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UNHCR Refugee-led Innovation Fund ($45,000)


Opportunity Type: Grant

Country: Global

Deadline: 30th June 2023




Vision and objective

The Refugee-led Innovation Fund champions the creativity of all displaced and stateless people. It aims to reshape their participation in the delivery of humanitarian work by ensuring they take centre stage in the decisions affecting their lives, leading the identification of needs and the design of innovative solutions.

The Fund provides holistic support – combining financial resources, mentoring, and other expertise – directly to refugee-led organizations, to enable them to design and deliver new interventions that have a lasting positive impact on their communities.


About the Fund

Organizations led by displaced and stateless people make remarkable contributions to their communities but face considerable challenges accessing direct and flexible funding. Too often, they are excluded from existing networks of entrepreneurs and innovators, resulting in poor access to knowledge, information, and resources that could help them amplify their impact.

The Refugee-led Innovation Fund proposes a fundamental shift in programme architecture. It takes a grassroot approach whereby people who have experienced forced displacement are directly provided with meaningful financial resources and support to implement innovative approaches.


Who can apply


The Fund supports innovation by all organizations led by people with lived experience of forced displacement, including refugees, asylum-seekers, the internally displaced, returnees, and stateless people. Applicants are asked to apply as a team, usually as part of an existing organization. The Fund accepts applications from both registered and unregistered organizations. Additional attention will be given to ensuring organizations led by LGBTIQ+ persons, women, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups receive support and encouragement to apply to the Fund.

What the Fund offers


Selected organisations can expect the following support:

  1. Financial support: Organizations can apply for up to 45,000 USD in funding to test and implement ideas with strong community-approaches that generate value for community members, not specifically linked to any thematic area or technology.

  2. Programme and project management support: Grantees will receive assistance from UNHCR and experts to help build their capacity to design and implement programmes effectively.

  3. Technical support, expertise, and coaching: Needs-based specialist advice will be offered, on topics ranging from technology to legal support and innovation methodologies.

  4. Peer-to-peer networking: Supported organizations will be encouraged to engage with each other, share experiences, learn from each other, and explore partnerships.

  5. Other support based on project needs: This could include organizational support, help with project sustainability and scale, training on specific topics, business model advice, and media and communications support.


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