Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

About the Humanitarian Innovation Initiative

It is with great enthusiasm that we launch the Humanitarian Innovation Initiative (HI2) at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Under the leadership of Dr. Adam C. Levine, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Brown University, HI2 seeks to develop and foster a more synergetic relationship between the academic and applied worlds of humanitarianism, to better fulfill their shared goals of establishing effective and sustainable policy and practice.


Crises around the world ranging from intra-state conflicts to natural disasters continue to leave millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance. To address the rising challenges of these global crises, greater global collaboration is needed in areas of research, education, and advocacy as a means to develop and implement innovative, evidence-based practices of humanitarian assistance. By its very nature, humanitarian assistance is an incredibly multidisciplinary field, incorporating a diverse range of academic arenas. With the launch of the Humanitarian Innovation Initiative, Brown University is in a unique position to bring together traditionally separate areas of academia to tackle the significant and increasing challenges that international emergencies will pose over the coming years.


To improve the effectiveness and accountability of disaster preparedness, humanitarian response, and post-emergency reconstruction through interdisciplinary research and educational programming that fosters collaboration between academics and practitioners both locally and globally.


  • Support interdisciplinary research by faculty and students into both the causes of, and solutions for, the most pressing global humanitarian challenges  
  • Reimagine the education and training, both locally and globally, of the next generation of humanitarian researchers, educators, and responders 
  • Create linkages between Brown University faculty, students, and the global humanitarian community, including governmental, intergovernmental, non-governmental, and community-based agencies around the world 
  • Serve as a clearinghouse within Brown University for providing information and resources to students, faculty, staff, and alumni regarding global emergencies through workshops, symposia, and social media During the academic year 2016-2017, HI2 aims to establish a strong foundation of support through collaborations with Brown University affiliated faculty and student groups, a cohort of international fellows, as well as NGOs and IGOs working within the humanitarian sphere

For more information please contact the HI2 Director, Dr. Adam C. Levine (adam_levine@brown.edu) or the HI2 Program Coordinator, Seth Stulen (seth_stulen@brown.edu)