Employ design thinking research methodologies to uncover insights on the attitudes and behaviours that exist internally around innovation efforts.

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One of the largest obstacles for this project was that innovation functions in the non-profit space are very new. Though there have been efforts in charitable activities, seldom do organizations have a truly dedicated internal innovation function.

As the task focused on designing and standing up an in-house innovation structure, there were few case studies to draw on. To overcome this, I utilized design thinking research methodologies to co-create a solution with the employees who would inevitably be using it. Although a lack of agency existed individually, the desire to collaborate across departments was extremely high.


With a loosely defined understanding of innovation across the organization, it became apparent that both a consistent definition and structure would be needed. Therefore, in designing a solution, I examined three different management systems – centralized, decentralized and distributed. Thereby allowing for a fit-for-purpose structure with room to grow. Through a shared responsibility to increase relevance, impact, and survival, War Child can be in position to become a leader in humanitarian innovation.

The strategic recommendations in this report are being used in the ongoing process of standing up a formalized innovation function at War Child Canada.