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Network (Credit: Rachael Arnott)

For Oxfam to bring about change at scale over the coming decade we need intentional social innovation. This includes: initiating deeper collaboration with a much wider range of stakeholders; supporting country programmes to effectively develop and scale cutting edge programmes; exploring alternative models of delivery; focusing more of our resources on innovation; building cultures that support considered risk taking and developing the ability to accelerate innovative solutions to the world's most pressing social issues.

Social innovation, simply put, is 'new solutions that meet unmet needs and improve people's lives'


At Oxfam, everything we do is guided by one goal: ending the injustice of poverty. It's a work in progress - but that progress is very real. The number of people living in extreme poverty has been halved in just 15 years. An end to poverty is within the reach of our generation.

To achieve that goal, a powerful and practical response is needed. That's why we constantly question what we do. We ask ourselves how we could be better. We explore what we could do differently. We examine who we could work with to have the biggest possible impact.

We don't chase innovation for the sake of it. But we do recognise that the world is changing at an unprecedented rate - so we change with it. Failure to do that would mean failure to be as effective as we can be. It would mean we were failing to make the biggest difference to people's lives.

So we collaborate, sometimes with unexpected organisations in designing and delivering new solutions to unmet needs. We work with local partners but rely on our global expertise too. We encourage staff to think freely. We learn from what we see and do. And we adapt to a changing world and to technologies that are always changing. 

The causes of poverty don't stay the same, so we don't stay the same either. Instead, we move forward, guided by one thing that will never change: our determination to end the injustice of poverty.

Innovation in action

Innovative solutions allow thousands of people to live happier, healthier lives, so they can focus instead on education, livelihoods and building better futures.

Pioneering in public health

In West Africa, Oxfam is improving public health through access to sustainable, safe and sufficient water, sanitation and hygiene services.

The Lifesaver cube

The Lifesaver cube converts dirty water to clean drinking water in one simple step and is a standard part of Oxfam’s emergency response kit around the world.