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Hivos: Social innovators in Africa


Hivos is an international organisation that seeks new solutions to persistent global issues. Their primary focus is achieving structural change to create sustainable economies and inclusive societies with the belief that every human has the right to live in freedom and dignity. Hivos is present in 33 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America with 4 regional hubs and 6 country offices. They partner with over 700 organisations across the world. 


The changing landscape of development cooperation, and the diminishing of ‘institutional’ funding from the Dutch government after 2015, led to major changes within the organisation. Hivos moved from traditional re-granting partnerships with local civil society organisations to equal participation with civil partners in targeted programmes. As they redefined their strategic and thematic focus, this included embracing social innovation as a main pillar of the organisation. 


Hivos collaborated with SIX to better understand and expose their network to social innovation.

The objective of this work was to help develop and strengthen a community of social innovators in Africa, ensure that the global field and narrative of social innovation is informed and shaped by the African perspective and better help Hivos staff internally to understand what innovation looks like by co-creating the events.  

Scale & Size

This included working with their regional hubs and country offices to host three different events in Johannesburg, Nairobi and Harare; as well as writing a thought piece on how to be more innovative in practice. 3 months initially, our work is currently on-going. Hivos also joined SIX’s Global Council and participated in two of SIX’s summer schools.

Read the insights report here