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,” says 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.



Safe Delivery Program

Safe Delivery Program
Improving access to basic emergency obstetric and newborn health for safer deliveries

Empowering reproductive decisions and services

Reproductive health
Developing community participatory approaches to improve adolescent sexual reproductive health

Building resilience against COVID-19 in Australia

COVID-19 in Australia
Providing the evidence to enhance Australia’s resilience against COVID-19

Informing humanitarian guidance to reduce the risk of violence

Reducing violence
Developing field-based interventions to improve protection of children and adolescents at risk of violence in humanitarian settings

Strengthening referral frameworks for survivors of gender-based violence

Strengthening referral frameworks
Reducing long-term gender-based violence through effective, accessible, and coordinated services linked to community-based support

2014 Ebola epidemic outbreak control

2014 Ebola Epidemic
Co-developing implementation measures with communities to minimise disease spread

Pre-school based intervention to address domestic violence and alcohol misuse

Pre-school based intervention
Engaging with the community to improve service uptake for intimate partner violence and substance misuse


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.