How Can Research and Innovation Respond to Humanitarian Needs in South and Central Asia

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Elrha’s Global Prioritisation Exercise (GPE) for humanitarian research and innovation (R&I) is a landmark multi-phased initiative that seeks to improve outcomes for people affected by humanitarian crises by characterizing the existing humanitarian R&I landscape and identifying challenges, needs, and priorities for future action and investment in R&I.

Research can help forecast and characterise humanitarian crises, understand the scale, distribution and types of needs arising, inform humanitarian action and monitor progress. Research has a crucial role to play in helping improve the ways in which the humanitarian sector mitigates and responds to crises and serves populations in need. Innovation can play a critical role in humanitarian crises by providing new and more effective solutions to the complex problems that arise during such emergencies. Strategic investments in research and innovation and appropriate utilisation and uptake of research and innovation findings can help improve the way the humanitarian sector uses evidence and identifies and scales solutions and, in turn, contribute to improving the efficiency of the humanitarian response.

As part of the global research for the GPE programme, a research team investigated the current landscape and needs for humanitarian R&I in South and Central Asia. In this session, we propose to bring together a panel of experts representing a range of perspectives, including operational and academic., to explore the findings from this research and to consider how R&I can play a greater role in driving improvements in humanitarian response and delivering impact for people affected by humanitarian crises.
To answer this question, the panellists will consider the dimensions and characteristics of humanitarian needs in the region and look at the R&I practice and needs of a range of responding actors, including UN agencies, NGOs, local agencies, and local authorities and academics.
A panel will be predetermined and include members from Elrha, who will chair the panel and provide a global overview of the GPE and will be followed by Deakin University, who will show the regional landscape. Dhaka University and All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) will share the process and findings of the South and Central Asia work.
• What does it take to co-create a humanitarian R&I agenda with local communities and practitioners?
• What learning and successes does this region offer the wider humanitarian R&I agenda?
• What challenges do we need to address to increase the effectiveness of the region's humanitarian R&I ecosystem?
While the panel is not open for external submitters, we hope to have an open discussion of the issues raised with the participating audience.
The panel has far-reaching implications for humanitarian studies and practitioners in directly addressing humanitarian action needs.

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