Designing Optimal Humanitarian innovation: DCHI Makeathon

The Humanitarian Innovation Makeathon at Impactfest 2021 in The Hague happened!

DCHI hosted a day of sessions at the 6th edition of Impactfest, a great opportunity for the coalition to celebrate its successes and to set its sights on the future.  

We welcomed over 100 participants throughout the day, spread out over three separate sessions where they were asked to share their ideal frameworks for collaboration. To give them a taste of the real world, we matched them with solution providers, challenge owners, investors, and students.  

The sessions were based on our Humanitarian Accelerator Programmes, in which participants learn to adopt an innovative mindset by using the latest design methodologies, expert guidance, and collaborative processes.   

Design & Matchmaking sessions  

We organised two design and matchmaking meetups, in which participants could share their different perspectives and initiatives, to later be able to find their perfect match for future collaboration. By splitting the group into ‘challenge owners’ and ‘solution providers’, we gave participants the space to share their ideal collaboration framework when talking to the other group. After offering both groups the insights from their peers, everyone was able to map out their challenge or solution within the newly designed templates, ready for their matchmaking session.


Expo, Makeathon results, networking, and yearbook presentation 

The results and proposals of the first two sessions were presented in the final session. It was clear that NGOs (traditionally the challenge owners) and Startups, coorporates, consultants or academics (traditionally solution providers) can still a lot from one another. Both groups appreciated a more personal touch when connecting with potential co-creators online. Moreover, details such as location of past projects of solution providers, and a future ideal vision of a project by challenge owners were highly valued across both sessions. By sharing these valuable insights, participants were able to create greater clarity between two groups that are often seen as having large culture gaps that can be an obstacle when setting up collaborations.

We also presented DCHI’s impact and findings in the last 5 years on the Wall of Innovations. To make sure you don’t miss any of our upcoming events or news, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and save the date for the next coalition café on 8 Februari 2022.