Welcome to the Humanitarian
Innovation Jam 2016,
Kampala, Uganda

Bottom-up Innovation
21 - 23 March 2016

Local challenges. Local solutions.

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The Event The Event

The Event

The Humanitarian Innovation Jam brings together humanitarians, academics, and the private sector to discuss and problem-solve around humanitarian innovation. The 2016 edition will have a special focus on convening refugee and host community innovators who want to develop the best possible solutions to some of their community’s biggest challenges. This is a conference with little talk, but lots of action. If you’re a local innovator, addressing issues facing your community, expect to walk away with practical tools and resources.  

At the end of this event we hope to answer these key questions:

  • How can we, as local innovators increase impact?

  • How can humanitarian organizations build up the creative capacity of communities, and empower them to innovate for themselves?

From: Monday, March 21, 2016, 9:00
To: Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 18:00
(Optional) Field visits: Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 9:30 - 13:00

Makerere University,  - St. Francis Student Center, Mary Stuart Road, Kampala, Uganda

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Background & Objectives

As more and more humanitarians talk about ‘innovation’, we must make sure that innovation driven by affected communities stays front and center in this conversation. Empowering crisis-affected communities to identify challenges and create their own solutions (rather than relying only on top-down innovation approaches) provides a wider range of sustainable solutions to current and future humanitarian challenges.



Focused on bottom-up innovation, Humanitarian Innovation Jam 2016 hopes to:

  • Identify barriers to local innovation, and needs of local innovators;

  • Analyze good practices and tools to support innovators in crisis-affected communities;

  • Rethink approaches to humanitarian innovation and understand how institutions can facilitate bottom-up innovation.

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Programme of Events

Subject to change

21 March 2016 Agenda

Structures and Moving Forward

  • 9:00 - 9:30 Welcome remarks & Keynote address
  • 9:30 - 10:30 Panel Discussion: Identifying barriers to local innovation
  • 10:45 - 12:15 Workshop: Rapid prototyping innovations for local communities; Moving through the Innovation Cycle
  • 12:15 - 13:15 Lunch Break
  • 12:30 - 13:00 Lunch Talk
  • 13:15 - 13:45 Innovator Talk & Q+A: Local innovators share experiences  followed by an audience Q+A for 10 minutes.
  • 13:35 - 15:15 Workshop: Building empathy and the Human Centered Design process
  • 15:15 - 15:30 Tea Break
  • 15:30 - 17:00 Workshop: Appropriate technology: Finding solutions based on a defined community challenge. Focus on the process and not the tool.

Youth/Student Innovators Showcase & Side Event

  • 17:15 - 18:45 Evening Youth/Student Side Event + Exhibits and networking: Students follow the PechaKucha Night model of short presentations: 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide, 2 hour session - drinks/snacks. Young innovators showcase.
george town

22 March 2016 Agenda

Resources and Knowledge

Track 1 (Individual Innovators)

  • 9:30 - 12:15 MIT D-Lab: Creative Capacity Building
  • 12:15 - 13:15 Lunch Break
  • 13:15 - 14:45 MIT D-Lab: Creative Capacity Building continues...
  • 14:45 - 15:00 Tea Break
  • 15:00 - 17:30 Track 1 + Track 2: Co-create

Track 2 (Organizational Innovators)

  • 9:30 - 10:30 Panel Discussion: How Limited Resources (environment, energy) Will Fuel Innovation
  • 10:45 - 12:15 Workshop: Design Thinking
  • 12:15 - 13:15 Lunch Break
  • 13:15 - 14:45 Creative Capacity Building; training of trainers
  • 14:45 - 15:00 Tea Break
  • 15:00 - 17:30 Track 1 + Track 2: Co-create

23 March 2016 Agenda (optional)

Field Trips

Refugee Innovation

Refugee Innovation

University of Oxford’s Humanitarian Innovation Project launched this report last year. The report focuses on examples and case studies of ‘bottom-up innovation’ among different refugee populations.


Scaled Innovation

In this Resilient Africa Network Lab ‘MKIT’, innovation expert, Banny Banerjee leads a 6-part series on scaled innovation.

Refugee Tech Innovators

Refugee Tech Innovators

This SciDevNet slideshow and article written by Imogen Mathers showcases refugee tech innovators in Uganda.


Event Partners