UNHCR Refugee-led Innovation Fund 2023

This informs the public about the UNHCR Refugee-led Innovation Fund 2023 for refugee-led organizations. Details about the Program are given below.

UNHCR Refugee-led Innovation Fund 2023

About UNHCR Refugee-led Innovation Fund 2023

The Refugee-led Innovation Fund champions the creativity of all displaced and stateless people. It aims to reshape their participation in the delivery of humanitarian work by ensuring they take centre stage in the decisions affecting their lives, leading the identification of needs and the design of innovative solutions.

The Fund provides holistic support – combining financial resources, mentoring, and other expertise – directly to refugee-led organizations, to enable them to design and deliver new interventions that have a lasting positive impact on their communities.

Program Details

Organizations led by displaced and stateless people make remarkable contributions to their communities but face considerable challenges accessing direct and flexible funding. Too often, they are excluded from existing networks of entrepreneurs and innovators, resulting in poor access to knowledge, information, and resources that could help them amplify their impact.

The Refugee-led Innovation Fund proposes a fundamental shift in programme architecture. It takes a grassroot approach whereby people who have experienced forced displacement are directly provided with meaningful financial resources and support to implement innovative approaches.


  1. Financial support: Organizations can apply for up to 45,000 USD in funding to test and implement ideas with strong community-approaches that generate value for community members, not specifically linked to any thematic area or technology.
  2. Programme and project management support: Grantees will receive assistance from UNHCR and experts to help build their capacity to design and implement programmes effectively.
  3. Technical support, expertise, and coaching: Needs-based specialist advice will be offered, on topics ranging from technology to legal support and innovation methodologies.
  4. Peer-to-peer networking: Supported organizations will be encouraged to engage with each other, share experiences, learn from each other, and explore partnerships.
  5. Other support based on project needs: This could include organizational support, help with project sustainability and scale, training on specific topics, business model advice, and media and communications support.

Who can apply

The Fund supports innovation by all organizations led by people with lived experience of forced displacement, including refugees, asylum-seekers, the internally displaced, returnees, and stateless people.

Applicants are asked to apply as a team, usually as part of an existing organization. The Fund accepts applications from both registered and unregistered organizations. Additional attention will be given to ensuring organizations led by LGBTIQ+ persons, women, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups receive support and encouragement to apply to the Fund.

UNHCR Refugee-led Innovation Fund Contest 2023 Application

Applications go through a two-stage selection process.

This expression of interest will provide a short overview of the identified challenge and proposed solution. The Innovation Service will review these applications and identify a shortlist of applications.

In the second stage, shortlisted organizations will have a further three weeks to submit a full application. They will receive support from the Innovation Service and UNHCR country offices to develop and submit these detailed applications.

For those interested in UNHCR Refugee-led Innovation Fund 2023, open this link to start the application process.

Application Deadline

  • The deadline for receipt of applications is 30 June 2023.

Open this link for more details about the UNHCR Refugee-led Innovation Fund 2023.

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