Established in mid 2018 and administered under the International Centre for Humanitarian Affairs (ICHA).

The innovation unit hosts all innovation projects and components within the society in line with the core values of KRCS, that states: We will create opportunities and creative solutions; we will continue to identify and explore uncharted opportunities for growth and sustainability, mitigate risks and provide the best humanitarian services that we can.

  • Aim 1

    Seeks to bring together the traditional, determined and passionate approach of the KRCS in alleviating human suffering with the excitement, energy and risk taking nature of new ideas, technologies and processes in order to make a bigger difference in the lives of ordinary Kenyans.

  • Aim 2

    Our mission is aligned to the KRCS’ core value of innovation: ‘Creating opportunities and creative solutions as we continue to identify and explore uncharted opportunities for growth and sustainability, mitigating risks and providing the best humanitarian services.’

  • Aim 3

    We intend to facilitate and encourage innovation to create and promote independency of communities that will set the pace for growth that will be self sustainable..

Water Purification using Non-Thermal Plasma

Through the partnership with Airbus Foundation, the KRCS are piloting water purification units using non thermal plasma to eliminate 100% of the bacteria in contaminated water.

These units are being piloted in informal settlements in Nairobi.

121 System and DIGID

The Innovation unit is currently implementing two projects on Digital Identity under two separate partnerships: one with British Red Cross, Netherlands Red Cross and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), while the other with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

Satellite Imagery

Through networks and partnerships with global actors, the KRCS innovation unit has hosted trainings for staff across different departments on satellite imagery and the use of drones for humanitarian activities.

The intention of the trainings is to build capacity to improve service delivery in emergency response and preparedness.



An urban resilience hackathon in partnership with the KRCS Disaster Risk Management department and the Policy department, supported by the Danish Red Cross was held in April 2019.

A hackathon in partnership with TechFugees sought to find solutions to the challenges in refugee camps. The winning solution will be piloted in Kalobeyei Refugee Camp managed by the KRCS.


The future looks exciting and busy for the innovation unit! Between establishing an Innovation Fab Lab in Lamu to ideation spaces in Nairobi and Mombasa, we are looking forward to engaging with youth and local innovators to codesign social impact solutions.

We’re happy to have partnered with Swahili Pot Hub in Mombasa County to organize Pwani Innovation Week in December 2019 where the KRCS hosted a hackathon on urban hygiene and sanitation.

Capacity Building Projects

Communication Strategy Workshop

A communication workshop with staff from the Innovation Unit and the Communication department was facilitated by the Airbus Foundation and Ketchum UK to understand the communication plan for the soon to be launched Lamu Innovation lab. Ketchum UK Partner, Insight and Strategy Director, Ruth Yearley and International Director Airbus Foundation, Hania Tabet inspired Kenya Red Cross staff during the Positioning and Communication Workshop organized by ICHA.

Innovation Challenge on Cholera Prevention

Under Pwani Innovation week, the 3 final teams out of 20 submissions presented their final pitches in front of a panel of judges on the 4th of December. The winning solution was identified as the Sover team’s, an IOT solution that detects overflow of sewage water lines. The winning solution will be implemented within the Jomvu sub- county under the existing Health Project in 2020 and set to complement existing KRCS efforts in the area to reduce cholera outbreaks.

Design Thinking Workshop on Waste Management

The innovation team together with the Urban Resilience Project team also contributed to a design workshop on waste management in Mukuru, facilitated by the Quercus Group organized by Danish Red Cross. The outcome of this project was a well designed and thought out waste management project in Mukuru which was submitted for the next phase in the Danish RC innovation pool fund.