1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Social Policy Responses to Humanitarian Crises

Welcome to the UNRISD Ideas Incubator! This is a space where we take special care of ideas for new research projects. The idea on this page is still being developed: it is a “pre-project”, not yet fully fledged or funded. To join us in accelerating research on this issue, please get in touch!

Humanitarian crises are on the rise. Climate change is increasing the frequency and ferocity of natural disasters. Violence and conflict are affecting larger numbers of civilians and have pushed forced displacement to record highs. Social policy has great potential for transformative change, but these settings create diverse challenges that cannot necessarily be addressed by the same tools used in peaceful, stable contexts.

This research will investigate the role of social policy in humanitarian crisis settings, seeking to identify and better understand the ways that inclusive social policy can address the root causes of crises, promote resilience and reduce the likelihood of reoccurring crises in the future. Within this broad theme, important areas of research could include the role of social policy in post-conflict peace and reconciliation, the potential for social policy to bridge the divide between humanitarian aid and development assistance, and the role of social policy in the response to natural and man-made disasters.

Join Social Policy Responses to Humanitarian Crises in the following ways:

Contact paul.ladd@un.org if you are in a position to provide
the financial support necessary to build an evidence base on these topics.

Contact ilcheong.yi@un.org if you want to commission investigative work to UNRISD;
you would like to co-design one of these project ideas in collaboration with UNRISD;
or you would like to join UNRISD as a
Visiting Research Fellow to work on one of these ideas.

Contact jenifer.freedman@un.org if you agree that these are important areas for research
and you want to help us gain support for them by spreading the word.

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UNRISD does not receive funding from the regular budget of the United Nations. As an extrabudgetary UN entity, the Institute depends entirely on voluntary contributions to carry out all our activities. To join us in accelerating research on this issue, please email us.


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