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...

Since the early years of Elrha, we have kept a specific focus on the role of research and innovation in addressing priority public health needs.

We know public health challenges in humanitarian contexts will continue to be a priority concern, not only for the humanitarian community but for the whole world. Failing to address the needs of the most vulnerable, including refugees and internally displaced persons, has implications for the health of us all. And we firmly believe that everyone, whatever their circumstances, should have access to health services that are informed by robust evidence.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a catastrophic impact on the health and wellbeing of millions worldwide. It highlighted the interconnection between globalisation, health equity, economic security and environmental justice. It also showed us that international research and innovation partnerships have immense potential to address these challenges, particularly when local experts are empowered.

Our funding programmes have engaged and developed unique communities of practice. They have significantly increased the evidence base for health interventions in humanitarian crises, and informed multiple global policies and guidelines. And they’ve brought people together to address key humanitarian public health areas relevant to many targets under Sustainable Development Goal 3, including mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), gender-based violence (GBV), sexual and reproductive health (SRH), and malnutrition and food insecurity.

We have also pioneered responsive research capabilities that can respond to unanticipated infectious disease outbreaks, such as Ebola and COVID-19. As an extension of this we’ve encouraged grantees to focus on health system strengthening and economic evaluation – critical enablers of an effective public health response.

This work will continue under our Strategy, allowing us to build even stronger research and innovation collaborations for humanitarian public health that leaves no one behind. We will work with our partners and networks on priority setting processes that will help research teams target the most pressing health needs. And we will maintain our focus on improving the evidence base, and translating and sharing evidence to support public health interventions and the adoption of responsible innovation.

Everyone, whatever their circumstances, should have access to health services that are informed by robust evidence.

Read our 2023-2040 Strategy

You can also read, download and share our strategy in full as an online booklet.

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