ResilientAfrica Network

RAN’s Innovation Agenda

Development and humanitarian aid have been historically project based. Although these efforts have saved lives they have not sufficiently built resilience of target communities to recurrent shocks and stresses. This is the reason why the same shocks and stresses often result in the same consequences year in year out. RAN seeks try to break these cycles by tapping into the adaptive capacities of target communities to building resilience to shocks and stresses affecting them. Therefore, RAN’s primary reason for existence is the identification, development and piloting of innovations, and bringing these to scale so as to significantly impact the resilience of communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

To effectively tap into the immense innovation potential available not just on the African continent but globally, RAN has launched resilience innovation challenges where the best ideas and/or solutions will receive grants to further develop these ideas towards scaling. RAN is using two main approaches to source for innovations – crowdsourcing and design-thinking based co-creation (DTCC).

The crowdsourcing approach is a bottoms-up approach that underscores RAN’s conviction that great ideas come from everywhere and from anyone, hence acknowledging the existence of promising prototypes/proof of concepts under development within RAN universities and in-country innovation hubs. Using open innovation exhibitions, RAN identifies such prototypes and brings them under incubation, providing the teams with mentorship, technical and financial support to catalyze further development and piloting of the innovations, through RAN’s Resilience Innovation Acceleration Programme (RIAP).

The DTCC approach is a top-down approach where RAN uses a clearly thought-out intervention strategy process which is based on Stanford’s ChangeLabs framework for conceptualizing and launching innovative future systems designed for impact and scale to determine priority intervention areas. Through this process, and working with domain experts and stakeholders, RAN is able to identify and prioritize specific intervention pathways and related projects, all of which are developed into resilience innovation challenges and supported via innovation grants. Our two-pronged approach to sourcing innovations allows us to draw upon expert judgement on intervention priorities but at the same time, allows us to tap into the enormous innovation potential of independent innovators, positioning RAN for resilience impact.

RAN is using Resilience Innovation Challenges (RIC) to source for innovative solutions to tackle different resilience themes.

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