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We are pleased to announce the eight new additions to our portfolio of research studies, which will add to the body of evidence around what works when providing public health services during humanitarian crises.

The new research studies will receive funding over the next three years and will explore a range of humanitarian health issues: from vaccination strategies and trauma outcomes, to gender-based violence (GBV) interventions and mental health support for children.

Our R2HC programme was set up in 2013 to improve health outcomes by strengthening the evidence base for public health interventions in humanitarian crises. To date we have supported over 50 studies, in a range of areas, from mental and psychosocial health to health systems and nutrition.

Our new research studies


Determinants of functional outcomes after trauma in humanitarian settings

Lead organisation: Humanity & Inclusion UK
Partner organisations: Médecins Sans Frontières, the Karolinska Institute and Handicap International
This study aims to assess functional outcomes of trauma patients and analyse the determinants of these outcomes to develop a valid functional score for trauma patients in humanitarian settings.
See the full study.

Optimising a community-based model for case identification, monitoring, and prevention of hypertension and diabetes among Syrian refugees in Jordan

Lead organisation: International Rescue Committee UK
Partner organisations: University of Southern California, Jordanian University of Science and Technology, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Increasing access to health services to urban refugee populations is a key issue for the humanitarian sector. This study will investigate and improve a community health worker-based model for non-communicable disease care in humanitarian emergency settings.
See the full study.

Magnitude and severity of abortion-related complications and factors associated with severe and near miss events in four African humanitarian settings

Lead organisation: Ipas
Partner organisations: Guttmacher Institute and MSF/Epicentre
This study will generate evidence regarding the magnitude and severity of abortion-related complications in humanitarian settings. It will look at the trajectories that led women to experience severe and near-miss abortion-related complications in four African humanitarian settings, as well as highlight the barriers women face when seeking post-abortion care.
See the full study.

Improving the mental health of refugee men through guided self-help: A scalable intervention for a critical link in humanitarian programming

Lead organisation: Johns Hopkins University
Partner organisations:
HealthRight International, WHO, UNHCR, Makerere University, Princeton University, University of Liverpool and Arua Regional Referral Hospital
This study will examine the effectiveness of a scalable psychological intervention for male refugees to reduce distress and associated risks. The study aims to adapt existing self-help interventions, Self-Help Plus (SH+), as well as assess the impact of SH+ on men’s psychological distress and secondary outcomes such as alcohol misuse and violence.
See the full study.

Pneumococcal vaccination strategies for crisis affected populations

Lead organisation: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Partner organisations: Médecins Sans Frontières UK/Operational Centre Amsterdam, Save the Children UK and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
The aims of this study are to identify pneumococcal vaccination strategies for people affected by crises that are effective in reducing disease burden whilst also being cost-effective. The study will create recommendations on optimal PCV vaccination strategies and a transferable general model to estimate pneumococcal carriage, disease burden and the potential benefit of vaccination in other crisis settings.
See the full study.

Humanitarian Emergency Settings Perceived Needs Scale (HESPER SW)

Lead organisation: Orebro University
Partner organisations: World Health Organization, International Organization for Migration, UNHCR and Kings College London
The HESPER aims to provide a quick, scientifically robust assessment of perceived needs of people affected by humanitarian emergencies or disasters. This study aims to convert the interview-based HESPER scale to a self-administrated version for web use, called HESPER SW.
See the full study.

The ‘Living Peace’ Programme: Evaluating the Psychological and Social Impact by Promoting Positive Masculinity in the DRC

Lead organisation: University of Rwanda
Partner organisations: Living Peace Institute and Institut Supérieur du Lac
The aim of this study is to measure the impact, both psychological and social, of the Living Peace intervention – a programme that works with men in the Eastern DRC who are perceived as violent by their communities. It will use a randomized control trial to assess how effective this positive masculinity model is at reducing gender-based violence.
See the full study.

An RCT of enhanced Child Friendly Space interventions for children affected by conflict and displacement

Lead organisation: World Vision
Partner organisations: Columbia University and AfriChild Centre
Child Friendly Spaces are the most widely used intervention to provide mental health and a protective environment for children in emergencies. This is despite the fact there is little documented evidence of their effectiveness. This study will examine specific psychosocial packages and their comparative effectiveness to inform and improve the design and implementation of such interventions.
See the full study.

Funding for this research will be made through our Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) programme. You can find out more about our donors here.

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