Shaping the future: Our strategy for research and innovation in humanitarian response.

A global organisation that finds solutions to complex humanitarian problems through research and innovation..
Our purpose is clear: we work in partnership with a global community of humanitarian actors, researchers and innovators to improve the quality of humanitarian action and deliver better outcomes for people affected by crises.
We empower the humanitarian community. Find out how we can support you...
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Aim: to improve health outcomes for people affected by humanitarian crises by strengthening the evidence base for public health interventions.

Our globally recognised research programme focuses on maximising the potential for public health research to bring about positive change in humanitarian response and helps inform decision making in humanitarian response.

Since it was established in 2013, we have funded more than 100 research studies across a range of public health fields, bringing together researchers and humanitarian practitioners to collaboratively undertake vital research.

To ensure humanitarian health interventions are based on the latest available evidence, we work with experts to identify critical evidence gaps and then fund research that addresses critical questions. We work with ‘users’ of evidence – funders of humanitarian response; public health institutions in countries affected by crises; humanitarian coordination mechanisms such as the Global Health, WASH and Nutrition Clusters; UN agencies, including the World Health Organisation; and operational humanitarian organisations – to ensure research findings are used to inform policy and practice.  

R2HC Impact Evaluation 2023

After 10 years of implementation, in 2023 an independent impact evaluation of the R2HC programme was conducted. It had the following  objectives:

  1. To assess the R2HC’s overall performance regarding its contribution to the broader humanitarian system over the review period.
  2. To assess the research quality and impact of the R2HC portfolio to determine the extent to which studies have achieved or are on track to achieve impact and have contributed to the overall goal of informing humanitarian response, and/or increased knowledge in relation to a specific evidence gap.
  3. To conduct a landscape mapping to identify comparable research mechanisms and conduct a comparative analysis to determine whether the R2HC continues to fill a niche not occupied by other research funders, and  whether the Programme remains relevant and provides a distinctive value to the sector.
  4. To make recommendations on how to strengthen the R2HC in subsequent phases, taking into consideration the context of increasing global humanitarian needs and demands for evidence-informed programming.

Explore the evaluation report

Celebrating 10 Years of R2HC

For ten years now, we have funded world-class research, providing grants for high quality, rigorous evidence, and offering specialised support and resources for partnering and impact. To mark this milestone, we are reflecting on what our programme has achieved, how our thinking has evolved and how we will take that knowledge forward into our next decade of work.

Explore our 10 year blogs

Find out about our past funding calls

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Research Impact Case Studies Now Live

R2HC has supported over 100 humanitarian health research projects since 2013. This collection of Impact Case Studies showcases the successes and learnings of different research projects.

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WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE IN HUMANITARIAN CRISES: SETTING THE RESEARCH AGENDA UP TO 2030

The WASH in crises research agenda serves as a guide for researchers, humanitarian practitioners and funding agencies, providing a prioritised list of research questions that, when answered, will contribute to improved WASH policy and practice in humanitarian crises. This work was commissioned by Elrha, conducted by researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Tufts University.

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What are the priority research questions for MHPSS in humanitarian crises?

Recognising the diverse MHPSS needs in humanitarian settings, and the growth in delivery of MHPSS programmes, efforts have been taken to refine a research agenda that is responsive to the needs of different population groups as well as the humanitarian practitioners providing services. Following a first research priority setting exercise conducted in 2011 (Tol et al, 2011), Elrha commissioned a second review in 2021 to establish an MHPSS research agenda for the next ten years.

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Read our latest Humanitarian Health Evidence Review (June 22)

Recognising that a significant body of humanitarian health research has been published in the last 10 years, we commissioned our flagship publication: An Evidence Review of Research on Health Interventions in Humanitarian Crises: 2021 Update (HHER2), in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Centre for Humanitarian Health.

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Latest News

27.03.2024

Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises: Our plans in 2024

12.04.2023

Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises: an update on our plans for 2023

12.04.2023

Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises: new grants announcement

04.04.2023

Shifting the power: increasing Global South leadership within grants we fund (part two)

04.04.2023

Shifting the power in humanitarian research (part one)

08.12.2022

More food insecurity crises are coming; how do we prevent them?

