Nurturing a culture of constant adaptation and creation

With the ever-increasing frequency and complexity of natural and man-made disasters, humanitarian organisations require new approaches to tackle these emergencies. The Academy’s approach to innovation leverages not just technology, but new tools and methodologies to solve some of these problems in locally relevant, creative ways. With the longstanding focus on learning and knowledge, the Academy attempts to answer the question:

“How do we co-create and share learning that is engaging, scalable and impactful to build resilient communities and save lives?”

At the centre of our learning process is the endeavour to enable others to create and share their own experiences, thus becoming active creators of learning rather than being passive consumers of knowledge.

Creating Spaces for Innovation

We create spaces for individual innovators and groups within the humanitarian sector to innovate – with a keen focus on learning and knowledge sharing.We use design thinking and co-creation, combined with innovations in learning to create innovative learning at the local level.

We create spaces to capture local ideas around learning through design thinking.


We identify, test and incubate local learnings into ed-tech and learning tech solutions.

scale tech

We scale tools, content and tech through learning platforms and supporting other organisations.

Learning about Innovation

We want to help humanitarian professionals and organisations understand what innovation means and why it is so important. We believe that anyone can be empowered with the approaches, frameworks, tools and techniques to be innovative, with a focus on user centred design (UCD) and co-creation.

Innovation Essentials

Innovation is about creatively problem-solving to add new value. Through this online course you will pick up some practical tools, skills and frameworks that you can apply in your own context and bring innovation to life in your organisation. The course includes a series of real-life examples of innovation from around the world.

Related Course

Humanitarian Futures & Foresight

Does the humanitarian sector have the capacity and vision to tackle the crises of tomorrow? How can we prepare for the challenges we are going to face in the coming years? Try this new online course and get future-ready! Developed in collaboration with the Institute for the Future (IFTF).

Related Course

Gamification for Humanitarian Learning

Gamification for Humanitarian Learning introduces game elements and user journeys preparing learners to use these tools to create and deploy games for highly engaging learning in the humanitarian sector. Developed in collaboration with the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITCILO).

Related Course

Innovations in Learning

We aim to uncover new ways of creating and delivering knowledge to users in different cultures and contexts. This includes scanning, testing and scaling the latest learning technology solutions from within and outside of the humanitarian sector.

The Academy is currently focussing on three areas:


  • Increase learner engagement through gamification, integrated with learning journeys on Kaya
  • Support local game creators with scaling their games through Kaya
  • Introduce role playing, narrative-based journeys, scenarios, positive behavioural change, peer-to-peer learning
  • Games integrated within existing learning on Kaya, e.g. coaching & mentoring, safety & security, volunteer training

Key Elements

  • Emphasis on experiential learning through:
  • Scenario & narrative-based journeys
  • Role-playing
  • Group-based activities


  • Explore enhancement in crisis-immersion and empathy building using ‘bite-sized’ VR for volunteer and staff training
  • Evaluate user engagement to build an evidence base
  • Short 360 and VR films that integrate well with existing elearning pathways:
  • Portraying different points-of-view of stakeholders in the Rohingya refugee camps
  • Exploring the Marawi crisis through a volunteer’s journey

Key Elements

  • Immersive environments
  • Rich storytelling
  • Actionable learning


  • Create a suite of learning content nuggets that engage users via social media embedded chatbots
  • Take users on a short-narrative driven journey to help them understand the role of volunteers in the field
  • Help users select Kaya courses
  • Further explore the use of artificial intelligence in the learning experience

Gamification Workshops

The gamification project has allowed us to innovate with user-centred design tools for co-creation of learning at a local level. Whether we are looking at how to better manage disasters in the Philippines, engage youth with the Sustainable Development Goals in the Middle East or better equip teachers in Bangladesh, design thinking combined with easy-to-use technology has allowed us to bring together partners from NGOs, the private sector, academia and local governments to develop innovative learning games that aim to solve some of these problems.

Gamification Workshops

“It was a captivating and interactive forum that gave me new skills in innovation and how to implement them in day-to-day processes. Eagerly awaiting the next one!”

Morris Laichena, Manager Networks and Support Services, Kenya Institute of Management

Gamification Workshops

“I loved every second of this brilliantly paced and super relevant workshop! Thank you”

Rabia, Jordan

Our Impact


Evaluating Innovation

We generate and develop learning around best practices for humanitarian innovation: evaluating the processes, practices and behaviours used, that were both successful and unsuccessful.

Read our latest report

Want to find out more or run a co-creation workshop with us?