An introduction to social innovation for NGOs

Although many aspects of innovation, including the ability to creatively problem solve and adapt to changing context, have long underpinned the work of NGOs, it is currently emerging as a new and distinct area of practice.

At present, there is both scepticism towards, and enthusiasm for, innovation in the sector – as well as a great deal of confusion about exactly what it is.  

SIX worked with Bond, the UK’s membership body for international development, and Oxfam to demysify what social innovation looks like within NGOs to help build greater common understanding of social innovation across the sector and inspire more impactful innovation efforts.

The briefing attempts to define social innnovation in international development, by exploring the contextual drivers, the different types of innovation that exist, and the processes that faciliate it. It also highlights examples of how NGOs are creating an enabling environment that is conducive to innovation.

This briefing accompanies a collection of over 60 innovation case studies available on Bond’s website.

You can download the briefing on the left.

Cover photo credits: ©Hello Tractor licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 via Echoing Green NYC on Flickr.

*Hello Tractor is a social enterprise which allows farmers in Nigeria to rent tractors and pay for them using SMS messages