Webinar series: Do we need more innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Crises?

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What does innovation mean in the context of humanitarian sexual and reproductive health (SRH)? What are its defining features? What kind of innovation is taking place? Is further innovation needed?

The Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Science Practice are conducting a research study, funded by Elrha, to explore these questions and map current innovative practice within the SRH in emergencies sector.

Join us for this webinar series where we aim to stimulate a critical discussion around the role and potential of innovation in the humanitarian SRH sector and to share details of where, why and how innovation is currently taking place.

Through the webinar series, we aim to engage with a diverse range of innovators, from practitioners to policy makers, and discuss innovative practice within service delivery, advocacy, policy-making, community engagement and more. The webinars will be interactive and we will encourage you to contribute your thoughts and experience to the conversation around innovation.

First webinar:

Defining innovation in humanitarian SRH

Tuesday 30 March 2021

The recording of the webinar is available here.

In this first webinar, we introduced the study, shared preliminary findings on how different actors in the sector define innovation, and heard from our panel of innovation and SRH experts. The webinar covered themes such as whether we need innovation in SRH, how we distinguish between good practice and innovation, and where innovation in SRH could be most effective.


Dr Lisa Thomas – Obstetrician Gynaecologist at the International Committee of the Red Cross

Lisa is a US board certified obstetrician gynecologist with over 20 years of experience in global sexual, reproductive and maternal health in both humanitarian and development settings. Lisa has worked for the World Health Organization,  the International Federation of the Red Cross, and now in a new role as the dedicated OBGYN at the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross. 

Noreen Makhurane – Programme Area Manager at Plan Zimbabwe

Noreen is responsible for the management of programmes within the Plan Zimbabwe Programme Area, with SRH as one of the key priority thematic areas. Noreen coordinates innovation initiatives within Plan Zimbabwe, including a virtual and physical space where practitioners can connect and contribute innovative ideas.

Dr Meghan Gallagher – Research and Learning Advisor at Save the Children US

Meghan has over fifteen years of experience in SRHR programming in humanitarian and development settings. She has extensive experience in francophone settings and has designed and implemented large-scale population-based surveys, health facility assessments, and community-based participatory research. She conducted population-based research studies at Pfizer Inc. from 2007-2008, worked at the RAISE Initiative at Columbia University where she focused on SRH in emergencies research (2008-2013), conducted demographic research in francophone West Africa at Johns Hopkins University (2013-2015), and now conducts research, monitoring, evaluation, and learning initiatives on the Emergency Health and Nutrition Team at Save the Children (2016-present). She is currently a lecturer at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health (2019-present).


Dr Neha Singh – Co-Director of the Health in Humanitarian Crisis Centre and Assistant Professor in Health Systems and Seual and Reproductive Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Neha has a background in public health and expertise in mixed methods research to evaluate and strengthen health systems interventions and service delivery approaches for women, children and adolescents in humanitarian crises settings. She collaborates with a range of NGOs and UN agencies, including the Interagency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises, and is a technical advisor to the World Health Organisation on sexual and reproductive health in humanitarian settings.

Ana Florescu (panel moderator) – Head of Good Problems team at Science Practice

Ana has a background in innovation funding mechanisms, emerging technologies and their impact on societies, and entrepreneurship. At Science Practice, Ana has managed and led the research and design of over 50 innovation programmes, including challenge prizes and innovation funding calls around problems in healthcare, food and water sustainability, transportation, and humanitarian aid for clients such as the Wellcome Trust, Nesta, and the Humanitarian Innovation Fund.

Second webinar:

Mapping innovations in humanitarian SRH

(Date and time TBC)

In the second webinar, we will present our mapping of SRH innovations in humanitarian settings and showcase examples of innovative practice across different contexts and locations. You’ll hear directly from those innovating to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes for women and girls and marginalised populations across the humanitarian sector. This webinar will take place in late-April/early May 2021. More details on how to register coming soon.

If you are interested in Sexual and Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Crises, find out more about our one-week course (14 – 18 June, 2021) available both online or residential in Geneva.