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



Photo: Residents queue for free food at a community pantry in Quezon city, Philippines (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Featured Publication

Reviewing Guidance and Perspectives on Humanitarian Notification Systems for Deconfliction

This report is the result of a research collaboration between CHRHS and the US Naval War College's Humanitarian Response Program. To date, there has been scant evidence-based research examining the various United Nation Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) managed Humanitarian Notification Systems for Deconfliction (HNS4D) that have been utilized in 11 complex emergencies around the world since 2011. In an attempt to fill this gap, this study explores the history of 13 HNS4D mechanisms used in 11 different contexts and eight official UN and USAID guidance documents related to HNS4D. This paper then details the findings from 17 semi-structured interviews and five focus group sessions with 29 nongovernmental, intergovernmental and governmental humanitarian professionals experienced with using different types of HNS4D about the perceived purposes, stakeholders, challenges, and potential opportunities to improve the effectiveness of HNS4D. The goal of this study is to provide a useful, publicly available, baseline assessment for humanitarian organizations, militaries, researchers, policy makers, and practitioners focused on HNS4D as well as a repository of open source information about HNS4D (in the appendices) that can be used for further study.

Public Action and the Pandemic The Role of Civil Society in Shaping State Responses

This report systematically documents, evaluates, and explains the role that civil society has played in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic through an examination of five separate case studies: Mexico, Kenya, South Africa, India, and the Philippines. Drawing on interviews conducted with key informants from 52 civil society organizations (CSOs), this report details the findings from each country, framed within three broad categories of analysis: 1) Modes of Intervention: CSO Activities during the COVID-19 Pandemic; 2) CSOs and the State: Relationships and Engagement; 3) Response Challenges: Navigating Priorities and Overcoming Barriers. Comparative analysis of the country level findings revealed 10 cross-cutting themes which are organized in this report within these three categories of analysis. Read Full Report >


Collaborating the Relief and Recovery Efforts in Post Disaster Situations in Pakistan: Need Assessment and Conceptual Coordination Framework

November 2022 | CHRHS Seed Grant | Authors: Ramu Kharel, Ghan B. Thapa, Tamara Voor, Samriddha R. Pant, Samir K. Adhikari, Bimal S. Bist, Pryanka Relan, Timmy Lin, Derek Lubetkin, Giovanna Deluca, Olita Shilpakar, Sanu K. Shrestha, Yagya R. Pokharel, Santosh Paudel, Ajay S. Thapa, Yogendra M. Shakya, Achyut R. Karki, Nishant Dhakal, Adam R. Aluisio

Reviewing Guidance and Perspectives on Humanitarian Notification Systems for Deconfliction

October 2022 | CHRHS and USNWC Report | Authors: Carmen Bebbington, Sierra Fang-Horvath, Georgia Harrington, David Polatty, Jonathan Robinson

Public Action and the Pandemic: The Role of Civil Society in Shaping State Responses

June 2022 | CHRHS Report | Authors: Anindita Adhikari, Maria Carrines P. Alejandria, Benjamin Bradlow, Patrick Heller, Adam C. Levine, Maria F. Lopez-Portillo, Salma Mutwafy, Seth Stulen, Ieva Zumbyte

Humanitarian-Military Relations in Complex Emergencies: Evidence, Insights, and Recommendations

May 2022 | CHRHS Report | Maria Carinnes P. Alejandria, Samuel T. Boland, Hank Brightman, Rob Grace, Adam C. Levine, Alexandria J. Nylen, David Polatty, Zein Tayyeb

Humanitarian-Military Relations in Complex Emergencies: Practical Guidance for Policymakers and Humanitarian Planners

May 2022 | CHRHS Policy Guidance 

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Journal Articles

Peacekeeping, security sector reform, and the rule of law

December 2022 | Handbook on Peacekeeping and International Relations | Robert A. Blair

Development and assessment of novel virtual COVID-19 trainer-of trainers course implemented by an academic–humanitarian partnership
December 2022 | Global Health Action | Ramu Kharel, Janette Baird, Himanshu Vaishnav, Nidhi Chillara, J Austin Lee, Alicia Genisca, Alison Hayward, Vlatko Uzevski, Asmaa Elbenni, Adam C LevineAdam R Aluisio 

Provision of Air Conditioning and Heat-Related Mortality in Texas Prisons

November 2022 | JAMA Network Open | Julianne Skarha, Amite Dominick, Keith Spangler, David Dosa, Josiah D Rich, David A Savitz, Antonella Zanobetti 

Trends in Neurotrauma Epidemiology, Management, and Outcomes During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kigali, Rwanada

November 2022 | Journal of Neurotrauma | Mr. Oliver Young Tang, Dr. Chantal Uwamahoro, Dr. Catalina González Marqués, Ms. Aly Beeman, Ms. Enyonam Odoom, Dr. Vincent Ndebwanimana, Dr. Doris Uwamahoro, Ms. Mediatrice Niyonsaba, Mr. Apollinaire Nzabahimana, Mr. Silas Munyanziza, Dr. Steven Nshuti, Ms. Spandana Jarmale, Dr. Andrew Stephen, and Dr. Adam Aluisio

Opportunities and Obstacles for Achieving Language Equity among Adolescents Resettled from the Middle East and North Africa
October 2022 | Journal of Refugee Studies | Alli Gillespie, Hannah Brumbaum, Mariam Salama, Cyril Bennouna, Carine Allaf, Wafa Hassan, Jeremy Aldrich, Sarah R Meyer, Lindsay Stark

The Promise and Pitfalls of Conflict Prediction: Evidence from Colombia and Indonesia

July 2022 | The Review of Economics and Statistics | Samuel Bazzi, Robert A. Blair, Christopher Blattman, Oeindrila Dube, Matthew Gudgeon, Richard Peck

Russian Foreign Humanitarian Assistance Identifying Trends Using 15 Years of Open-Source Data

April 2022 | Expeditions Journal at Marine Corps University Press | Jonathan Robinson

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I Once Ran Human Rights Watch. Harvard Blocked My Fellowship Over Isreal

January 2023 | The Guardian | Kenneth Roth (CHRHS Advisory Board Member) 

Exploring Russia's Views on Humanitarian Aid in Syria

January 2023 | Fikra Forum | Jonathan Robinson (CHRHS Global Fellow)

My Uncle Died in Qatar

December 2022 | Nepali Times | Ramu Kharel

An electoral pivot that restores Brazil's democracy

November 2022 | The Hindu | Patrick Heller

Ukraine Points Up the Threat to Education During War

June 14, 2022 | IPS News Opinion | Jerome Marston (CHRHS Global Fellow)

How the Invasion of Ukraine Sounds to Syrians

June 3, 2022 | Newsweek Opinion | Tayseer Alkarim (CHRHS Global Fellow)

Here's a Vice headline for you: 'We took millions to improve the image of a murderous dictator' 

March 18, 2022 | Washington Post Opinion | John Hursh (CHRHS Visiting Scholar)

All Op-Eds >