We are Elrha, a force for change in the humanitarian community. The research and innovation we support equips the humanitarian community with the knowledge of what works, so people affected by crises get the right help when they need it most.
Our purpose is clear: to empower the humanitarian community to improve humanitarian response. We make this happen by supporting and championing the outcomes of robust research and proven innovations.
We empower the humanitarian community. Find out how we can support you...

Inadequate surface water management affects many humanitarian camps worldwide and is linked to health issues (including vector borne diseases), poor access and unpleasant conditions for communities that are often damaging to wellbeing and mental health.

Our project was conceptualised to develop improved guidance for field workers to help implement surface water management solutions in humanitarian contexts, focussing on internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugee camps. We are a team of partners (including Arup, CIRIA, Oxfam, WEDC, EPG and Illman Young) who have received funding as part of the Humanitarian Innovation Fund’s ‘Surface Water Drainage in Emergencies’ ‘Knowledge Access Challenge’.

Our project started in 2017, and was split into two key phases:

Phase 1 – Scoping Study – undertaken between July and October 2017

Workshop 1 – Undertaken at Arup with humanitarian and drainage organisations/experts to explore the project outcomes, scope and identify key challenges and opportunities for the guidance document to consider/address.

We undertook a scoping study to ensure that the final project outputs address the issues practitioners currently experience in the field, when looking to provide solutions to surface water management problems. Through this first phase of the project we have gathered knowledge in available literature and connected with stakeholders across the spheres of drainage and humanitarian relief through a series of surveys, workshops and interviews.

From undertaking Phase 1, we have developed a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by practitioners when working within the field and managing surface water.

Workshop 2 – Undertaken at WEDC with MSF fieldworkers to understand present thinking by practitioners in terms of managing surface water and their preferred forms of guidance.

This knowledge has allowed us to establish a set of guiding criteria for the Phase 2, including the form of the guidance, specific issues the guidance needs to address/consider, key stakeholders we need to engage with and has allowed us to begin mapping the routes for publication and dissemination of the final guidance.

Phase 2 – Guidance Creation – to fully commence in April 2018 and to be completed by December 2018

After a successful Phase 1, we are excited to begin work on the creation of the guidance as part of Phase 2. Through-out this period, we will be looking to engage with a number of humanitarian organisations and sustainable/low-cost surface water management experts to help create a simple and robust toolkit which can be easily used by field-workers to:

  • Inform and raise awareness of the philosophy of appropriate surface water management;
  • Support practitioners to better understand sites and the constraints and opportunities;
  • Enable practitioners to select and design suitable solutions for sites around the world; and
  • Review and upgrade surface water infrastructure in existing sites/self-settled contexts.

We hope to keep you updated throughout the year as this project progresses!

If you feel you would be able to contribute to this project or would like to learn more, we would love to hear from you via drainage.camps@arup.com

Subscribe to our newsletters....

Elrha © 2018 - 2022 Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110). KEEP IN TOUCH Want to stay up to date with our latest updates? Sign up to our newsletters
Elrha Please upgrade your browser

You are seeing this because you are using a browser that is not supported. The Elrha website is built using modern technology and standards. We recommend upgrading your browser with one of the following to properly view our website:

Windows Mac

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of browsers. We also do not intend to recommend a particular manufacturer's browser over another's; only to suggest upgrading to a browser version that is compliant with current standards to give you the best and most secure browsing experience.