The challenge consists of developing innovative solutions for the delivery of humanitarian aid based on frugal application of advanced technologies.
The European Union and its Member States are major humanitarian donors. Humanitarian crises and disasters have increased in number, complexity and severity over the last 25 years. Given the scale of today’s crises and disasters, funding to cover humanitarian needs cannot keep up. The humanitarian system is being challenged to do more, for more people, and at greater cost. Cooperation between international organisations and NGOs responding to crises, end-users and local actors, research and scientific communities and the private sector is crucial in this respect. Introducing innovative solutions for the delivery of humanitarian aid could help enhance the humanitarian response, which is particularly important for those in a most vulnerable situation.
Solutions should be developed through a frugal innovation approach, and should be novel and based on advanced technologies and services, demonstrating the added value and potential of one or more advanced technologies (not only limited to Information and Communication Technology). Tested and proven in humanitarian aid delivery, these solutions should be safe, scalable, resource-sustainable, replicable and usable in other contexts.
Innovative solutions should be inclusive, i.e. co-created and developed by different stakeholders with local actors, and accessible to a large number of people in a given context of humanitarian aid delivery settings.
The specific rules of the contest will be published in the fourth quarter of 2017 by the European Commission, which will directly launch and manage the contest and award the prize based on the judgement of independent experts. The indicative budget for this prize is €5 million from the 2020 budget. This is expected to be allocated in five awards of €1 million, each in a different area such as shelter, water and sanitation, energy, heating or cooling, food, hygiene and medical care.
More cost-effective, more sustainable and higher-quality innovative solutions, leading to an optimised use of humanitarian funding and an enhanced response to urgent needs in a humanitarian aid settings, notably for those in a most vulnerable situation, in areas such as shelter, water and sanitation, energy, heating or cooling, food, hygiene and medical care.
Illustration Photo: For Badam-Ochir and his wife Bolortuya, who make a living from herding goat and sheep in eastern Mongolia, knowing the weather forecast is a matter of survival. In the winter, the temperatures here can drop to minus 40 degrees – an extreme climate for which one needs to plan ahead, for their own family but also for their herd, which often roams far away in the steppe, and which they therefore need to bring back close when the weather threatens. Thanks to a disaster preparedness project funded by the EU, they now have the necessary information at their fingertips via an SMS service which provides them with a bi-weekly localised weather forecast, as well as information on snow depth and pasture degradation, helping them better manage their herd. “We are nomads, we change locations at least four times a year, explains Badam-Ochir. This service is extremely useful as it is accessible anywhere, anytime. We take real time decisions thanks to this”. Overall, the project will reach 6700 herders in Mongolia. (© 2018 European Union (photographer: Pierre Prakash) / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))