Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

HI2 Research

An Information Hub for Humanitarian Research at Brown

With the goal of facilitating collaboration across disciplines, here we highlight both ongoing and recently completed research projects that are being carried out by our Affiliated Faculty and International Fellows.   

Effectiveness of Faith Based Organizations in Disaster Response

This research is focused on a large-scale study of FBOs in Sri Lanka and Pakistan that provided relief and recovery services after the annual (monsoon) floods. The purpose of the study is to document the resources, networks, and collaborations used to provide relief and recovery services after the floods, and to assess the experiences, successes, and challenges that these organizations have in providing assistance. This research project is being funded by the HI² seed grant program.

Systematic Review of Humanitarian Logistic Models

The study’s goal is to enhance overall logistics service quality in the delivery of health and medical care in emergency humanitarian contexts in Africa and other developing regions. The research results will be useful to logisticians, buyers, donors, humanitarians and a range of relief workers and clinicians in charge of delivery of medical and health goods and services in the context of emergency humanitarian aid in developing regions.

Civilian-Military Humanitarian Response Workshop

The Civilian-Military Humanitarian Response Workshop convenes humanitarian practitioners, academics, and military leaders to explore contemporary challenges in international military support to humanitarian responses, including natural disasters, complex emergencies, and routine security cooperation activities. This humanitarian focused workshop is designed to help the US Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, international maritime forces, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), humanitarian organizations, and academia develop robust research, professional education, training, and development agendas to improve civilian-military coordination during humanitarian responses.

Influence of Informal Power Actors on Humanitarian Intervention

The goal of this exploratory and investigative study is to better understand the informal power structures of a rural community in Bangladesh. The intention behind this approach is to acknowledge and formalize the involvement of the informal power actors in the decision making process. This study attempts to develop a methodology to identify the structure of these informal power actors and their influence in the implementation of external aid intervention. This research project is being funded by the HI² seed grant program.

Management of Cholera and Severe Diarrheal Disease

Management of Cholera and Severe Diarrheal Disease

This 5-year project funded by the United States National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center seeks to develop new tools for diagnosing and managing dehydration in children with cholera and other severe diarrheal disease in humanitarian emergencies and resource limited settings.

Ebola Research Collaborative

Ebola Research Collaborative

This project, funded by a consulting contract with International Medical Corps, seeks to analyze demographic, clinical, laboratory, and psychosocial data collected during the response to the recent Ebola Virus Disease epidemic in West Africa to develop new strategies for precenting, diagnosing and managing this deadly disease in sub-Saharan Africa.

Trust After Ebola 

Beyond the lives lost and livelihoods destroyed, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has laid bare the deadly role that distrust of government can play in allowing an otherwise easily preventable virus to spiral out of control. In a collaborative effort lead by the MIT Governance Lab, a panel survey of Monrovia residents was conducted to help target Ebola recovery and response and to identify potentially promising mechanisms for regaining citizens’ trust both during and after the epidemic. The project was led by Principal Investigator and Professor Lily Tsai (MIT Governance Lab), along with Co-Investigators Benjamin Morse (MIT Governance Lab) and HI2 Affiliated Faculty member Robert Blair.

Costs of War

Costs of War

First released in 2011, the Costs of War report has been compiled and updated by more than 30 economists, anthropologists, lawyers, humanitarian personnel, and political scientists as the first comprehensive analysis of over a decade of wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. The Costs of War Project analyzes the implications of these wars in terms of human casualties, economic costs, and civil liberties.

Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Peacekeeping

For a decade, the United Nations has been institutionalizing a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual exploitation and abuse by its peacekeepers, particularly of vulnerable local women and girls. The problem persists in several mission areas, however, and this project aims to understand what the obstacles are to successful implementation of the policy, with field visits to UN missions in Haiti, South Sudan, the DRC, and Liberia in 2013. A team at the Watson Institute prepared an earlier report on related peacekeeper attitudes in the missions in Haiti, Kosovo, and Lebanon.