International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Kenya Red Cross
the Humanitarian Innovative Finance Hub (HIFHUB), hosted by the Danish Red Cross

The Innovative Finance Challenge

the Humanitarian Innovative Finance Hub (HIFHUB), hosted by the Danish Red Cross

Calling on all Innovative Finance Champions!

Challenge is closed

WHAT IS Innovative Finance?

Innovative Finance covers instruments such as blended finance, results-based finance, crisis risk financing, funds and facilities, debt, equity, insurance, and impact investing. Here the innovative part is about applying proven financial mechanisms to well-known humanitarian and development problems, through new kinds of partnerships and ways of working for the humanitarian sector, and often while blending different – new and old – sources of funding and financing. See more here.

The Innovative Finance Challenge focuses on how innovative finance mechanisms are or can contribute to strengthening the reach and impact of our humanitarian action. 

If you are a staff or volunteer from an NS with either an existing innovative finance initiative or an idea for a project, then this challenge is for you.

Winners will get an all-expenses paid trip to attend and present at the Global Innovation Summit in Nairobi Kenya from the 26th to the 28th June.

Who can Submit

Applications can be submitted by Red Cross or Red Crescent National Society volunteers or staff, as individuals or teams.

An application can be about an actual intervention that already is in place and applies innovative finance, or a well-described concept/idea for this. It can be an intervention or concept/idea that you work on yourself, or you can nominate another individual or team whom you think deserves acknowledgment and wider exposure in the IFRC network and through the HIFHUB.

Important: You should seek approval from your National Society before applying.

What to Submit

We ask that you submit a video (up to 3 minutes in length). Whether it is an actual intervention or a detailed concept/idea, there must be a focus on results and impact, and these should relate to the humanitarian aims of your National Society.

Before you start producing it, we encourage you to read our definition of innovative finance here

Your video should address the following;

  • Introduce yourself and your team (or the person/team you nominate).
    • What is the name of the project/idea and explain what it is about?
    • What humanitarian/development problem is it trying to solve?
  • If you’re nominating, why would you nominate the project/idea and person/team?
  • How does the project/idea applying innovative finance address the identified problem?
  • What is the greatest achievement or innovation of the project/idea?
  • What impact has the work had – or: what is the expected impact?
  • What is the key learning/insight from the project/idea development?

Check out our useful tips to take and edit the best video.


Submissions are accepted in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic, but please note that if you are selected to travel to Kenya for the Global Innovation Summit then you will need to be able to work in English as no translation is provided at this event.

When to Submit

Submissions are open from March 27th, 2023, until April 23rd, 2023 – 12pm Central European Time. We will advise soon how to submit so stay tuned.

How to submit

Click on the following button to register to the challenge and submit your video.

If for some reason you are unable to submit a video, you can send a one-page (500 words) written application or nomination (approved by the person you nominate) to [email protected]  

Challenge is closed

Selecting Winners

Winners will be selected on the basis of these criteria:

  • Well-defined humanitarian problem and context.
  • Coherence between problem and proposed solution.
  • Clear description of how innovative finance forms part of the solution.  
  • Humanitarian impact of the project/idea.
  • Clear and creative messaging.
  • Applicants who have been shortlisted will be published on the @SolferinoVoices YouTube channel.
  • 2 to 3 winners will be selected by an expert judging panel.
  • All winners will be announced by 2nd May.
  • If a ‘team entry’ is selected as a finalist, only one representative from that team will be funded to attend the IFRC Global Innovation Summit.
  • Winners must be eligible for travel, including a valid passport, and get approval from their National Society.
  • Need help? Contact us: [email protected]

This initiative is proudly sponsored by the Humanitarian Innovative Finance Hub (HIFHUB), hosted by the Danish Red Cross.

By showcasing real examples and ideas through this challenge, the HIFHUB wants to surface knowledge and encourage more National Societies to explore innovative finance and to mobilize innovative finance partnerships. Also, the HIFHUB aims to build the IFRC network of individuals interested in innovative finance.

Innovative finance models and mechanisms will be on the IFRC Global Innovation Summit 2023 agenda – illustrated by practical examples, experiences and ideas from around the globe. We hope to see you there.If you have experience in Innovative Finance mechanisms you may also want to work with the HIFHUB, click here at this link to see our current position available.

Humanitarian Innovative Finance Hub (HIFHUB), hosted by the Danish Red Cross