Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)

Civilian-Military Humanitarian Coordination


Civil-Military-Police Coordination During National Responses to COVID-19

This research project aims to conduct a comparative examination of civil-military-police responses during COVID-19 in Australia, United States and New Zealand. The project contributes evidence to a field where relationships, roles and responsibilities, and leadership structures have historically formed through necessity rather than through an institutionalised approach. This project is funded through generous support from the Australian Government's Civil-Military Centre. Learn More >

Civilian-Military Interaction in Conflicts: Best Practices and Perceptions

This research effort which is led by CHRHS in collaboration with the U.S. Naval War College, is fully funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. Through research conducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Philippines, and Jordan, this study aims to significantly expand and deepen the understanding of civilian-military coordination across different types of humanitarian crises and aid in the development of updated evidence-based guidance for humanitarian and military actors working in close proximity in a diverse range of contexts worldwide. More >

Civilian-Military Coordination in Humanitarian Response: Expanding the Evidence Base

This collaborative project between CHRHS and the U.S. Naval War College’s Humanitarian Response Program, supported by a two-year grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, seeks to expand the evidence-base for effective civilian-military coordination in humanitarian response while developing new avenues for information sharing between humanitarian, military, and academic communities. More >

China and The Future of HA/DR Operations in Great Power Competition

Lead by the Protection of Civilians Working Group, this research project seeks to define the likely People’s Republic of China (PRC) approach to future humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) operations and initiate the development of an appropriate US response to the challenge that serves our interests. Although the US and much of the rest of the world is studying and assessing what impact China’s rise will have on their nation’s future, little thought has been given to how HA/DR operations might change if China does what is expected and asserts itself in this area.

Civil-Military Engagement During Public Health Emergencies: A Comparative Analysis of Local Responses to COVID-19

Lead by the Outbreaks Working Group, the aim of this research is to document and compare the various means and mechanisms by which militaries have responded to the COVID-19 crisis globally, with a view to identifying generalisable lessons learned to the extent possible. The research team will conduct a desk review of available literature to identify and typologize how domestic militaries have responded to COVID-19 around the world, followed by an analysis of the modalities of assistance to civilian response efforts, impacts, challenges/advantages in implementation, and opportunities/disadvantages of each response type.

Humanitarian Leadership in Urban Communities: An Exploratory Study on the Role of Community Leaders in Humanitarian Coordination during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Philippines

Lead by the Urbanization Working Group, this qualitative study in the Philippines will document the narratives of community leaders in three of the National Capital Region's most densely populated cities. This study will explore the lived experiences of local leaders who have participated in bridging the implementation of quarantine policies from the national and local government to their communities. More specifically, this study will inquire on the extent of their 1) engagement with national-level humanitarian actors, 2) typologies of humanitarian activities they engaged in, 3) the contexts that motivated their decision-making for humanitarian activities, and 4) their perceived gaps in humanitarian efforts by civil-military actors during this pandemic.

Civil-Military Climate Change Issues: Setting the Agenda and Developing the Discourse

Lead by the Climate Change and Resilience Working Group this project has been designed as a response to the urgent need to better understand the problem, scope and impact of climate change with respect to military, civilian and humanitarian actors. Its objective is to develop a broad agenda-setting statement, including key terminology for civil-military climate change issues. This work will contribute towards the better understanding of the scope, language and context of climate change and the central issues that surround it as well identifying implications for humanitarian organizations, policy makers, militaries, government bodies and response strategists/modelers.

Enhancing Sustainable Humanitarian Response Through the Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Framework

Lead by the Climate Change and Resilience Working Group, this research investigates the environmental impact of humanitarian response and how humanitarian civil-military coordination framework can play a role. This project examines the existing literature on the environmental impacts of humanitarian response, identify policies and practices to mitigate adverse impacts, and investigate the role that UN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination (CMCoord) and militaries can have to support this effort.