Contribution "WFP Humanitarian Innovation Accelerator"

Contract partner: WFP - World Food Programme Country: Entwicklungsländer, unspezifisch Funding amount: € 1.000.000,00 Project start: 01.12.2022 End: 31.12.2024

Short Description:

Overall goal

To enable humanitarian innovation and improve the lives of vulnerable communities, the Humanitarian Innovation Accelerator will:

- Identify high impact ventures, which are working on innovations addressing the prioritized challenges published in a call for innovations.

- Design, deliver and manage an acceleration programme that will connect selected ventures with funding, knowledge, and networks

that may help them move along their pathway to scale in a sustainable way.

- Create collaborative spaces that promote new private-public collaborations.

- Track the increased adoption of the innovations and their intended impact.

- Attract funding from multiple donors and enable funding to humanitarian innovation ventures.

Expected results

Overall, the Humanitarian Innovation Accelerator aims to achieve the following results:

- 10+ high potential ventures are sourced and selected per year (50% local startups, 30% female led (at least 50% women in leadership team).

- At least 75% of ventures participating in the Humanitarian Innovation Accelerator added value to their innovation.

- Networking opportunities have connected 50% of innovators to relevant collaborations and/or valuable funding that enhance their innovation.

- 100% of selected ventures have a MEL framework and financial plan in place with a reporting schedule aligned to their project plan.

At the beginning of the programme, a Project Tracker will be created to enable the startups to define and report on impact and performance indicators. Their impact will be tracked in terms of reach (how many people have access to the innovation) and depth (what positive impact can the innovation create), while

performance will be tracked in terms of milestone achievement.

Target group / Beneficiaries

The primary Target Group are ventures which are established legal entities in their target countries working on innovation in a humanitarian context.

The main users of the innovations created by the selected ventures are intermediary organizations and beneficiaries:

- Intermediary organizations refer to organizations (e.g. NGOs, Government, private enterprises) who will become users of the innovation or enable access to implementation of the innovation (e.g. access to the field, delivery of field work, access to fundraising, access to technical support).

- Beneficiaries refer to the poorest reachable strata for which food aid can help to achieve a developmental outcome. In the case of the Humanitarian Innovation Accelerator, beneficiaries of innovation projects are people impacted by conflict or disaster.

The contribution from ADA will enable the following:

- Up to 10 ventures will be sourced and invited to participate in an Innovation Bootcamp

- Up to 5 ventures will be selected to participate in the Sprint Programme with the provision of an equity-free grant of up to EUR 119.000

- ADA’s funded workstream will give special consideration in the application process to civil society organizations


The Humanitarian Innovation Accelerator programme will be executed in four phases:

0. Workstream Design: Design and setup of workstreams; identify and onboard relevant stakeholders, including Innovation Committee; establish communications strategy; define and prepare call for innovations including problem discovery, challenge framing and selection and eligibility criteria.

1. Source: Publish and promote call for innovations; perform proactive sourcing activities; review applications and curate long-list; interview and shortlist; present shortlisted teams to Innovation Committee for scoring; select innovation bootcamp participants.

2. Boost: Deliver bootcamp experience for selected startups including innovation plenaries, workshops and networking moments; support innovators with their action plans and applications to sprint programme; deliver pitch training; review sprint applications; organize and host pitch events.

3. Award: Conduct due diligence of pre-selected startups, which will include reputational, operational and financial assessments of the potential grantees; complete project plans; present results to WFP’s compliance committee; establish grant agreement of WFP with


4. Accelerate: Deliver sprint programme with coaching sessions to help startups work on the desirability, feasibility and viability of their solutions; disburse funding to selected startups; provide access to mentors; host networking opportunities; set up and manage community platform; track progress on implementation of action plans; attract relevant potential partners; host share out events.


In 2022 alone, a staggering 274 million people worldwide will need humanitarian assistance and protection. This number is a significant increase from 235 million people only a year ago, which was already the highest figure in decades. The compounding challenges of COVID-19, conflict, climate shocks and economic instability have meant that while humanitarian needs have sky-rocketed, resources have hit rock bottom. The United Nations and partner organizations aim to assist 183 million people most in need across 63 countries, which will require USD 41 billion.3 As the challenge is immense, innovation must quickly disrupt business-as-usual in the humanitarian sector and develop locally-led, scalable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

So far the experience leading and supporting humanitarian innovation initiatives globally has shown that sourcing and supporting local innovators and developing a community of innovation in humanitarian assistance adds value and impact. There is an opportunity to build on the support provided to innovators in humanitarian assistance by providing a platform of support to innovators working in humanitarian innovation. This will enable innovators to access funding from a variety of sources, innovation and technical support as well as access to a network of support organizations and a community of like-minded innovators.

project number 2881-00/2022
source of funding OEZA
sector Humanitäre Hilfe: Sofortmaßnahmen
marker Gender: 1, Poverty: 1
  • Policy marker: are used to identify, assess and facilitate the monitoring of activities in support of policy objectives concerning gender equality, aid to environment, participatory development/good governance, trade development and reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Activities targeting the objectives of the Rio Conventions include the identification of biodiversity, climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, and desertification.
    • 1= policy is a significant objective of the activity
    • 2= policy is the principal objective of the activity
  • Donor/ source of funding: The ADA is not only implementing projects and programmes of the Austrian Development Cooperation , but also projects funded from other sources and donors such as
    • AKF - Foreign Disaster Fund of the Austrian federal government
    • BMLFUW - Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water
    • EU - Funds of the European Commission
    • Others - various other donors are listed in ADA’s annual business report.
  • Type of Aid – Aid modalities: classifies transfers from the donor to the first recipient of funds such as budget support, core contributions and pooled programmes and funds to CSOs and multilateral organisations, project-type interventions, experts and other technical assistance, scholarships and student costs in donor countries, debt relief, administrative costs and other in-donor expenditures.
  • Purpose/ sector code: classifies the specific area of the recipient’s economic or social structure, funded by a bilateral contribution.
  • Tied/Untied: Untied aid is defined as loans and grants whose proceeds are fully and freely available to finance procurement from all OECD countries and substantially all developing countries. Transactions are considered tied unless the donor has, at the time of the aid offer, clearly specified a range of countries eligible for procurement which meets the tests for “untied” aid.