund supports organisations and individuals to identify, nurture and share innovative solutions to the challenges facing effective humanitarian assistance through the provision of grant funding for innovation and advisory support, capturing and sharing lessons learned, and fostering effective partnerships.

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