This review was conducted to provide a rigorous assessment of the current quality and depth of the evidence-base that informs humanitarian public health programming globally. It assesses the quantity and quality of intervention studies, rather than measuring the actual effectiveness of the intervention itself.
The review addresses evidence on interventions in humanitarian crises (including early recovery and forced displacement) for health topics of:
- communicable disease control
- water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
- sexual and reproductive health (SRH), including gender-based violence (GBV)
- mental health and psychosocial support
- non-communicable disease (NCD)
- injury and physical rehabilitation
- health services
- health systems.
In addition, contextual factors influencing the delivery of health-related interventions are included in the project, consisting of:
* access to health services * health assessment methods * coordination * accountability * health worker security * urbanisation.
The evidence review used the following two main methods:
(i) A series of systematic literature reviews on evidence of humanitarian interventions related to the health topics and on the influence of contextual factors on the interventions. The systematic review on evidence of interventions for the different health topics included quantitative evidence from published and grey literature. The systematic review on the contextual factors included quantitative and qualitative evidence from the published literature. Standard systematic review methodologies were used.
(ii) Qualitative individual interviews with expert practitioners, policy makers and academics to identify critical weaknesses and gaps in the evidence base for humanitarian public health actions (including related to the contextual factors) and to recommend priority areas for further research. A series of more general consultations with humanitarian health experts through meetings in London, Geneva, Paris, and New York.
Blanchet, K.; Sistenich, V.; Ramesh, A.; Frison, S.; Warren, E.; Hossain, M.; Knight, A.; Lewis, C.; Smith, J.; Woodward, A.; Dahab, M.; Pantuliano, S.; Roberts, B. An evidence review of research on health interventions in humanitarian crises. Final Report November 2013. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK (2013) 187 pp.