Living with Floods Q&A

Living with Floods Q&A

October 1st, 2020

This Q&A covers questions & answers relating to the programme, how to participate and a Wiki with key words and definitions.

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What does innovative and promising (local) actions and ideas mean?

We are convinced that crisis-affected people can indeed resolve many of the humanitarian challenges they face. A focus on human centered approaches that tap into the ideas, skills, talents, and aspirations of crisis-affected communities, can create the environment needed to give vulnerable people a voice in- and contribute to humanitarian innovation. Through this challenge we would like to complement ‘top down and high-tech’ solutions with concomitant innovative solutions from the ground, embraced by those actors closest to this challenge. 

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Redesign – reimagine – rethink

 In the Mozambican flood risk context, there are many domains that could still be improved or considered. Together we could develop an innovative solution, by redesigning, reimagining and rethinking existing and new ideas. Below some inspiration is given: 

  • Mozambique has its own early warning system in place to help the people and government to anticipate flood situations and take precautionary actions accordingly. During cyclone Idai the early warning systems were in place, however still proved to be insufficiently effective to help protect people at risk, their homes and livelihoods. There are several reasons to why the early warning system was insufficient in Beira in 2019This could be your starting point for the living with floods challenge. 
  • The current drainage system in many communities in and around Beira proofs to be insufficient to drain water effectively. During periods of intense rainfall large parts of communities are flooded because the drainage system is poorly maintainedcapacity is insufficient, or drains are clogged. The construction of extra storage facilities, the improvement of the current drainage system or the incorporation of green infrastructural components to the city of Beira are all opportunities to look into for this challenge. 

We invite you to redesign, reimagine and rethink these specific aspects with us. Besides these two suggestions we are also interested in ideas coming from a different angleaimed more at the people living in or around Beira and taking into consideration their situation; Overall living conditions are generally very basic with poor urban infrastructure and poor service delivery, e.g. drainage, sewage, drinking water, but also about electricity, network coverage, access to schools and health posts. These all connect to the ‘idea space’ for this challenge. Hence, iyou have a brilliant idea of for example how to improve the health services related to flooding, how to help flood warnings reach the most isolated people, help them to find evacuation routes or protect their assets when the flood is imminent, do reach us to us with your idea. 

As you can see, the challenge is big and includes many dimensions and points of entry. The ideas given above are only meant to give you some food for thought, and are by no means the preferred path. 

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Relates to those processes of dispersive urban growth that create hybrid landscapes of fragmented urban and rural characteristics.

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In the context of this project, to act means that crisis-affected people are skilled and resourced to develop and implement locally-driven humanitarian solutions to address flood risks they identify in their local communities. The focus is on the ability of flood-affected communities to take precautionary measures; What can be done before a flood and when a flood is imminent.  

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The ability of a community to: 

  1. comprehend its vulnerability to disasters and crises, whether natural or man-made, and their potential impact on a community;
  2. take preventive/protective action against the negative impacts of disasters and crises;
  3. strengthen and build upon its own capacities to address the consequences of disasters and crises

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What are the criteria for a top idea?

We aim to follow a transparent and engaging innovation process whereby we strife to connect, refine and select ideas throughout the ideation stage in order to realise its fullest potential to address challenges faced by flood-affected communities in Mozambique.

The following three criteria are most important for screening and evaluating the submissions:

  • Inclusiveness: Does the idea demonstrate an understanding of the needs of vulnerable flood-risk communities? Does it allow for creating an environment where differences are embraced and promoted as strengths?
  • Local capacities: Does the idea build upon the notion that innovation happens at the local level through a connected network of local people, entrepreneurs and other actors present at the local level?
  • Local adoption and growth: Will there be scope for the innovation to be used by others within the local context? Can the innovation be taken beyond the local context and used elsewhere?

Together with these three key criteria we will also take into consideration:

  • Originality/ innovativeness: Does the innovation have a new approach to the problem, or use an existing approach in a new way?
  • Valorisation potential: Does it build partnerships needed to achieve this and does it have potential to mobilise capacities and resource to realise this impact and growth?
  • Sustainability: Does the idea pay due attention to the Financial, Institutional, Environmental, Technical and Social aspects related to sustainability?

These criteria will be applied to select the 10 most valuable ideas which will be invited to register for a market place on 3 December 2020. During the market place humanitarian partners represented by our local partners will help us to decide upon the 2 top ideas to be pursued during the partnership shaping stage.

Whilst we recognise that multiple ideas may be applicable and suitable to the local situation, ultimately we would like to select the 2 top ideas and build partnerships around these in order to prepare them for piloting at the local level.

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Can I submit an idea that has worked elsewhere?

Just as we believe that the ideas and solutions that are developed as part of this design process are worth sharing with others, we also welcome solutions developed elsewhere and are committed to seeking ways to share these with local actors in Mozambique. We do expect though that these solutions are also integrated in the open innovation process such that there is ample opportunity for local people to scrutinize, test and modify ‘imported’ ideas such that it will work best for them.

