At the point this project was commissioned, there was both scepticism towards, and enthusiasm for, innovation in the sector. There was also confusion about exactly what ‘social innovation’ meant.
Oxfam and Bond, the UK’s membership body for international development, wanted to demystify social innovation and have a clear sense of what it looked like within NGOs. This would help them build greater understanding of social innovation across the sector and inspire more impactful innovation efforts.
In partnership with Oxfam, we conducted a literature review; an analysis of over 200 case studies from both Bond and non-Bond members; semi-structured interviews with over 30 innovation practitioners; and an all-day workshop with 16 NGOs and two donor agencies.
This research developed into the attached short briefing, defining social innovation in international development and highlighted examples of NGOs creating an enabling environment conducive to innovation. It also explored its contextual drivers, the different types of innovation that existed, and the processes that facilitated it, giving Bond and Oxfam a clear sense of the value social innovation could add to NGOS.
This briefing is designed to be useful for those who:
- play a key role in helping your organisation to be more creative, collaborative, agile and future-focused.
- are responsible for encouraging innovation in your team or NGO.
- are interested in understanding more about innovation and how you can develop your, and your organisation’s knowledge in this area.