Humanitarian Public Health and Health Systems Research (Professor Karl Blanchet)

The Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies conducts research in armed conflicts and amongst refugee and internally displaced populations. The Geneva Centre is working in various research domains:  implementation research of public health interventions (NCDs, SRH, adolescent health), development of priority packages of interventions with the DCP3 programme in Afghanistan and humanitarian crises, health system research using system thinking approaches with the WHO Alliance on Health Policy and Systems Research and impact evaluation of attacks on health with the RIAH Consortium. The Geneva Centre is a member of the Global Health Cluster and has built key research partnerships with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Aga Khan University as well as Médecins sans Frontières, the International Committee of the Red Cross, UNFPA, the WHO Alliance on Health Policy and Systems Research and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health.

The Geneva Centre is also an active member of the BRANCH Consortium, an academic research enterprise from several top universities who have joined forced to improve evidence and guidance for effective action on women’s and children’s health and nutrition in conflict settings. The Branch Consortium published in 2021 a Lancet Series on Women’s and Children’s Health in Conflict Settings.

The Lancet Migration European Regional Hub:

The Lancet Migration European Hub was launched on June 2021 and is co-hosted by the Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies and co-chaired by Professor Karl Blanchet together with professor Bernadette Kumar. The European Hub aims to bring together local and regional researchers, civil society, non-governmental organizations, multilateral organisations, policy makers, and migrants themselves across the region, the Hub offers a platform for research, practice, and policy action for migration to and within the European Region.

Integrated Package of Essential Health Services:

Professor Karl Blanchet worked between 2018 and Mid 2021 with the Ministry of Public Health on the development of a new national priority package, the Integrated Package of Essential Health Services. This work involved the review of global evidence on cost-effectiveness of interventions using DCP3, analysis of national data on health needs, health system capacity and financing capacities and several rounds of discussions between national and international experts. The study was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. PI: Prof. Karl Blanchet.

Attacks on Healthcare in Afghanistan:

The Impact of Attacks on Healthcare (RIAH) programme is led by the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at the University of Manchester, in collaboration with the Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, University of California (Berkeley) and Insight Insecurity. Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the programme aims to improve the understanding of the nature, frequency and scale of attacks on healthcare and their impact on the health services delivery in armed conflict.

The RIAH programme initiated four case studies to explore the impacts of attacks on healthcare in Colombia, Central African Republic, Afghanistan and Nepal. Audrey Mahieu and colleagues recently published a working paper on the conceptual issues and methodological approaches to evaluating the wider and the longer-term impact of attacks on healthcare in conflict. The working paper aims to be dynamic and iterative, and will be updated to integrate the lessons learned from all the case studies. Our Centre will continue to play a key role in this project, leading the research focused on Afghanistan and the Central African Republic, as well as organizing events with key humanitarian actors in Geneva. The study is funded by UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

Project members: Prof. Karl Blanchet (coPI), Audrey Mahieu.

SYSTAC Europe:

The WHO Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research along with a group of institutions are commencing the co-design of the Systems Thinking Accelerator (SYSTAC). SYSTAC will be a community for systems thinkers to engage, connect and collaborate so that we elevate the field of systems thinking to improve health and leave no one behind. We are in the process of creating the SYSTAC European hub.

Project members: Prof. Karl Blanchet (coPI), Dr Dell Saulnier.

A few course courses on humanitarian health are also offered by the Geneva Centre on Humanitarian Studies and listed in the catalog: Health System Assessment in Humanitarian Crises, NCDs in Humanitarian Crises, Addressing Sexual Violence, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Planetary Health. The team is also in charge of the Master Module on humanitarian health at ISG.