Join the Innovation Fellowship!

Are you dedicated to finding new ways of solving tough challenges facing displaced communities and humanitarian actors? Eager to learn more about how innovation can help?

This is the opportunity for you!

We’re currently accepting applications for the 2023 Innovation Fellowship.

Meet our 2022 supported projects

Through our four Innovation Funds, the Innovation Service supports projects across a wide range of thematics and country contexts.

Discover our Innovation Programmes and Funds

The Innovation Service has launched four Funds in the areas of Digital Inclusion, Data and AI, Environment, and Refugee-led Innovation.

Refugee Inclusion in a Digital World

The Digital Inclusion programme ensures that Refugees are included in a connected society. Through its Digital Inclusion Fund, the programme also provides funding and support to country operations to innovate.

Environment and Resilience

The Innovation, Environment and Resilience Fund supports colleagues across UNHCR in testing novel solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change and preserve and rehabilitate the natural environment in displacement settings by working most closely with people who experience forced displacement.

Data and AI Innovation

Data is key to innovating the humanitarian response. Through the Data Innovation Impact Fund, UNHCR leverages emerging technologies for the protection of people forced to flee.

Refugee-led Innovation Fund

This Fund supports innovation by all people who have experienced forced displacement. It provides a combination of financial and technical support directly to organizations led by refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. 

UNHCR’s Innovation Service is committed to creating an enabling environment for innovation to flourish in UNHCR. We equip staff with the knowledge, resources, and skills to ensure that they can create value for people forced to flee with novel ideas.

We incentivize innovation through funding and technical support and by creating an enabling environment for experimentation to take place across the organization. We innovate to deliver UNHCR’s mandate more effectively.

Our Funds

The Innovation Service offers four funds to accelerate innovation that makes a difference for people forced to flee. Discover more below.

Digital Inclusion Fund

Digital rights and opportunities for displaced communities.

Innovation, Environment and Resilience Fund

Innovation at the nexus of environment and displacement.

Data Innovation Impact Fund

Data can shape the future of refugee protection.

Refugee-led Innovation Fund

Empowering displaced communities to innovate.


UNHCR Innovation Service’s new blog brings you a transparent looks at what humanitarian innovation looks like in practice for (and with) refugees.

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Here are some frequently asked questions.

Am I eligible for the Funds in the Innovation Service?

For the eligibility criteria of the various Funds and programmes of the Innovation Service, please follow the relevant link below:

Can you support my idea?

If you are a UNHCR colleague, your idea may fit under funds. If you are not from UNHCR, we do not currently provide funding, but partnerships is possible through local offices, whom you should try to contact directly. If your idea is not specific to a country, contact us below with a summary of your idea and the challenge it’s trying to address. 

Do you have any job openings?

All our job and internship opportunities are located on UNHCR Careers page and ReliefWeb when available. We do not accept volunteers, but you should have a look at UN Volunteers.

Can you support my thesis, academic studies or research?

We love that you’re interested in humanitarian innovation but we can’t financially support your studies. However, if you are working on a thesis related to humanitarian innovation, contact us below. We cannot provide confidential data. Data made public by UNHCR may be found here.