The Lucky Iron Fish (LIF) Team in Uganda is winner of Irish Aid supported, 2023 GOAL Humanitarian Innovation Fund - GOAL Global Skip to content

The Lucky Iron Fish (LIF) Team in Uganda is winner of Irish Aid supported, 2023 GOAL Humanitarian Innovation Fund


May 29, 2023 • 3 min read

After an extensive evaluation process, GOAL is pleased to announce that the Uganda-based Lucky Iron Fish (LIF) team will be the recipient of the 2023 GOAL Humanitarian Innovation Fund.

The €150,000 fund, financed by Irish Aid and managed by GOAL’s Programme Innovation Lab, is open to applicants from GOAL’s global and country programme team, who successfully pitch innovative ideas that respond to the challenge of overcoming humanitarian crises, and which have the potential to scale.

LIF is a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-certified, reusable iron cooking tool in the shape of a fish which is designed to offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional iron supplements but still address iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) when the tool is used during cooking. The cooking tool will be promoted using a comprehensive public health approach which leverages the ‘Living Goods’ strategy, utilising campaigns, mobile messaging, Community Health Workers (CHW) consultations and collaboration with the Ministry of Health and district governments, to maximise impact and improve future health outcomes, especially among women and children. And real-time data collection, facilitated by custom apps, will allow for effective outcome measurement.

EY Ireland has been a key partner in the GOAL Humanitarian Innovation Fund application, shortlisting, and selection process, providing people, insights, and expertise. EY’s Strategy and Transactions team will provide mentorships to the winning LIF Team in Uganda and the other teams selected for funding. The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) has also been a key partner in the process, as led by Dr Ronak B. Patel, Director of the Urbanization and Resilience Program at HHI.

Innovators presented their ground-breaking solutions for funding at a Humanitarian Innovators’ Den Session, which was inspired by the TV Shows, Dragons Den, and Shark Tank. And Alison Cowzer, a well-known serial innovator, Dragon investor in the TV series Dragons’ Den, and GOAL Board member, contributed her expertise to this vital part of the process.

Speaking about GOAL’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund application, shortlisting and selection process, Dr Ronak Patel said, “The presentations were so incredibly well put together and thought out, that I think there’s only encouragement to move forward. Although some projects were funded and others weren’t, and to varying degrees of funding, none of this should be discouraging. The level of effort and dedication displayed by all participants was truly inspiring.”

“I look forward to seeing what they come up with next and how they evolve. This session has showcased the potential and creativity within the humanitarian sector, and I am confident that these innovators will continue to make significant contributions,” continued Dr Patel.

GOAL also congratulates 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: 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.

Also speaking about the teams awarded funding from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, Bernard McCaul, GOAL’s Global Director of Innovation and Programmes, said, “GOAL Global extends its sincere congratulations to Uganda LIF Team and all the innovators selected for their remarkable dedication, ingenuity, and commitment to making a positive impact on vulnerable populations. These projects exemplify the spirit of innovation and collaboration that the GOAL Humanitarian Innovation Fund aims to foster.”

“GOAL remains committed to supporting innovation and driving positive change in the humanitarian sector. The organisation recognises the valuable contributions made by all participants and extends its gratitude for their dedication and efforts,” continued Bernard McCaul.

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