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Can I submit my idea at any time during the ideation stage?

That is indeed possible. Meanwhile, we highly recommend you to submit your ideas as early as possible so you can take the opportunity to actively engage with the design team during the ideation stage. It will also allow you to see the ideas of other innovators, and hear from sector- and local experts.

It will also allow you to discuss and check the eligibility criteria with us and adjust ideas accordingly. The last day to submit ideas is 12 November 2020.

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Can I submit more than one idea?

Yes, this is possible. However, for each idea you would then need to fill out a separate intake form so we can keep track of the various ideas, and compare and share these more easily throughout the ideation stage.

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What type of organisations can submit ideas?

Applicants should have a legal entity from the following sectors: private sector, knowledge institutes and (local) government organisations, with experience and commitment in the following domains:

  • Flood risk management
  • Land (use) & water management
  • Surface drainage design
  • Data gathering/ Water modelling
  • Social behaviour experts

We encourage individuals with a very promising and innovative idea to reach out and find partner organisations to co-create the idea further from the beginning of the challenge. Otherwise you can also reach out to the challenge design team, we may be able to help provide more information on potential partnership possibilities in your domain. Please take into consideration that all ideas submitted will be reviewed by the challenge design team and associated partners.

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What are the communication channels throughout the programme?

Besides the check-ins and the Roundabout sessions, we will provide regular updates during the ideation phase and the phases thereafter. A more detailed plan is currently being developed and will be shared on the 14 October latest.

The programme team provides information on the following channels:

Contact the team here:

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What capacities are needed during the partnering stage?

In line with the open innovation principles, we believe value can be created through the open innovation process by inclusion of a variety of key assets, resources or positions brought in by the different partners committed to piloting a top idea. Here we seek to meet the common needs identified previously with capacities brought in by the collective innovation partners, and complement these where needed.

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What are common needs as described during the partnering stage?

Each partner connected to a top idea will bring in certain assets and capacities to innovate, and will also have specific needs to create the environment required to innovate. Hence, related to each idea, we would like to have an open dialogue on these needs, map these and find ways to fill gaps. Beyond our commonly determined needs, each separate partner may have specific internal requirements that need to be met at this stage, for example an integrity check may be needed, and organisations may need to check on how to deal with intellectual accomplishments. Also, we would like to align our communication needs and plans in order to get the best out of this challenge process. The overall aim for this stage is to have an aligned vision of how to create value and impact together in the local context.

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Can the idea be improved with the insights gained during the ideation phase?

Indeed. We aim to help you to improve your idea through the check-in moments and during the Roundabout session. We understand you would like to reimagine your idea and share this with us again. Therefore, throughout the full ideation phase you will have the opportunity to upload an updated and improved submission form at any given time until the final date. Note, when you upload an updated version, the previously submitted forms will no longer be valid.

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What to expect during the ideation stage?

We offer you two important ways of getting in touch:

As of Wednesday the 14 October 2020, we will be organising weekly check-ins. During these 1.5 hours sessions we will be going through three topics:

  • Quick update of your idea: Each partner will get 3 minutes to share your idea with the participants in the call
  • General questions: The design team will answer your general questions in plenary during this time slot. This will close the plenary part of the check-in
  • Specific questions: Partners can subscribe to a one on one session with the design team. There is only limited space each week

Please note, there are only a limited number of spaces available every week. Any general and specific questions you may have to the team should be submitted beforehand through
The check-ins will be organised through Microsoft Teams.

  • Roundabout session: On 29 October 2020 we will be organising a virtual session during ImpactFest 2020 for all partners who are interested in the challenge and who might already started their submission and ideation process. But it is also open for all other interested parties. The aim of the session is to collaboratively fine tune the ideas and find valorisation and localisation with each other and key speakers of renown organisations. There is limited space available for this session, so make sure you subscribe on time here.

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What does innovative and promising ideas mean?

We are convinced that crisis-affected people can indeed resolve many of the humanitarian challenges they face. A focus on human centered approaches that tap into the ideas, skills, talents, and aspirations of crisis-affected communities, can create the environment needed to give vulnerable people a voice in- and contribute to humanitarian innovation. Through this challenge we would like to complement ‘top down and high-tech’ solutions with concomitant innovative solutions from the ground, embraced by those actors closest to this challenge.

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What is Open Innovation?

The use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation. Companies can commercialise internal ideas through channels outside of their current businesses in order to generate value for the organisation: examples include spinoff/ start-ups companies and licensing agreements. In addition, ideas can also originate outside the firm’s own labs and be brought inside for commercialisation.

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Why follow an Open Innovation process?

It is important that we take the time to truly understand the needs of people living with floods and that we explore together how we can address problems faced by communities in the most appropriate way, and explore and embrace appropriate ideas and products/ services that come from within the community as well as from outside. DCHI and NLRC are passionate about the challenge Living with Floods, and are eager to tap into the brightest minds outside of our organisation to bring the challenge further and create impact. We believe this is best done by taking a human-centered design approach as done through Open Innovation.

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