An evidence review of research on health interventions in humanitarian crises

The need for a stronger scientific evidence base for responses to humanitarian crises has been identified by various public health actors. To this end, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Wellcome Trust commissioned a project to review the evidence base of public health interventions in humanitarian crises. The overall aim of the project is to provide a rigorous assessment of the current quality and depth of the evidence-base that informs humanitarian public health programming globally. The project therefore assesses the quantity and quality of intervention studies, rather than measuring the actual effectiveness of the intervention itself.

The project addresses evidence on interventions in humanitarian crises (including early recovery and forced displacement) for health topics of: communicable disease control; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); nutrition; sexual and reproductive health (SRH), including gender-based violence (GBV); mental health and psychosocial support; non-communicable disease (NCD); injury and physical rehabilitation, health services, and health systems. In addition, contextual factors influencing the delivery of health-related interventions are included in the project, consisting of: access to health services, health assessment methods, coordination, accountability, health worker security, and urbanisation.