Considering the increasingly complex migration landscape along with the unprecedented rise of humanitarian crises globally, innovation represents an important driver of impact and systems transformation for the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In line with the UN 2.0 Quintet of Change, IOM has been investing in new ways of thinking to scale up solutions and enable synergistic approaches. Within the operations of IOM, innovation requires going beyond single-point solutions and traditional approaches to promote out-of-the-box processes and solutions, with a view to addressing pressing migration challenges, be it through programming, policy, financing, research, data, processes, partnerships, etc.

In recognition of the importance of fomenting a culture of innovation and transformative approaches across the Organization, IOM organizes the INNOVATION Awards @ IOM. Started in 2022, the Awards have received over 100 innovation entries globally attesting to the diversity and breadth of existing processes, and transformative approaches, designed by IOM Offices across the world that have made significant impact on the lives of migrants and communities. The Awards aim to leverage innovation to advance institutional priorities and accelerated progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) and other relevant global frameworks.

Winners of the 2023 Innovation Awards @ IOM

The 2023 Awards were awarded at the IOM Global Chiefs of Missions Meeting (GCOMM) in Istanbul on 25 October 2023. The winners of the 2023 Awards spanned six categories, showcasing pioneering solutions for the Organization, its beneficiaries and partners.

Organized by IOM’s Innovation and Knowledge Management Unit and in close coordination with the Executive Office, the Awards acknowledge IOM’s inspiring innovators and changemakers who collaborate across different departments, thematic areas, sectors, and regions and make their mark by delivering impactful interventions for migrants and communities. 

View photos of the 2023 award ceremony

More About IOM’s Innovation Work

Data and Technology

Türkiye​ - Smart Energy Logger (Winner)

In humanitarian settings, lack of data can hinder efforts to optimize energy consumption. IOM Türkiye’s Smart Energy Logger System bridges the gap between sustainable energy, data and humanitarian impact. As a low-cost, user-friendly compact device, it logs energy data in humanitarian settings.

Runners up
- Washington: USRAP Travel Loan Program  
- Nigeria: Virtual tour for donor reporting  

South Sudan - Solarization project (Winner)

South Sudan’s limited access to electricity and inadequate investments in renewable energy have imposed hardships on the population which has already suffered from the conflict. IOM is implementing the solarization project in Malakal and Bor through solar power plants in the Humanitarian Hubs providing renewable energy to the humanitarian hubs – up to 80 per cent of its energy needs.

Runners up
- Bangladesh: Bamboo Treatment Facility
- Bosnia and Herzegovina:​ Eco UP Start Weekends

Belgium and Luxembourg - DT4E (Winner)

Many countries in Europe are facing unprecedented skills shortages, leading to gaps in key sectors. A complementary labour mobility pathway programme, Displaced Talent for Europe (DT4E), allows sustainable integration into their new communities, and it addresses local skills shortages.  

Runners up
- Belize: Amnesty Mobile Migrant Hubs (AMMH)
- Sri Lanka: Inbound Health Assessment Programme (IHAP)

El Salvador​ - A Million Meters Away: The Adventures of Paco and Clari (Winner)

"A Million Meters Away: The Adventures of Paco and Clari" is a unique animated series addressing the challenges of irregular migration with an empowering twist. The series emphasizes the importance of educating children about irregular migration risks from an early age.

Runners up
- United Kingdom​: IOM UK's International Migrants Day Ambassador Programme
- Indonesia:​ Through the Screen

Iraq​ - Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) (Winner)

IOM Iraq established the Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) to provide small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the necessary finance to rebuild. The EDF adapts to diverse contexts and is tailored to needs of economically vulnerable groups, like women and youth. Since 2018, EDF has funded 2180 businesses and created 11000+ jobs in Iraq, while expanding the initiative to 7 countries.

Runners up
- Colombia:​ Sustainable Operation and clean energy autonomy: partnership with ENEL
Poland​: Working together to fight trafficking in persons: Partnership with LOT Polish Airlines

Guatemala​ - Grants Management System (Winner)

The Grants Management System is a database platform that allows efficient internal management, digitizing and automating IOM’s business process more efficiently, enhancing areas like Supply Chain, Procurement, Legal, and Finance. This creates an enabling environment that empowers people and communities to use digital technologies to propose innovative community-based solutions.

Runners up
- Afghanistan:​ IOM's response for the employment of Afghan women
- Greece​: Virtual Feedback Box (VFB)​