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 answering these.
- 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.