AI Solutions for Humanitarian Challenges

An integrated programme of funding collaborative partnerships, capacity building, interdisciplinary research and development, stakeholder mapping, knowledge sharing, and advocacy.


The ‘AI Solutions for Humanitarian Challenges’ initiative is a collaborative effort between the UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub and Elrha’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) designed to support the uptake of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in the humanitarian sector. The program, running from 2023 to 2025, aims to deliver on an integrated programme of funding collaborative partnerships, capacity building, interdisciplinary research and development, stakeholder mapping, knowledge sharing, and advocacy. This will demonstrate and inform effective ways forward for the humanitarian sector.

How is it solving the problem?

The initiative tackles the problem by conducting foundational research to map potential AI applications across the phases of humanitarian response and identifying opportunities, risks, and barriers to AI adoption. The initiative also provides technical expertise and capacity strengthening to grantees, ensuring they are equipped to utilize AI solutions effectively and responsibly.

What is the logic of the data in the project?

The data logic within the project is grounded in comprehensive mapping and research that combine document reviews, expert consultations, and practical experiences. It involves a systematic approach to identifying and evaluating the acceptability, feasibility, cost-effectiveness, and risk mitigation of potential AI applications within the humanitarian sector. This ensures that the data used and generated is of high quality, relevant, and securely managed to support AI implementation effectively.

Who are the partners and what data will they provide?

Partners include various academic and technical experts from University College London and other global institutions. Each partner brings a unique set of skills and resources:

They are partnering with Dr Davor Orlic, International Artificial Intelligence Research Centre (IRCAI); Dr Stephen Moore, University of Cape Coast (Ghana), Olubayo Adekanmbi and colleagues from the Data Scientists Network Foundation (Nigeria), and Dr Pratisthit Lal Shrestha, Kathmandu University (Nepal).

The team are supported by an advisory group made of leading experts in the fields of AI and humanitarianism. These include Professor John Shawe-Taylor (Chair of Computational Statistics and Machine Learning Director of the Centre for Computational Statistics and UNESCO Chair in Artificial Intelligence); Dr Victoria Austin (UCLIC) and Andrej Verity (AI Transformation Lead at UN OCHA).

UKHIH and HIF will provide funding, strategic direction, and oversight.

Tangible results

The tangible results of the project include:

  • A series of AI related scenarios developed to address specific humanitarian challenges identified during the foundational research phase.
  • A strengthened capacity of humanitarian organizations in AI adoption through tailored training programs and support.
  • A comprehensive report detailing the potential, challenges, and ethical considerations of AI in the humanitarian sector.

Increased collaboration and knowledge sharing among stakeholders in the humanitarian and AI sectors, leading to more informed and effective responses to humanitarian crises.


International Research Centre
on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI)
under the auspices of UNESCO 

Jožef Stefan Institute
Jamova cesta 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana


The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this website do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Design by Ana Fabjan