Search form

Press Release

The IRC launches Airbel Center, a center for innovation in the humanitarian sector

Today, at the 7th annual Social Good Summit, the International Rescue Committee launched the Airbel Center, a dedicated research and development center that will look at how to design and test solutions in crises. As the world continues to face unprecedented challenges, the purpose of Airbel is to equip the IRC’s staff with the time, resources and access to specialized expertise that will enable them to design and test new breakthroughs. These new solutions can then be taken to scale by governments, the private sector and other NGOs – as well as the IRC itself.

By bringing together people with frontline experience of working in crises, outside experts, new methods and resources, we hope to achieve the goal of creating 6 breakthrough solutions in the next 5 years. These will be solutions that reach more people, deliver more value for money and make a bigger impact on the lives of the people we serve. 

-Ravi Gurumurthy, Vice President, Strategy and Innovation 

Airbel is already underway with research and development into issues like:

  • Violence Prevention: how to affect social norms in order to reduce violence against women and children, promoting their safety in crisis settings
  • Employment: how to unleash job growth for Syrian refugees and their Jordanian host communities
  • Immunization: how to enable community health workers in Uganda to find and treat unvaccinated children, and optimizing the supply chain for vaccinations
  • Malnutrition: how to enable community health workers to diagnose and deliver life-saving treatments to children, which does not require literacy or specialized skills
  • Education: how to help parents be better teachers, and to help teachers overcome interruptions in a child’s development
  • Cash: how big data can speed up the identification of aid recipients in Pakistan, and using new systems to get money to people more effectively

Airbel will pursue future projects provided they meet the following criteria:

  • They address a severe problem without an acceptable solution
  • They may feasibly yield a breakthrough solution within five years
  • There is evidence to suggest we could bring our solutions to scale
  • IRC and its partners are best-placed to develop and test our solution

To get involved, follow Airbel on Twitter at @airbel and visit our website at www.rescue.org/airbel.

About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 29 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.