Humanitarian actors and researchers have amassed evidence about the state of knowledge in the humanitarian sector, including assessments of what works and what does not work. Synthesizing this information and making it readily available to policymakers and humanitarian practitioners remains challenging. The Humanitarian Evidence Program produces a series of reviews to distill humanitarian evidence and communicate it to key stakeholders in order to enable better decision-making and improve humanitarian policy and practice.

In the tabs to the left, you can find the published systematic reviews of the evidence, each of which is accompanied by a protocol detailing the methodology and an evidence brief synthesizing key insights. You can also find the program’s guidance documents for how to map, synthesize, and critically appraise humanitarian evidence.

This initiative is a DFID-funded partnership between Oxfam and the Feinstein International Center (FIC) at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

The Humanitarian Evidence Program aims to strengthen the evidence base of humanitarian policy and practice and to enhance the availability of this evidence-based research to decision-makers. This includes, but is not limited to, the following key activities:

  • Consulting key stakeholders in the humanitarian sector to identify the key areas and questions for evidence synthesis.
  • Producing guidance for how to conduct an evidence synthesis in the humanitarian field, as well as how to appraise humanitarian evidence.
  • Publishing protocols for reviews.
  • Engaging with researchers from low- and middle-income countries to ensure diverse representation in the humanitarian conversation.
  • Making requests for proposals from humanitarian researchers and practitioners to conduct the reviews.
  • Assessing proposals and selecting researchers to carry out reviews.
  • Providing feedback on the draft evidence syntheses to ensure that the documents provide a rigorous synthesis and analysis of the evidence base for each research area.
  • Emphasizing the significance of evidence for conversations on humanitarian policy and action. The Humanitarian Evidence Program submission on this topic was quoted in the World Humanitarian Summit synthesis report.
  • Focusing on research uptake throughout the program. Final reviews will leverage existing platforms and networks in innovative ways to communicate results, spark conversation about the role of evidence-based humanitarian research, and influence policy and practice.
Evidence Brief: Shelter Self-Recovery in Humanitarian Emergencies
ShelterImage_92688_Credit_Jes Aznar Oxfam_TripureshnorVDC_08

This is an evidence brief, accompanying the full systematic review on shelter in humanitarian settings.

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Evidence Brief: The Impact of In-Kind Food Assistance on Pastoralist Livelihoods in Humanitarian Crises
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This is an evidence brief, accompanying the full systematic review on the impact of in-kind food assistance on pastoralist livelihoods in humanitarian emergencies.

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Evidence Brief: The Impact of Protection Interventions on Unaccompanied and Separated Children in Humanitarian Crises
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This is an evidence brief, accompanying the full systematic review on the impact of protection interventions on unaccompanied and separated children in humanitarian settings.

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Evidence Brief: What Practices Are Used to Identify and Prioritize Vulnerable Populations Affected by Urban Humanitarian Emergencies?
Top_97186 Kiran Oherty-Oxfam

This is an evidence brief, accompanying the full systematic review on urban identification practices in humanitarian emergencies.

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Evidence Brief: Managing Acute Malnutrition in Children in Humanitarian Emergencies
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This is an evidence brief, accompanying the full systematic review on acute malnutrition in humanitarian emergencies.

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Evidence Brief: The Impact of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Interventions on People Affected by Humanitarian Emergencies
Top_92469_Abbie Trayler-Smith Oxfam

This is an evidence brief, accompanying the full systematic review on mental health and psychosocial support interventions in humanitarian emergencies.

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Evidence Brief: WASH Interventions in Disease Outbreak Response
Top choice_87173_ Pablo Tosco Oxfam

This evidence brief accompanies the full systematic review on WASH interventions in disease outbreak response.

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Evidence Brief: The Influence of Market Support Interventions on Household Food Security
NutritionAndFoodSecurity

This is an evidence brief, accompanying the full systematic review on the impact of market support interventions on household food security.

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The Impact of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Interventions on People Affected by Humanitarian Emergencies
Top_92469_Abbie Trayler-Smith Oxfam

This systematic review investigates both the process of implementing mental health and psychosocial support programmes and their receipt by affected populations, as well as assessing their intended and unintended effects.

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The Impact of In-Kind Food Assistance on Pastoralist Livelihoods in Humanitarian Crises
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This evidence synthesis represents the first ever attempt to identify, synthesize and evaluate existing evidence on both the short- and long-term impacts of in-kind food assistance on pastoralist populations and their livelihoods in humanitarian crises.

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What Practices Are Used to Identify and Prioritize Vulnerable Populations Affected by Urban Humanitarian Emergencies?
Top_97186 Kiran Oherty-Oxfam

This systematic review represents the first ever attempt to systematically search, sort and synthesize the existing evidence in order to consolidate findings on the tools, methods and metrics used to identify and prioritize vulnerable people, households and communities, including those displaced within and to urban areas.

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The Impact of Protection Interventions on Unaccompanied and Separated Children in Humanitarian Crises
97362

Programming for unaccompanied and separated children cases is often prioritized in the context of humanitarian interventions. But what is the impact of protection interventions on UASC in humanitarian crises in low and middle income countries?

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Recovery, Relapse, and Episodes of Default in the Management of Acute Malnutrition in Children in Humanitarian Emergencies
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This systematic review represents the first attempt to apply systematic review methodology to establish the relationships between recovery and relapse and between default rates and repeated episodes of default or relapse in the management of acute malnutrition in children in humanitarian emergencies in low- and middle-income countries.

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WASH Interventions in Disease Outbreak Response
Top choice_87173_ Pablo Tosco Oxfam

How does the use of WASH interventions reduce disease outbreaks? This evidence synthesis identifies, synthesizes and evaluates the available evidence in order to find a response.

