On December 12-13, 2011, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) hosted a humanitarian policy and research conference on the theme of “Risk, Adaptation and Innovation in Humanitarian Action.” The four sessions of the conference covered humanitarian action in a changing world, adaptation and innovation in humanitarian action, humanitarian action in protracted and violent conflict, and effective humanitarian action. This special report contains summaries of presentations in each session and the conclusions resulting from the discussions throughout. Through a process of open discussion, debate, and a closing survey, the conference participants identified four top priorities in humanitarian research for the coming years: evidence-driven humanitarian decision-making; accountability and transparency; risk and agility; and partnership. In addition to plans for a 2nd Annual Research and Policy conference in December of 2012, specific outcomes of the conference include a series of regional workshops in 2012 and 2013, launching with Asia, Africa and the Middle East; creation of Policy Working Groups (PWG) for each research priority identified; and a new flagship OCHA publication, to be launched in late 2012 or early 2013, which will share the progress made on the research priorities identified.
Foran MP, Greenough PG, Thow A, Gilman D, Schütz A, Chandran R, Baiocchi A. Identification of current priorities for research in humanitarian action: proceedings of the First Annual UN OCHA Policy and Research Conference. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27(3):1-7.