Identify available literature/information on prioritisation of health activities in humanitarian crises.
The Sphere Humanitarian Charter states that: All people should have
access to health services that are prioritised to address the main
causes of excess mortality and morbidity. There are a number of
handbooks to aid prioritisation in crisis situations (highlighted in
section 2 of this report):
- The Johns Hopkins and Red Cross Red Crescent public health guide
outlines essential tasks for prioritising health services and shows a
simple technique for ranking health problems in emergencies.
- The Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN) guide proposes questions for
identifying health problems for prioritisation and a framework for
- The UNICEF Emergency Field Handbook gives a priority action checklist.
- The WHO Health and Nutrition Tracking Service (HNTS) highlights
priority indicators for assessing the nutritional and general health
situation in complex emergencies.
- Medecins Sans Frontieres list intervention priorities for refugee
health for the emergency and post-emergency phase of a situation.
Further resources, section 3, include papers on distributive justice and
resource allocation, a paper examining how evidence is used to assess
needs in Southern Sudan, an opinion paper and two systematic reviews.
Section 4 describes some priorities outlined for different countries.
The case studies in Section 5 offer some experience which may help to
prioritise health intervention in future crises.
Data collection and measurement are key to determining priorities in
humanitarian crises. Section 6 includes guidelines, comments and advice
for data collection and evaluations.
Bolton, L. Helpdesk Report: Prioritising health activities in humanitarian crises. Health & Education Advice & Resource Team (HEART), (2014) 21 pp.