Guidance Brief: How to maximise the use of social sciences evidence for public health emergencies in humanitarian settings


In humanitarian settings, public health emergencies (PHE) are often one of many crises facing communities, governments and response actors. Evidence from the social sciences and other disciplines can inform decisions about effective actions and interventions in response to these events.

To maximise the chance that evidence during PHE impacts those affected, it must be useful and usable to those involved. These “end users” of evidence may include government or non-governmental actors, UN or academic researchers, civil society groups, and communities.

Aim of this brief

This brief draws on the collective experience of social scientists with experience in operational and implementation research for public health emergencies in humanitarian settings to highlight some practical guidelines and suggestions for ensuring that evidence can influence change. Through concrete examples and links to tools, this brief is designed to support teams in generating and presenting robust, credible, and reliable social sciences evidence to inform public health responses in humanitarian contexts.

Audience: The target audience for this brief is field teams working in humanitarian settings who conduct social science research that aims to improve the operational response to public health emergencies.