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

CHRHS Seed Grant Projects

CHRHS annually funds pilot research studies through our Seed Grant Program. This program is designed to stimulate original, innovation-driven research that addresses topics of disaster preparedness, humanitarian response, and/or post emergency reconstruction.

When houses talk: The architecture of post-disaster housing reconstruction as discourse

This study aims to pilot methodological approaches for examining architectural practice in post-disaster housing reconstruction. The research will be guided by ethnographic studies of material culture, examining how meanings of “safety”, “resilience”, and “recovery” are constructured and used in everyday life. The study poses the question: What lessons about post-disaster housing reconstruction can be gleaned by viewing architecture in as a form of discourse? More >

The Interdependence Of Humanitarian Work: A Programmatic Evaluation among NGOs, CSOs and Private Sector During the Itbayat, Batanes Earthquake Disaster Response Operations

This study aims to evaluate how the Non Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations and the Private Sector operated during the Itbayat, Batanes earthquake in the Philippines. In addition, the study aims to formulate policy recommendations to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to enhance the interdependence of humanitarian workers in future disaster response operations. More >

Photo Credit: Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Collaborating the Relief and Recovery Efforts in Post Disaster Situations in Pakistan

The aim of this study is to investigate the coordination issues in relief distribution mechanisms in flood prone areas of Pakistan. Pakistan, like several other South Asian developing countries, is considered to have extreme coordination and communication issues in relief and recovery stages in disaster prone fields. This project aims to identify gaps in planned relief activities designed by the government and actual relief services conducted in flood affected areas in Punjab, the most flood prone province of Pakistan. More >

The Bagre Dam Spillage Conundrum

This study seeks to highlight gaps in Ghana’s disaster preparedness related to the Bagre Dam water spillage and suggest ways to improve Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and post reconstruction efforts. The study will contribute to policy discussions on effective disaster preparedness and flood risk mitigation measures for communities routinely affected by the Bagre Dam spillage in Ghana. More >

Telemedicine Framework for Female Cancers Screening during Humanitarian Emergencies

The overall objective of this study is to improve the outcome of female patients diagnosed with breast and gynecological caners (ovarian, corpus uteri, endometrial, cervical and vulvar) in challenging humanitarian settings, through the provision of data on the prevalence and early detection metrics of the above cancers in two camps that host Eritrean, Ethiopian and South Sudanese refugees in Sudan. More >

Emotional Mapping and Disaster Management 

This project brings together an international and interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners to pilot an innovative participatory emotional mapping methodology. Emotional mapping helps to access peoples’ experiences and emotions in a way that facilitates an understanding of the decision-making processes and behaviors of human beings. This is particularly important for disaster management because it has become increasingly necessary to understand and explain the so-called ‘irrational’ decisions and behaviors of ‘at risk’ people and humanitarian aid workers. More >

Prevalence and Treatment Coverage of Diabetes and Hypertension Among Afghan Refugees in Iran

This project aims to improve the care of patients with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in humanitarian settings, through the provision of data on the prevalence and treatment coverage of diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypertension (HTN) among the Afghan refugee population in the Islamic Republic of Iran. More >

Systematic Review of Humanitarian Logistics Models 

This 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. More >

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. More >

Influence of Informal Power Actors on Humanitarian Intervention

This study attempts to develop a methodology to identify the structure of informal power actors and their influence in the implementation of external aid intervention in Bangladesh. The study will be conducted in three villages of the Shyamnagar sub district in southwest Bangladesh and will consider two intervention schemes. The first scheme is a drinking water rationing programme, which took place in 2010 after the devastating cyclone Aila of 2009. The second scheme is the distribution of a tube well and pond sand filters free of cost or at a subsidized rate to the locals. More >

Effectiveness of Wireless Mesh Network as an Alternative Form of Communication in the Community During Disaster

This study will use the adaptive structuration model to integrate Autonomous Wireless technology as one of the solutions in an emergency communication of communities in the Philippines and Indonesia. This study aims to test in particular, mobile wireless mesh networks or peer to peer communications that will be integrated in a disaster scenario setting. Utilizing quantitative and qualitative design specifically, exploratory and quasi-experimental method thru pilot testing of wire mesh (Firechat, etc.) in selected areas in the Philippines. The results of the study will allow community members to easily communicate with each other in preparing and responding to disaster that can empower them, using wireless mesh network communication as a form of resiliency. More >

Aquaponics For Sustainable Food Security During Pre- & Post-Disasters

This is a proposed venture project focusing on sustainable food security and livelihood opportunities through women empowerment and collectivism, capacity building, and dynamic pressures from the community. The construction of aquaponics (AQS) units in a rural, highly vulnerable community is the main focus of this venture. Capitalizing on the multi - sectoral collaborations between financial institutions, academe, non-government organizations, and Barangay Local Government Units (BLGUs), the project is geared towards the attainment of food security as well as alternative livelihood that will contribute to the community’s resiliency before and after a disaster. More >