Smarter Humanitarian Aid

Smart aid means harnessing innovation and efficiency to provide dignity to displaced people.

By putting humanitarian principles at the core of humanitarian innovation, we want to spark a reinvention of practices that are respectful and empowering and that achieve the most impact.



Smart Aid is at the service of the humanitarian imperative, the root of fair and dignified aid. The humanitarian imperative states that all have the right to a dignified life and that all people in crisis have the right to assistance and protection.


Smart Aid creates the conditions for dignified aid. It empowers people, gives them the power of choice, offers services that are accessible, fair and reliable, and subverts camp-based models.

Smart Aid upholds the independent, neutral and impartial nature of aid. That is aid separated from political, religious or ideological interests and delivered based on need with no discrimination.   

Smart Aid is efficiency at the service of dignity. It combines the advantages of innovation, efficiency and sustainability to deliver the most effective, dignified, reliable and fair aid possible, and increase the impact of an initiative.


Smart Aid advocates for the creation of activities, services and internal processes that deliver on the humanitarian imperative and the principles of dignity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.  For that, organisations apply the smart aid mentality from design to implementation.

The principles of Smart Aid are:

  • Innovative Thinking - to find new approaches where past solutions have not worked

    • Experimenting with models and using technology to subvert the charity approach of aid based on feedback and communication with communities.

  • Efficiency - to make the most of resources and ensure the best possible services

    • Creating structure and processes that set a standard for fair treatment for all, reliable & timely aid and create a supportive environment for the team.

  • Sustainability - to create long term impact

    • Designing services that offer continuous or long-term support by taking into consideration financial sustainability, forging partnerships and creating trust with partners, stakeholders and donors through accountability.  

The limits of these principles are always set by the intention to do no harm and empower those served. These principles are always at the service of dignity.

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