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    FAQs: UNHCR's Promising Practices Portal 

    What is the UNHCR Innovation Service?

    At UNHCR Innovation Service we capture and document how colleagues and refugees are innovating in the field. Our team will support you in documenting the process of experimentation within the organization (or outside), including your successes, lessons learned, and even your failures. We aim to be as transparent and informative as possible and will support you in utilizing numerous channels to share knowledge on what works and what doesn’t. As a service, we also want to support you in identifying and solving challenges inside and outside of the organization. Through the innovation process, we can pursue systems and organizational change to make UNHCR more efficient and impactful for persons of concern. Or perhaps you simply have a new idea you’d like feedback on? Regardless – we’re here to help. For more information go to or email us at

    What is UNHCR Ideas?

    UNHCR Ideas is UNHCR’s knowledge sharing platform – where staff members, partners, and refugee communities can come together to share ideas, promising practices and collaborate on solving some of the biggest challenges that refugees and displaced communities face. The platform is designed to bring together stakeholders from a wide variety of locations and backgrounds to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas to solve common challenges.

    Why do promising practices matter?

    TO ADD

    What is a promising practice? How is it different from a best practice?

    TO ADD

    How do I submit?

    On each Challenge site, you’ll see a “Submit” tab. When posting an idea or promising practice, we recommend you give your idea a catchy title that tells others what your idea is all about. Then enter the description of your idea, outlining what the opportunity is, what the solution looks like and how your idea addresses the Challenge question. Click on ‘Publish’ to share your idea with the UNHCR Ideas community. By clicking “Save Draft”, you will be able to complete your idea at a later date. Once you’ve submitted your idea make sure to share it with colleagues, friends or on social media using #UNHCRIdeas.

    Do I need to submit a full proposal?

    No – you do not need to initially submit a full proposal when posting to UNHCR Ideas. Simply add the description of the idea or promising practice you have and if we need more information we’ll follow up with you later in the Challenge.

    Can I submit anonymously?

    You are allowed to submit anonymously by checking the box at the bottom that says, "Make my idea Anonymous." Your submission will still be visible to others, but your name will not be. For users’ security and the purposes of the platform, Site Administrators will still be able to see your name. If you would like to remain Anonymous when answering questions, please remember to check the box before publishing comments as well.

    Can I edit my submission once it’s posted?

    Yes, you can. To edit your submission, click on the idea, then click on "Edit". Remember to click on the "Publish" button to save any changes. After submitting your idea, you’ll be able to view the idea and contributions that others have made to your idea by clicking on “Collaborate”.

    How do I collaborate?

    Innovation begins with a good idea, but it doesn't stop there. Once an idea is posted, it needs the feedback of the crowd through votes and comments to refine the idea and identify the ideas with the most merit. Merit will be based on the number of votes, comments and engagement an idea has within the community. To view and collaborate on existing ideas, click on “Collaborate” on the navigation menu on the main Challenge Site. The "Collaborate" page also provides a search function and filters to search for ideas using specific criteria. Let us know your thoughts on existing ideas by:

    • Voting - use the thumbs-up to vote for your favorite submissions.
    • Commenting - insert text to the box available at the bottom of a submission and discuss further the promising practices submitted.
    • Following submissions - receive notifications so you can stay up to date on your favorite posts.

    Why is UNHCR Ideas in English?

    If you go to “My Profile” in the top right-hand corner of the page, you will see a tab for “Language Preferences” that will enable you to change the stock language on the site to other languages.

    What is an Innovation Challenge?

    A Challenge is a specific question that is asked to the UNHCR Ideas community to get feedback on a chosen topic. At the end of a Challenge, a winning idea is chosen based on community feedback and voting, expert reviews, and vetting by leaders in the humanitarian community. The winning idea, and potentially others, will be funded for testing and implementation. To find out about our current challenges, visit the homepage of UNHCR Ideas. 

    Can I sponsor or create a Challenge on UNHCR Ideas?

    If you want to be a partner or sponsor a Challenge focused on assisting and protecting refugees, start by downloading the Challenge Blueprint or send us an email with your idea at for more information.

    Additionally, if you’re a UNHCR employee and interested in running your own operational Challenge, contact us at so we can help you set up the initial process.

    © UNHCR /Scott Nelson