08.12.2022

Looking back and looking forward: a reflection on R2HC’s work in 2022 and plans for 2023

29.11.2021

Eight research studies funded through R2HC Annual Call 2020

30.11.2021

Insights into funding rapid research

23.06.2020

Eight research studies funded through R2HC annual call 2019

26.03.2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Resources for humanitarians

21.10.2020

Event: Pragmatism and innovation – collecting data in fragile situations during COVID-19

23.06.2020

15 research studies awarded to support COVID-19 response

28.01.2020

Call for Action: Ethical global health research in emergencies

Since 2013, we have launch eight ‘Open Calls’ for research that addresses specific or multiple public health issues by gathering evidence with the potential to contribute to improved public health outcomes in humanitarian contexts. We have launched a further four ‘Responsive Calls’ that aim to fund rapid research, usually 3-12 months in length, to inform response to an unforeseen health crisis in real-time.

In 2022, we launched our first thematic calls for proposals. This funding mechanism enables us to launch research funding calls focused on specific health themes or approaches. This will help to build bodies of evidence in thematic areas, responding to identified research gaps and priorities.

See over 100 research studies we've funded since 2013

View our portfolio

Find out about our past funding calls

Discover more of what we fund

Research Snapshot Maternal and Child Health, Surgery

Research Snapshot: A solution to the ‘anaesthesia gap’?

Research Snapshot Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Research Snapshot: Adolescent refugees and mental health

Research Snapshot COVID-19

Research Snapshot: COVID-19 and Venezuelan migrants in Colombia

Research Snapshot COVID-19

Research Snapshot: COVID-19 in Gaza

Research Snapshot Cash Transfers

Research Snapshot: Can cash transfers help Syrian refugees manage diabetes?

Research Snapshot

Research Snapshot: Can multi-sectoral needs assessments be done online?

Research Snapshot Cash Transfers, COVID-19

Research Snapshot: Cash transfers & food security amid COVID-19

Research Snapshot Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Research Snapshot: Child friendly spaces

Research Snapshot Ebola

Research Snapshot: Community feedback in Ebola outbreaks

Research Snapshot Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Research Snapshot: Delivering Psychological Treatment to Refugee Children via Telephone

Research Snapshot Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Research Snapshot: Do we need to rethink Child Friendly Spaces?

Research Snapshot Communicable disease (including infectious disease outbreaks)

Research Snapshot: Effective pneumococcal vaccination campaigns in displaced populations

Research Snapshot Ebola

Research Snapshot: Ethical research during a crisis: Insights from the West African Ebola epidemic

Research Snapshot COVID-19

Research Snapshot: Exploring refugee compliance to COVID-19 guidelines in Uganda

Research Snapshot Ethics Related

Research Snapshot: “So that at the end, you have a gentle landing”: Palliative care in natural disaster response

Research Snapshot Ethics Related

Research Snapshot: “We do what we can”: Palliative care in two refugee camps in Rwanda

Research Snapshot Disaster Risk Reduction

Research Snapshot: How can cities best prepare for disasters?

Research Snapshot COVID-19

Research Snapshot: Humanitarian COVID-19 safety protocols

Research Snapshot COVID-19

Research Snapshot: IDPs radio and COVID-related misinformation in Burkina Faso

Research Snapshot Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Research Snapshot: Improving the mental health of male refugees

Research Snapshot Ethics Related

Research Snapshot: Key ethical issues in humanitarian research

Research Snapshot COVID-19

Research Snapshot: Listening to Communities Improves Outbreak Response

Research Snapshot Sexual and Reproductive Health, Water, sanitation & hygiene

Research Snapshot: Mainstreaming is key for integrating menstrual hygiene management (MHM) effectively into emergency response

Research Snapshot COVID-19

Research Snapshot: Misinformation and Covid-19-related health measures in displacement settings

Research Snapshot Cash Transfers

Research Snapshot: Multi-purpose cash and health among Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon

Research Snapshot COVID-19

Research Snapshot: Older Syrian refugees in Lebanon and food insecurity

Research Snapshot COVID-19

Research Snapshot: Older Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the Covid-19 vaccine

Research Snapshot Sexual and Reproductive Health

Research Snapshot: Post-abortion care needs in fragile or conflict-affected settings

Research Snapshot Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Research Snapshot: Preventing devastating ‘river epilepsy’

Research Snapshot Ebola

Research Snapshot: Psychological First Aid in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

Research Snapshot COVID-19

Research Snapshot: Reaching refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic

