We facilitate bottom-up innovation by both humanitarians and affected populations.

GHL does this by working to accelerate, simplify and reduce the cost of rapid prototyping in a humanitarian setting. We do this by:

  • Scanning and mapping emerging and proven innovations that are applicable to humanitarian action.
  • Supporting innovative humanitarian startups
  • Building partnerships and spaces for creativity and humanitarian innovation.
  • Coalescing existing incubating and scaling resources into an accessible ecosystem


What we’re working on

Startup support

GHL currently provides incubation support to carefully selected startups that are developing promising and innovative solutions. The objective is to develop the idea or early prototype to the state of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Support provided includes but is not limited to office space, startup coaching, and fundraising assistance.

  • The SecuraXis engine quantifies the level of risk for a person in a context through predictive analytics and provides recommendations via web and mobile notifications. GHL provided risk funding facilitation which enabled Securaxis raise seed funding for the project.
  • ElecTree is the first modular extendable plug-n-play intelligent grid solution designed to optimize electricity distribution in situations of scarce energy. GHL is providing support in concept development and facilitating conversations with humanitarian actors to test this solution in the field.
  • The HemaXis dried blood sampling system dramatically simplifies and reduces the cost of blood sampling, enabling anyone to collect their own blood anywhere at anytime. GHL is facilitating conversation with key health players in the humanitarian sector.



GHL has joined up with the Fab Foundation, a global network of Fab Labs (short for fabrication laboratories) that offer spaces for creativity and rapid prototyping. Humanitarian challenges that require innovative solutions can be crowdsourced by a global community of passionate grassroots innovators. The relationship also provides humanitarian staff with access to over 1,135 fab labs in nearly 80 countries.


Creative spaces

Humanitarian Fabrication

In April 2017 GHL and founding partner Terre des hommes (Tdh) deployed of a micro Fab Lab in a community centre in Ioannina, Greece. Aimed at unaccompanied migrant teenagers (but not exclusively), in order to enable better access to this population for Tdh’s protection work. The Lab is expected to benefit an estimated 400 youth over a 5-6 month period.

Fab Kit Rwanda

In partnership with Kepler University in Rwanda, GHL is starting to develop a Humanitarian FabKit to provide a “making” resource as a complement to the Kepler University education program in Kiziba Refugee Camp (Rwanda).  There are approximately 19,000 refugees in Kiziba. The FabKit is envisioned to be deployed in a yet to be build community space accessible to the whole Kiziba refugee community and managed by selected Kepler University refugee students.

The Humanitarian Crowd-Source

We recently launched a community website to serve as a co-creation forum and interface with the FabLab and maker communities. Here are some of the recent postings. Click through to read (and contribute to) the associated discussions.

  • Female inclusion in field-based maker space

    This post hopes to stimulate ideas and discussion, so we invite your feedback on successful initiatives promoting female inclusion in maker spaces in field locations. We’ll implement the best of your tested strategies in the Terre des hommes Ioannina refugee camp micro fab lab. Why female inclusion? Fab Labs and makerspaces are meant to be […]

  • Patient Tag 3/3: Scripting

    This is the second part of the Patient ID tag challenge. Be sure to read Patient Tag 1/3: Intro and Patient Tag 2/3: Material before you start. This challenge is to develop a script that generates an output file containing layout and engraving/cutting instructions for any kind of laser cutter. A patient tag is composed of the following: […]

  • Patient Tag 2/3: Material

    This is the first of two challenges related to the Patient ID Tag project. Be sure to read Patient ID 1/3: Introduction before you begin. The goal is to use a field deployed laser machine to engrave and cut the patient tags. So we need your help to identify a material that is: Almost indestructible: The identifier […]

  • Patient Tag 1/3: Introduction

    It’s our pleasure to invite you to the first Global Humanitarian Lab maker challenge: Patient ID Tags. It’s a two-in-one task: identify the best material to laser cut and engrave the tags, and write a script to generate and layout the tags on a surface for cutting. You are welcome to participate in either topic […]