Grand Challenges Canada

Nature publishes list of humanitarian experts’ key priorities
for unmet needs in global humanitarian crises

Toronto, 11 July 2018 – A list of the Top 10 Grand Challenges in Humanitarian Aid has been published in the journal Nature, based on consultation with a global panel of humanitarian experts. The list calls for increased assistance to those who are particularly vulnerable and often largely inaccessible in crisis, and has informed key focus areas of Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development and the U.S. Agency for International Development, implemented by Grand Challenges Canada. Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge aims to improve the provision and delivery of humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people caught in the world’s most inaccessible, conflict-affected areas by funding innovative solutions proposed by professionals across the aid, development, technology and academic/research sectors.

The consultation process engaged 68 experts, including people who have been affected by humanitarian crises, philanthropists, and representatives from humanitarian agencies, government, and the private sector to address the top critical barriers in humanitarian aid. In the first round of proposals, each participant was asked, “What one grand challenge, if solved, would make humanitarian work more effective and efficient for the long term?” The Top 10 Humanitarian Grand Challenges included calls to improve the evaluation of humanitarian assistance, improve mental healthcare in emergencies, and increase the digital connectedness of people affected by crises.

“Humanitarian agencies struggle to access those with the greatest needs, there is a lack of innovation in this space. By launching a Humanitarian Grand Challenge we will find new, efficient ways to help people trapped in conflict zones” – Dr. Karlee Silver, interim co-CEO, Grand Challenges Canada.

“In providing life-saving solutions to people in dire, complex and persistent humanitarian needs, good intentions and listening alone are not enough, people with lived experiences of the challenges must be involved in the identifications of real challenges and the co-designing processes of solutions to address them. I was impressed with the Delphi Process adopted by the Humanitarian Grand Challenge.” – James Thuch Madhier, Humanitarian Sub-Committee of the Scientific Advisory Board, Grand Challenges Canada.




Chris Houston
Senior Program Officer
Humanitarian Grand Challenge
Email: ac.se1713905057gnell1713905057ahcdn1713905057arg.w1713905057ww@no1713905057tsuoh1713905057.sirh1713905057c1713905057

Kenneth M. Tong
Communications Officer
Grand Challenges Canada
Email: ac.se1713905057gnell1713905057ahcdn1713905057arg.w1713905057ww@sn1713905057oitac1713905057inumm1713905057oc1713905057



Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact®. Funded by the Government of Canada and other partners, Grand Challenges Canada supports innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas Grand Challenges Canada supports integrate science and technology, social and business innovation – known as Integrated Innovation®. One of the largest impact-first investors in Canada, and with a feminist investment approach, Grand Challenges Canada has supported a pipeline of over 800 innovations in more than 80 countries. Grand Challenges Canada estimates that these innovations have the potential to save up to 1 million lives and improve up to 28 million lives by 2030. Find out more: