Resources for innovation

A Guiding Principle for IHDP is ‘apply the right resource in the right place’ (see IHDP Guiding Principles).

To foster creative thinking, expedite progress, and drive collaboration IHDP provided, and facilitated access to, a range of resource types. The type of resource required was not necessarily financial - key requirements were time, clinical and technical expertise, engaging the ‘right people’, and admin support to keep delivery moving. Having the appropriate resources is not enough, having sufficient resource is equally important, as well as planning for any future resource needs.


Ensure credible, trustworthy and committed leadership is visible to all stakeholders.
Apply leadership in measured and constructive ways to influence where necessary, and drive collaboration and progress.

Resource action

  • Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and guiding principles for how to get there (see IHDP Guiding Principles).
  • Demonstrate commitment and ‘skin in the game’ by investing time and effort in relationships, and seeking to understand experiences and needs.
  • Understand where to directly add value, and where to facilitate access to the right resource to expedite progress.

Reflective questions

  • How can leadership in your programme be most effectively applied?
  • How can you facilitate others to apply leadership in their own area of influence?
  • What do you need to do to understand the resource requirements (as outlined below, for example) of your programme, and your stakeholders? Who needs to be involved?
  • How can you facilitate access to appropriate, sufficient and timely resources?

Expertise and reach

Applying relevant expertise in the right way can mobilise influence, sector reach and engagement, and direct delivery of work areas.

Resource action

  • Expertise can be in the form of, for example, leadership, facilitating national or topic-specific dialogue, contributing to or leading discrete work areas, facilitating engagement with stakeholder groups, and fostering creative thinking to generate insights.
  • Short life working groups or projects can bring diverse expertise together to interrogate issues, facilitate engagement across networks, and prioritise action.Involving those with extensive experience in a specific area brings credibility, and reach into stakeholder groups and networks. This allows:
    • sector engagement and collaboration
    • work to be driven by domain intelligence (individuals, groups, networks)
    • understanding of needs and issues
    • insight into potential solutions
    • guidance over relevance and priorities

Reflective questions

  • What form of expertise is required (e.g. technical, sector knowledge, leadership, admin, ways of working) and how can it be best applied (e.g. facilitation, influencing, defining issues to address, direct contribution, studentship)?
  • What would support creative thinking – tools, facilitators? Who could you partner with to foster creative approaches at the outset?
  • How much time is required of those providing expertise and how could this be achieved (e.g. secondment, consultation role)?
  • How could the necessary expertise be released? (e.g. backfill)
  • Is funding required (directly or to backfill), or can the expertise be provided in-kind?

Management and administrative support

Providing management and administrative support can keep delivery moving.

Resource action

  • Lack of administrative support can be a fundamental blockage to getting things off the ground and maintaining momentum. In-kind or funded admin support can be a key enabler, for example:
    • administrative and secretariat support to governance and delivery
    • groups programme management support (funding a temporary post; in-kind support such as setting up systems and processes)

Reflective questions

  • Are lack of management or admin support creating any barriers to progress?
  • What type of support would unlock progress and momentum (e.g. management, secretariat)?
  • How much support is required and for how long (e.g. a dedicated role, a defined task)?
  • How could the required support be achieved (e.g. funding a post, in-kind support, secondment)?


Scrutinising the nature of the funding requirement can unlock alternative – and more achievable - ways of fulfilling the need.

Judicious application of funding can support exploratory work to expedite innovation and progress.

Removing practical barriers to participation can drive stakeholder involvement and collaboration.

Funding can provide both the support and justification for those who need to contribute to prioritise effort.

Resource action

  • ‘Pump priming’ areas of work can get things out of the starting blocks.
  • Funding exploratory work (such as proof of concepts) can foster innovation and swift learning over what does and does not work.
  • Part-funding programmes of work can foster collaboration, and provide a seat at the table.
  • Funding dedicated roles (for example, a programme manager) can remove practical and financial-related barriers to progress.
  • Freeing up expertise by funding backfill for temporary secondments.
  • Being able to directly fund discrete areas enables swift decision-making, planning and action without the time lag involved in seeking support from funding bodies.

Reflective questions

  • Where is the financial gap (e.g. to cover direct exploration or delivery costs, staff time, expertise)?
  • Is funding necessary, what might the alternatives be (e.g. in-kind support, collaborative expert input, secondment)?
  • How could funding be best applied to get value for money (e.g. backfill, secondment, pump priming initial or exploratory work, studentship)?
  • How can you prioritise which areas to fund, to achieve the vision? Who else needs to be involved?

Impact Stories

The ways in which IHDP’s approach and activities contributed to improved outcomes and impact are shown through impact stories.