About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Innovating humanitarian response for refugees

Welcome to the November 2017 edition of the DIY Update. Read on to find out about a new start-up developing sensors to monitor temperatures in refugee enclosures, our innovation lab event co-hosted with UNDP, plus more news and views on international development.

Profiling the development mutants

As part of our series looking at innovators tackling development challenges in unexpected ways this update features KwikSense, a new plug & play sensor platform designed to provide real-time temperature data of refugee enclosures, which was developed out of a UNHCR hackathon.

Development news and blogs

  1. 150 people from 50 countries came together for UNDP and Nesta’s Istanbul Innovation Days event, which reflected on innovation lab practice in development. Read our reflection piece on the lessons learned and next steps.
  2. As part of our Innovation Growth Lab, a global collaboration that develops and tests different approaches to support innovation, entrepreneurship and growth, we’ve been testing whether shared tools and high quality training can spur innovation in Kenya's informal furniture industry.
  3. When it comes to data innovation, information alone is often not enough to drive change, In this piece we explore how data-to-action alliances are working to make information an ‘actionable’ tool for change within international development.
  4. In this blog from DIY Learn, Nesta’s online learning programme in innovation, we look at how creative workshops provide the opportunity to create fresh thinking around an issue.
  5. With mental health illnesses reaching unprecedented levels globally, new solutions are needed to tackle the issue. This blog looks at the case of the Caribbean, and how innovation could help.
  6. To mark Global Handwashing Day 2017, this blog from Giorgia Gon at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine discusses ways to tackle hand hygiene in resource-poor maternity settings.

What’s inspiring us

Here we share a selection of thought-provoking content on innovation and development from around the world that has come across our radar recently:

  • Can humanitarians innovate in emergencies? To find out more watch this short video by the UNHCR’s Innovation Service and follow the UNHCR’s new series ‘Innovation in Angola’ to see how innovation can be practically implemented in emergency cases.
  • How can we better use tech to build public awareness about the experience of refugees? See Forced from Home, a new interactive exhibition from Doctors Without Borders that uses virtual reality and 360° videos to let visitors experience the refugee crisis on the ground.
  • Read this inspiring article by Mashable on how the IRC has recently partnered with educational mobile platform Vroom, to help Syrian refugee children learn new skills through everyday activities.
  • What does the rise of Trump, the growing surge of refugees from conflict, and increasing activity in climate change mean for the future of development? Find out more in this new report from the ODI on global development trends and challenges, and for practical advice on how aid agencies can face such challenges see this infographic.
  • This new report by the World Bank explores the challenges policymakers and entrepreneurs face in capturing the gains of technological innovation in the developing world.

Connect with us

For updates on the DIY Toolkit, innovation and development, follow us on Twitter @DIYToolkit. More resources on Nesta’s work can be found on our website, Twitter and Facebook.

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Alex Glennie

Alex Glennie

Alex Glennie

Senior Policy Manager

Alex is a Senior Policy Manager in the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL).

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Mariam Mohamed Salah

Mariam Mohamed Salah

Mariam Mohamed Salah

Intern, Research, Analysis and Policy

Mariam worked on a range of projects with the aim of supporting policymakers andecision-makersrs in promoting innovation in the UK and internationally to tackle societal challenges and…

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Isobel Roberts

Isobel Roberts

Isobel Roberts

Content and Communications Manager, Innovation Skills

Isobel worked in the Innovation Skills team as Content and Communications Manager, helping to build Nesta's learning and development offering.

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