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GOAL Humanitarian Innovation Fund

Innovating to Overcome Humanitarian Crisis

What is the GOAL Humanitarian Fund?

GOAL's approach to innovation is rooted in its commitment to finding new perspectives and processes that lead to transformative solutions for critical challenges. With a vision of a world beyond humanitarian crises, GOAL recognises the importance of developing and nurturing innovative programme solutions as a key role in achieving this vision. The organisation embraces curiosity, progress, testing, iteration, and learning, challenging conventional thinking to drive programme innovation.

To support and encourage promising innovations within GOAL programmes, the organisation launched the GOAL Programme Innovation Fund in early 2022. This fund is specifically designed to foster innovations that have the potential to be scaled up, with the ultimate aim of reducing and overcoming humanitarian crises. The GOAL Programme Innovation Fund is open to any GOAL Global, country programme, or external partner team, providing them with the opportunity to apply for funding to support their innovative initiatives.

GOAL's aim is to identify and support projects that demonstrate great potential for impact, scalability, and effectiveness in addressing humanitarian challenges. By establishing the Innovation Fund, GOAL reaffirms its commitment to driving positive change through innovative approaches and investing in ideas that can make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable communities.

2023 Humanitarian Innovation Fund Winners

We are thrilled to unveil the exceptional innovators who have earned recognition for their groundbreaking solutions and unwavering dedication to addressing global humanitarian challenges. These outstanding individuals and teams have demonstrated remarkable creativity and commitment in their quest for positive change.

Our esteemed panel of Innovation Leaders played a pivotal role in evaluating each innovation. They included;

  • Alan Large, Director of Strategy and Transactions at EY
  • Ronak B. Patel, MD, MPH, Director of the Urbanization and Resilience Program at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
  • Alison Cowzer, Co-Founder of East Coast Bakehouse and valued member of GOAL Global's Board

Their guidance and expertise have been instrumental in shaping the future of these groundbreaking projects, and we are honoured to have received their insights. The Innovator's Den Session provided a platform for our selected innovators to showcase their solutions and undergo thorough scrutiny.

Innovation Leaders carefully assessed each innovation based on its innovative impact, viability, scalability potential, and the team's expertise. After meticulous deliberation, we are delighted to announce Lucky Iron Fish (LIF)- Uganda as the winner of the 2023 Humanitarian Innovation Fund.

LIF is an FDA-certified, reusable iron cooking tool shaped like a fish that addresses iron deficiency anemia (IDA). This innovative solution will combine cooking with the "Living Goods" educational public health approach, utilizing campaigns, mobile messaging, and consultations with Community Health Workers (CHWs) to maximise impact. Real-time data collection through custom apps will enable effective outcome measurement. Collaborative efforts with the Ministry of Health and district governments will ensure widespread distribution. With an educational component, LIF will optimise benefits, improving iron intake and overall health outcomes in Uganda. It will offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional iron supplements, benefiting future health outcomes, especially for women and children.

GOAL would also like to acknowledge and congratulate the following innovators whose projects were selected for funding:

  • Token Tap for Hand Pumps – Uganda: This low-cost and low-tech innovation introduces a coin-operated prepayment mechanism for accessing water from hand pumps.
  • Promoting Climate Resilient Urban Sanitation through Community-Based Waste Management Systems: Phase 2 – Sierra Leone: The innovation is about introducing Home Biogas (HBG) technology in hard-to-reach areas of Free Town. HBG utilises organic matter, including human waste, to produce methane gas for cooking and agricultural purposes.
  • Zim Men Connect – Zimbabwe: Zim Men Connect is an informative and interactive smartphone application that provides boys and men with access to information on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and referral pathways.

These remarkable projects represent the vanguard of humanitarian innovation, and we are excited to support and amplify their efforts in making a tangible difference in the lives of those in need. Congratulations to all the winners. We look forward to witnessing the positive impact they will create.

The presentations were so incredibly well put together and thought out that I think there's only encouragement to move forward. I look forward to seeing what they come up with next and how they evolve.

Dr Ronak Patel, Director of Urbanization and Resilience Programme at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative & Judge on the 2023 Humanitarian Innovation Den Session

Innovation in Numbers


invested globally

4 countries

supported globally

8 grants

grants awarded to date

15 applications

received since 2022

Explore 2022's Innovation Fund Winners

We are proud to present a list of innovative projects that have been funded and supported by the GOAL Humanitarian Innovation Fund. These exceptional initiatives represent the collective effort of visionary individuals and teams dedicated to addressing global humanitarian challenges head-on.

Explore the list below to discover the diverse range of innovative solutions that have received support from the GOAL Humanitarian Innovation Fund. From novel approaches in disaster response to transformative solutions in healthcare, education, livelihoods, and more, these projects embody the spirit of innovation and resilience.

By showcasing these funded innovations, we aim to inspire collaboration, spark further creativity, and foster knowledge exchange within the humanitarian community. Together, we can push the boundaries of what is possible and drive positive change in the face of complex challenges.

Sprawling settlements of poor housing on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Population pressure has forced people to build further and further up the hill away from the coastline. This is very dangerous, as rainstorms can cause flooding and the collapse of such areas.

Harnessing New Technologies for Better Land and Risks Governance (Haiti)

Integrating risk mapping, satellite imagery, and drones, this innovation strengthens Haiti's National Center for Geo-Spatial Information. It improves emergency response, land management, and risk mitigation, leading to more informed decision-making and resilient communities.


Promoting Climate Resilient Urban Sanitation - Homebiogas (Sierra Leone)

Homebiogas technology is introduced in Sierra Leone to produce cooking gas, offering a cost-effective waste management solution and reducing reliance on biomass as a cooking fuel source. It contributes to climate resilience and sustainable urban communities.


Token Tap for Hand Pumps (Uganda)

This innovation develops a mechanical prepaid water meter for hand pumps, enabling financially sustainable operation and maintenance without subsidies. It addresses the challenge of nonfunctional hand pumps in sub-Saharan Africa.

zim men connect

Zim Men Connect (Zimbabwe)

Zim Men Connect addresses unreported Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases in Zimbabwe by developing a smartphone application for men. It provides information, support, and referral pathways, empowering male survivors and breaking cultural barriers.

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Selection Criteria

To ensure a fair and transparent selection process, the GOAL Humanitarian Innovation Fund follows specific criteria at each stage of development. These criteria help identify promising innovations that align with our vision of a world beyond humanitarian crisis. Here's an overview of the selection criteria:

Click / tap table below to expand

GOAL Innovation Lab

GOAL's Innovation Fund is operated our Innovation Lab, a dynamic and collaborative unit established by GOAL to foster innovation within GOAL’s programmes and to promote this work both internally and externally with the wider development and humanitarian community.

The GOAL Lab is an open space that facilitates collaboration and partnership between innovation champions inside GOAL and key strategic external partners.

Get Involved

If you are interested in supporting GOAL's Innovation Lab - either through financial contributions or by providing technical guidance - please get in touch with our team at

Humanitarian Innovation Fund Partners