Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA)


– Martine Bergwerff: Chair of the DRA Innovation Working Group (
– Richard Kooge: Vice-Chair of the DRA Innovation Working Group (

Innovation need(s)

A strategic objective of the Dutch Relief Alliance for the strategic period 2018-2021:

“More innovative – enabling Dutch NGOs to be at the forefront of new approaches to delivering high quality humanitarian action”.

The humanitarian challenges facing our world today affect everyone, and cannot be solved by one actor alone. Businesses, local and international humanitarian organizations, government agencies at all levels, and knowledge institutes need to collaborate. Innovation is needed to meet the changing needs, increase efficiency and effectively use available resources. However, the current approach to innovation in the humanitarian domain is often inadequate, and fails to achieve impact at scale. Resources for research and development are lacking, innovative solutions are developed in isolation, and successes are not being shared. Many opportunities are missed because humanitarian actors fail to build on innovative initiatives of refugees and other affected populations.

Innovative solution(s) we are working on

The DRA will tackle these challenges and stimulate innovation through working with networks for innovation and learning including a close partnership with the Dutch Coalition for Humanitarian Innovation (DCHI).

The DRA will work with DCHI and others to deliver innovation across a range of areas and innovation types (product, programmes, process and partnerships). The focus will not just be on technology but on how innovation across delivery models, ways of doing business and engaging with people, can best deliver principled and effective humanitarian action. The DRA will continue to support innovative approaches to the delivery of cash as part of Grand Bargain commitments and DRA members are actively investing in capacity and expertise to enable INGOs to add value in how cash can be most effectively provided.

The DRA has established the DRA Innovation Fund (DIF) for the entire strategic period (with support of the Dutch MFA), with an annual budget of around €3 million to stimulate innovation in the humanitarian sector. The second call for proposals of the DIF is currently ongoing on the topic of ‘Safety & Protection’ – a crucial topic for the humanitarian sector with many different facets. With great support of DCHI, the DIF Call is being rolled out in the first half of 2019. The DRA is hoping to be able to eventually grant innovative, collaborate and impactful project plans that will change the work of the humanitarian sector.


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