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The Effectiveness and Efficiency of Interventions Supporting Shelter Self-Recovery Following Humanitarian Crises
ShelterImage_92688_Credit_Jes Aznar Oxfam_TripureshnorVDC_08

What effects do humanitarian interventions that support affected populations’ own shelter self-recovery processes have on household-level outcomes following a crisis? And what factors have helped or hindered the implementation of such interventions? This evidence synthesis represents the first ever attempt to systematically review the existing evidence for an answer.

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The Influence of Market Support Interventions on Household Food Security
NutritionAndFoodSecurity

This evidence synthesis represents the first ever attempt to identify, synthesize and evaluate the existing evidence on the influence of market support interventions on household food security in humanitarian crises.

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Relationships between recovery and relapse, and default and repeated episodes of default in the management of acute malnutrition in children in humanitarian emergencies: A systematic review protocol
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This protocol details the methodology for an evidence synthesis on acute malnutrition in humanitarian crises. The evidence synthesis asks: “What is the evidence on the relationship between recovery and/or cure...

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Impact of WASH Interventions during Disease Outbreaks in Humanitarian Emergencies: A systematic review protocol
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This protocol details the methodology for an evidence synthesis on WASH in humanitarian crises. The evidence synthesis asks “What are the outcomes and impacts of WASH interventions during disease outbreaks...

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The effectiveness and efficiency of interventions supporting shelter self-recovery following humanitarian crises: An evidence synthesis protocol
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This protocol details the methodology for an evidence synthesis on shelter in humanitarian crises. The evidence synthesis asks: “What is the evidence on the effectiveness and efficiency of interventions that...

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The impact of protection interventions on unaccompanied and separated children in humanitarian crises: An evidence synthesis protocol
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This protocol details the methodology for an evidence synthesis on child protection in humanitarian crises. The evidence synthesis asks: “What is the impact of protection interventions on unaccompanied and separated...

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What are the practices to identify and prioritize vulnerable populations affected by urban humanitarian emergencies? A systematic review protocol
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This protocol details the methodology for an evidence synthesis on urban humanitarian action. The evidence synthesis asks, “What are the practices to identify and prioritize populations affected by urban humanitarian...

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The impact of mental health and psychosocial support programs for populations affected by humanitarian emergencies: A systematic review protocol
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This protocol details the methodology for an evidence synthesis on mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian crises. The evidence synthesis asks “What are the effects of mental health and...

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The Impact of Food Assistance on Pastoralist Livelihoods in Humanitarian Crises: An evidence synthesis protocol
By Karol Czuba, Tyler O’Neill | March 2017

This protocol outlines plans for conducting an evidence synthesis on the impact of food aid on pastoralist livelihoods.

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The influence of market support interventions on household food security: An evidence synthesis protocol

This protocol outlines the proposed research questions and methodology for an evidence synthesis on the influence of market support interventions on household food security in humanitarian crises.

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Evidence Synthesis in the Humanitarian Sector: A Guidance Note
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By Roxanne Krystalli, Eleanor Ott | February 2015

This Guidance Note discusses an approach to systematic evidence synthesis in the humanitarian field. Though its recommendations explicitly apply to the evidence synthesis outputs commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme,...

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Synthesizing practices of evidence appraisal in the humanitarian field
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By Roxanne Krystalli, Lauren Emerson | November 2015

This paper synthesizes evidence appraisal practices to inform evidence syntheses in the Humanitarian Evidence Program. It is addressed to all audiences interested in humanitarian evidence, including but not limited to researchers,...

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Briefing Paper: Synthesizing evidence appraisal practices in the humanitarian field
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By Roxanne Krystalli, Lauren Emerson | November 2015

This briefing paper accompanies a full report that synthesizes evidence appraisal practices to inform evidence syntheses in the Humanitarian Evidence Program. It is addressed to all audiences interested in humanitarian evidence,...

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Mapping Evidence Syntheses in the Humanitarian Sector: Insights and Challenges
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This publication accompanies a catalog of existing evidence syntheses in the humanitarian sector and discusses the methodological approach to this exercise. The purpose of this study was three-fold: (a) to identify gaps...

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Humanitarian Evidence Synthesis: A Mapping Exercise

How has the humanitarian sector synthesized and cataloged evidence based research between 2009 and the present? The map linked below is a starting point for identifying existing evidence synthesis outputs in this field. This map has informed assessments on which topics are currently in need of evidence synthesis. It is accompanied by a memo explaining the approach to cataloging these evidence syntheses; the two documents should be read concurrently.

Catalogue of Evidence Appraisal Practices

The catalog linked below accompanies a full report that synthesizes evidence appraisal practices to inform evidence syntheses in the Humanitarian Evidence Programme. It is addressed to all audiences interested in humanitarian evidence, including but not limited to researchers, humanitarian practitioners, and policymakers. The full report helps answer the question, ‘How confident are we in the quality of evidence supporting a finding?’ The catalog contains an overview of the reviewed evidence appraisal approaches. Additionally, a briefing paper with key insights can be found here.

 

This program is a DFID-funded partnership between Oxfam  and the Feinstein International Center (FIC) at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Oxfam and FIC are highly-recognized and respected names in the humanitarian sector and bring a range of complementary skills, experience, and capacity to support the objectives of the program. In addition to the Oxfam-FIC team, the Program Management Board has consulted researchers, practitioners, and policymakers who engage in the humanitarian sector in a wide range of roles and who bring diverse perspectives to the conversation.

 

Humanitarian Evidence Program Syntheses Launch
February 2017

In February and March 2017 the Humanitarian Evidence Program released eight syntheses of evidence. Roxanne Krystalli discusses the project, its purpose, and what people can find in the syntheses.