Round Table

From evidence to change: the challenged journey of research in humanitarian organisations

The humanitarian action as a subject of research has a history dating back to at least the emergence of modern humanitarianism, marked by the establishment of the ICRC and the academic collaborations it fostered. On one hand, these collaborations involved legal scholars working on norms and their dissemination, and on the other hand, professionals in the healthcare field aimed to enhance and adapt care for victims of armed conflicts and other crises.

However, challenges persist in bridging the gap between policies (early warning systems, evacuation plans, etc.) humanitarian practices (disaster reduction and emergency response) and fragile resilience capacities of vulnerable populations to mitigate the impact of present and future cyclones and flooding on their livelihoods.

Over the past decade, research initiatives in the social sciences and humanities (SSH) have proliferated not only “on” but also “with” the humanitarian sector, stemming from the inquiries and reflections of those at the heart of humanitarian response.

These initiatives take various institutional forms, whether internal or external, and there are multiple ways of supporting and collaborating with the academic sector,
including researcher recruitment, funding through scholarships, and project partnerships. Nevertheless, significant challenges persist “from evidence to change”,
such as the nature and sustainability of collaborations between the academic and humanitarian sectors, the divergent interests of researchers and practitioners and the utilization of research findings—all of which pose challenges to the contribution of research to meeting the needs of humanitarian organisations.

Objectives of the Round-table:

  • Examine Recent Research Initiatives. Highlight successful examples
    of collaborative research (French Red Cross Foundation)
  • Navigate Divergent Interests / Identify Current Challenges: Identify
    and analyse the challenges faced in effectively integrating research
    results to humanitarian policies and practices, to improve the resilience
    of vulnerable populations, particularly in the context of disasters and
    crises (GDPC).
  • Address the “Evidence to Change”; Gap: Discuss the challenges and
    potential solutions related to translating research findings into actionable policies and practices within humanitarian organisations
  • Impact on Vulnerable Populations: Evaluate how research can better
    meet the needs of humanitarian organizations, particularly in their
    efforts to support vulnerable populations during crises (Nation Society/

Policy Recommendations: The round table will conclude by discussing how to generate practical policy recommendations and best practices for enhancing the role of research in improving humanitarian responses and resilience-building efforts.

Organisers :

Virginie TROIT, Director of the French Red Cross Foundation, RC3 Steering Committee

Omar ABOU SAMRA, Director of Preparedness for the American Red Cross, Head of the IFRC Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC), RC3 Steering Committee

Speakers :

Omar ABOU SAMRA, Director of Preparedness for the American Red Cross, head of the IFRC Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC).

« With and For Practitioners: How GDPC approaches research to inform disaster preparedness work ? »

Camille RAILLON, Research Officer, French Red Cross Foundation.

« From Humanitarian Realities to the Utility of Research : the experience of humanitarian action in disaster context ».

M. A. HALIM, Director of the Disaster and Climate Risk Management Department, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society

« Experiences of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society »

Burkay DURAK, Director of the Turkish Red Crescent Academy.

« Activities of Turkish Red Crescent Academy in the aftermath of 2023 Earthquake »


Date and Time

5 November 11:00 –12:30 (GMT+6)

Room NAC-1058