100 Humanitarian How-To's

Online humanitarian Q&A forum KnowledgePoint is celebrating the launch of its revamped website, bringing improved user experience, increased data security and innovative use of gaming technology to support humanitarian workers in the field.

KnowledgePoint is a partnership between RedR UK, WaterAid, IRC Wash and Practical Action. The forum was set-up in 2012 to give aid workers in remote locations access to free and fast expert advice, supporting aid agencies in exchanging and storing key technical knowledge.

100 Humanitarian 'How-To's'

One hundred ‘how tos’ have been added to KnowlegePoint’s bank of technical guidance by carefully selected experts. The ‘how tos’ give aid workers in the field punchy and practical guidance in key aspects of cash programming, data collection, water and logistics, among other areas.

William Berbon, an independent WASH consultant, kicked of the series with a guide to carrying out a survey to find groundwater. His answer is informed by more than 10-years in humanitarian crises in countries including Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Laos.  

100 Humanitarian 'How-To's'

Easy Access

Elhra’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) has provided extra support to upgrade the platform, increasing access and visibility within the humanitarian sector.

As part of the revamp, the forum’s infrastructure, digital security provisions and suitability for mobile devices were reviewed and upgraded.

A full security audit of KnowledgePoint was also conducted by an independent consultant.The audit involved putting the platform through a rigorous series of tests and inspections, over the course of a fortnight, to assess its vulnerability to a wide range security threats.  

These changes have improved the speed and usability of the site, strengthened security and allowed more people than ever to access the platform. The site is now optimised for mobile use, meaning that it can be used by humanitarian workers in the field. Enquiries and responses posted on the forum can be made publicly available or kept private within a user group. Users are also able to post questions anonymously.

The revamped system is simple, intuitive and accessible even in low-bandwith field condition.

Intuitive Experience

Visitors to the new site are also being treated to a more intuitive and dynamic KnowledgePoint experience. Users can now filter through the KnowledgePoint Q&A bank faster and more easily with the tag cloud we have added to our homepage. Users can click on multiple tags within the cloud to quickly hone in on the topic areas they consider most relevant.

Gaming techniques have been incorporated to enhance the rewards of taking part, with users being awarded badges for quick responses and highly rated answers.

Sharing the knowledge

KnowledgePoint was given a concentrated and stimulating introduction in an “expresso presentation” at the 2017 Water Engineering and Development Centre Conference. The conference has an audience of more than 70 percent low- and middle- income countries on average each year. 

“Raise your hand if you’ve ever asked a colleague technical questions,” asked KnowledgePoint Coordinator Harriette Purchas to a packed lecture theatre.

A sea of hands, attached to the arms of enthusiastic WASH researchers and practitioners, shot up instantaneously.

“Now, raise your hand if a colleague has ever asked you technical questions,” she asked.

The same sea of hands shot up again. Harriette went to explain the impact of KnowledgePoint for workers in the field:

Sharing the knowledge

“KnowledgePoint is like having an expert ‘in your back pocket’. You can now have access to leading specialists across all sectors, regardless of where they are, and tap into the vast wealth of experience that exists in the humanitarian, development, academic and private sectors. For an aid worker in the field that is a powerful resource.”

Harriette Purchas

KnowledgePoint Coordinator, RedR UK

About KnowledgePoint

KnowledgePoint is a partnership between RedR UK, WaterAid, IRC Wash and Practical Action.

KnowledgePoint is supported by Elrha’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) programme, a grant-making facility supporting organisations and individuals to identify, nurture and share innovative and scalable solutions to the most pressing challenges facing effective humanitarian assistance.
The HIF programme is funded by the UK Government and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).
Visit for more information about Elrha’s work to improve humanitarian outcomes through research, innovation and partnership.