Humanitarian Health Research Initiative

Associate Professor Kamalini Lokuge

Evidence and partnerships for best practice in humanitarian action

Our vision is to bring the best and brightest together to work on the most important problems affecting populations in the most challenging circumstances – to help those most in need. Our solutions come from communities and practitioners who live the problems of humanitarian emergencies. We use research expertise to evaluate and scale-up these solutions.

Treating a patient’s immediate needs is one thing, but what about the big picture? We are building evidence and partnerships to maximise the effectiveness of humanitarian action.

The Humanitarian Research Program aims to develop practice-driven, evidence-based solutions to the world’s most complex humanitarian crises.

The Program focuses on conducting implementation research in complex settings to build and utilise evidence to strengthen programs, mobilise policy and economic support for programs and build sustainable capacity for program evaluation.

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“The greatest expertise you can bring to solving a problem is the experience of living that problem.” (Dr Kamalini Lokuge)
Dr Lokuge has learnt that it is the mothers, children, health workers and teachers – those who live the experience – who are best placed to help identify gaps and deliver solutions. The problem that often exists is that these are the voices ignored when aid is delivered, research is undertaken and policies are created. 
The Humanitarian Research Program focuses on bringing these insights to life and giving a voice to those best placed, and with most to benefit, from a solution. 
Your donation will assist Dr Lokuge and her team to work with vulnerable communities to deliver on-the-ground services in places like Guinea, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. 
Your gift today enables the team to link lessons learned in the field with scientific research in order to bring long-term solutions to life.



Humanitarian Fund infographic

The Humanitarian Research Program at ANU was founded in 2012 with the aim of building evidence and partnerships to effectively respond to humanitarian crises. HRP combines the strengths of practice-driven research with a strong commitment to service and policy development. Our program leader Dr Kamalini Lokuge, along with HRP experts, have decades of experience developing and implementing systems to respond to humanitarian emergencies. Recognising that much of the resources deployed to such crises are based on a limited evidence base, we use our experience and research expertise to address this gap.

The Program staff and initiatives work at national and international level in collaboration with health practitioners, policymakers, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions and aid agencies in the following domains.


HRP is partnering with:

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the world’s leading independent organisation for medical humanitarian aid, on a joint PhD program and a range of operational research and evaluation projects.

University of Peradeniya researchers and a local NGO, the Peoples Policy Institute in post-conflict Sri Lanka to develop innovative solutions to the issue of domestic violence.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s leading government research body, to advance the development of a vaccine against Lassa fever, a viral illness that affects hundreds of thousands each year in West Africa.