Our 2024 projects

Through four Innovation Funds, the Innovation Service supports forward-thinking projects run by UNHCR colleagues and refugee-led organizations that are making a real difference for people forced to flee around the world.

Championing refugee-led innovation

UNHCR’s Refugee-led Innovation Fund champions the creativity of all forcibly displaced and stateless people, recognizing that they are best placed to identify the challenges they face and design innovative solutions. 

Bridging the digital divide

The Digital Innovation Programme focuses on the most forward-thinking and innovative approaches to digital inclusion, digital protection, and digital services, to ensure everyone can enjoy the benefits of our increasingly connected world.

Innovating with data and AI for good

Data can unlock insights about complex challenges and help improve humanitarian interventions. Through the Data Innovation Programme, UNHCR leverages emerging technologies for the protection of people forced to flee.

Helping communities build resilience

The Environment and Climate Action Innovation Programme supports initiatives designed not just to respond to natural hazards and climatic extremes but to anticipate challenges, green our interventions, and enable displaced communities to build resilience.

Learning to bring lasting change

Our Innovation Learning programmes invest in people dedicated to finding new ways of more effectively delivering UNHCR’s mission. We bring innovation to people and bring people together to drive lasting positive change.

UNHCR’s Innovation Service is dedicated to creating an enabling environment for innovation to flourish at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

Our programmes provide holistic support to UNHCR colleagues and refugee-led organizations, ensuring innovators have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to bring lasting positive change to forcibly displaced and stateless communities around the world.

Our Funds

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

Digital Innovation Fund

Digital rights and opportunities for displaced communities. 

Data Innovation Fund

Data can help shape the future of refugee protection.

Environment and Climate Action Innovation Fund

Innovation at the nexus of environment, climate, and displacement. 

Refugee-led Innovation Fund

Championing the creativity of all displaced and stateless people.

Eager to hear about innovation opportunities?

You’re on the right track! Curiosity is one of the first things an innovator needs 🌟

Sign up below and you’ll be the first to know when we launch the call for applications for the UNHCR Innovation Funds and the Innovation Fellowship! We’ll also get in touch with other opportunities to learn about innovation tools and put them into practice.



The Innovation Service’s blog brings you a transparent look at what humanitarian innovation with and for refugees looks like in practice.

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Am I eligible to apply for the Funds run by the Innovation Service?

For the eligibility criteria of the Innovation Service’s Funds and Fellowship, please click on the relevant link below:

Can you support my idea?

If you’re a UNHCR colleague or a member of a refugee-led organization, you may be able to secure support for your idea through our Innovation Funds. We do not currently offer other funding opportunities, but you could explore partnering with UNHCR through local offices. Get in touch with your local UNHCR office directly or, if your idea is not specific to a country, feel free to contact us with a summary of your idea and the challenge it seeks to address.

Do you have any job openings?

All our job and internship opportunities are posted on the UNHCR Careers page and ReliefWeb when available. We do not accept volunteers, but you should check out UN Volunteers.

Can you support my thesis, academic studies or research?

We love that you’re interested in humanitarian innovation! However, we can’t financially support your studies. If you’re working on a thesis related to humanitarian innovation, do get in touch. Note, though, that we are not able to provide confidential data for academic purposes. Data made public by UNHCR may be found here.