The Humanitarian Innovation Lab

Led by Kristin Bergtora Sandvik
Apr 2015 - Dec 2015

The Humanitarian Innovation Lab is a multidisciplinary and applied shared initiative of NTNU and PRIO (2016-2020) with the purpose of generating research results and technical/system innovation suggestions.

The aim of this initiative is to contribute to the development of the knowledge of how ICT innovation can improve humanitarian action by exploring:

(a) Remote management /information infrastructure in refugee management.

(b) The role of CSR and humanitarian accountability objectives in furthering responsible and meaningful ICT innovation in the humanitarian market.

Our objective is to contribute to responsible innovation in the humanitarian sector by assisting in ICT problem formulation and to help develop a critical conversation in the emergent humanitarian innovation scholarship. We will do this by:

  • Mapping information systems.
  • Understanding how the objectives of humanitarian accountability and CSR contribute to relevant and responsible innovation and research (RRI).
  • Experimenting with new models for information management (not described here).

 The initiative will also contribute to:

  • Strengthen collaboration between academia and humanitarian practitioners.
  • Strengthen national research environments for innovation research.
  • Facilitate professional education of humanitarian workers through the establishment of a humanitarian innovation lab at NTNU.
  • Contribute to adapt the RRI framework to the emergent field of humanitarian innovation.

The Humanitarian Innovation Lab will disseminate information about its activities and make publications available through the PRIO website, the NCHS website and a designated project blogspot:

To reach the general public, we will submit op-eds to Norwegian newspapers. To reach humanitarian policymakers and scholars, we will submit our work to ODIs Humanitarian Exchange Magazine; The ODI blog ´The Humanitarian Space`, the ATHA.Se blog, Bistandsaktuelt and openDemocracy, among other. We will continue our conversations with Save the Children/IRIS, the ICRC and OCHA.

We will seek to actively contribute to the Norwegian discussions prior to the World Humanitarian Summit (2016). We will continue to be in direct dialogue with the Secretariat of the World Humanitarian Summit. NCHS will continue to engage and support with Norwegian humanitarian actors on the topic of humanitarian technology and innovation. We also plan to contribute to the evolving academic field of humanitarian studies at the the Oxford Innovation conference in July 2015 and the World Humanitarian Studies conference in Addis Ababa in October 2015.

Research Groups


Popular Article

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015) Conundrums in the Embrace of the Private Sector, ATHA.SE.

Conference Paper

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016) ‘Now Is the Time to Deliver’: Understanding Humanitarian Innovation as Buzzword , presented at The World Conference on Humanitarian Studies on Changing Crises and the Quest for Adequate Solutions, Addis Ababa, 05/03/2016.

PRIO Policy Brief

Fladvad Nielsen, Brita; Kristin Bergtora Sandvik & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert (2016) How Can Innovation Deliver Humanitarian Outcomes?, PRIO Policy Brief, 12. Oslo: PRIO.

Past Events