Research Snapshot Water, sanitation & hygiene

Research Snapshot: Reducing the Spread of Cholera

Research Snapshot COVID-19

Research Snapshot: The experiences of IDPs in Mali during COVID-19

Research Snapshot Disaster Risk Reduction

Research Snapshot: The health risks of extreme heat

Research Snapshot COVID-19

Research Snapshot: The impacts of COVID-19 on humanitarian needs

Research Snapshot COVID-19

Research Snapshot: Trust and resilience during COVID-19

Research Snapshot Health Systems & Services, Human Rights & Security

Research Snapshot: Violence against healthcare: managing ethical challenges

Research Snapshot Health Systems & Services

Research Snapshot: What makes a health system resilient?

Research Snapshot Disaster Risk Reduction, Non communicable disease

Research Snapshot: Which facemasks are best to protect from breathing volcanic ash?

Key Research & Guidance

Guidance

Presenting Research Effectively in Online Meetings

Report Evidence Review

Research Methodologies in Humanitarian Crises Review

Report Communicable disease (including infectious disease outbreaks), Ebola, Evidence Review, Health Systems & Services, Injury & Rehabilitation, Maternal and Child Health, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, Non communicable disease, Nutrition, Sexual and Reproductive Health

The Humanitarian Health Evidence Review

Tool COVID-19, Ethics Related

R2HC Research Ethics Tool

Video Partnerships

Lightning Talks: South-North research partnerships – what works well?

Report Partnerships

Partnerships Review: Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises

Report Gender-based Violence

Gender Based Violence Research Methodologies in Humanitarian Settings

Report COVID-19, Evidence Review

Mitigating Operational Challenges in Humanitarian Health Research

Tools & Research published by R2HC

Report Water, sanitation & hygiene

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Humanitarian Crises: Setting the research agenda up to 2030

Report Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Humanitarian Crises: Setting Consensus-Based Research Priorities for 2021-2030

Report

From knowing to doing: evidence use in the humanitarian sector

Peer Reviewed Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Improving mental health and psychosocial wellbeing in humanitarian settings: reflections on research funded through R2HC

Video Accountability & Participation

Dr Rola Hallam: Accountability to people affected by humanitarian crises

Video Partnerships

Working together: voices from the research community

Article Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Humanitarian Exchange – Mental health & psychosocial support in humanitarian crises special feature

Report

WASH Research Prioritisation Briefing Paper

Peer Reviewed Evidence Review

Does the Humanitarian Sector Use Evidence-informed Standards? A Review of the 2011 Sphere Indicators for Wash, Food Security and Nutrition, and Health Action

Briefing Note Ebola

Ebola Research Findings Summary

Report

R2HC Research Forum Report – 2019

Video

Voices from the research community

Tools & Research from our funded research studies

Article, Peer Reviewed Health Systems & Services

Exploring factors influencing the selection of primary health care delivery models in conflict-affected settings of North West and South West regions of Cameroon and North-East Nigeria: A study protocol

Article, Peer Reviewed Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Use of the HESPER Web to Assess Perceived Needs Immediately After Multiple Disaster Events in Fiji

Article, Peer Reviewed Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, Refugees and IDPs, Substance Misuse

Testing a Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment Intervention Approach for Study Protocol: Addressing Unhealthy Alcohol and Other Drug Use in Humanitarian Settings

Article, Peer Reviewed

Radio and Social Media as A Two-Way Communication Tool in Conflict- and Pandemic-Affected Communities in Burkina Faso

Article, Peer Reviewed Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Community perception of epilepsy and its treatment in onchocerciasis-endemic villages of Maridi county, Western Equatoria State, South Sudan

Article, Peer Reviewed Nutrition

Effectiveness and Coverage of Severe Acute Malnutrition Treatment with a Simplified Protocol in a Humanitarian Context in Diffa, Niger

Article Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Addressing the mental health needs of those affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye

Article Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Sustainable mental health systems in northwest Syria after the earthquakes

Briefing Note Sexual and Reproductive Health

Evidence brief: Pathways to care among women hospitalized with severe abortion complications at Castors Maternity in Bangui, CAR

There will be no funding calls in 2024. For more information see an update on our plans for this year.

If you’d like to know when we launch a new funding opportunity you can sign up to our newsletter or follow us on X (Twitter).

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