Humanitarian Innovation and Evidence Programme (HIEP) Impact Project

In 2013, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) created the Humanitarian Innovation and Evidence Programme (HIEP). The programme was established in response to the paucity of evidence and the need for innovation to identify and help overcome the methodological and operational barriers to delivering humanitarian interventions and programming in fragile and conflict affected contexts. HIEP closed in March 2020.

To advance HIEP’s impact work, IDS was commissioned to carry out a small uptake project to increase engagement with the high-quality evidence commissioned through a combination of research mapping, evidence synthesis, event facilitation and impact grants.


In total, the following four impact grants were provided to HIEP funded projects to carry out research uptake activities:

Creation, dissemination and preservation of the Secure Access in Volatile Environments (SAVE) digital research products

The SAVE research programme was the first of its kind to generate empirical measures of humanitarian coverage in insecure conflict environments. The HIEP impact project comprised three main activity areas centred around finding visually dynamic ways to preserve, disseminate and build on the evidence and analysis produced by SAVE. The Impact Project helped build a bridge between the SAVE knowledge base and Humanitarian Outcomes’ ongoing research in humanitarian access and security through a new data stream supported by data-visuals to help drive dissemination efforts.

The three activity areas carried out were:

Maiduguri, Nigeria Humanitarian Access workshop

To further promote the findings from the SAVE research programme, Humanitarian Outcomes facilitated a workshop in Maiduguri, Nigeria to enable humanitarian practitioners and southern and regional policy makers to discuss and document emerging lessons and good practice in enabling more effective humanitarian access.

The workshop explored what is known about the ability of people to access services and assistance in North-east Nigeria, whether there are key gaps in knowledge and what a shift in focus could mean for how agencies approach programming, advocacy and protection strategies. It was attended by 45 staff from international and national aid agencies.


Developing a case study on the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX)

In late 2013, HIEP funded The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to develop the HDX – a platform created to promote the sharing and use of humanitarian data. HDX now hosts over 17,000 datasets from over 300 registered organisations and is viewed as one of the leading open data portals in the world.

In large part due to the success of HDX, the HIEP impact grant provided an opportunity to develop a case study on HDX, to illustrate the decisions and key results of the past six years that have informed the direction of the platform and contributed to its success.


Valid Evaluations: Multi-Year Humanitarian Financing thematic evaluation

The Valid Evaluations thematic evaluation of Multi-Year Humanitarian Financing ran from 2014-2018. It covered four countries: Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan and Sudan and answered three questions, looking at resilience, multi-year humanitarian funding and contingency financing. It produced a series of reports on each country as well as reports on gender, health, resilience investments and a synthesis report combining all of this analysis.

The HIEP uptake grant focused on two main areas, namely the production of a set of briefing materials and a number of demand-led briefings.


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Project details

start date
1 July 2019
end date
31 March 2020


Supported by

About this project

Programmes and centres
Humanitarian Learning Centre


Recent work