Humanitarian Health Actors and Climate Change: building the evidence base for action and advocacy for resilience and adaption by NGOs.

Principal Researcher: Sonia Brockington – Centre for Humanitarian Leadership

Associate Researcher(s):  Elizabeth Irvine – Centre for Humanitarian Leadership   

Climate change is affecting health outcomes globally and impacts are being seen where humanitarian agencies commonly work. Despite growing interest in the area including the first Humanitarian COP by the French Red Cross ‘Health and Climate Change: Taking care of humankind at +2OC’, it remains uncertain just how ‘climate ready’ humanitarian organisations are, both in their organisational awareness, policies, practice and health programming.

To contribute to building the evidence base related humanitarian health and climate change practice, this research aims to:

  • Describe current practice and future challenges regarding health and climate change for humanitarian health actors in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Enable humanitarian agencies to better recognise, internalise and action climate responsibilities
  • Allow information sharing on progress on climate informed practice and readiness by humanitarian health organisations
  • Provide an opportunity for organisations to advocate for climate action in humanitarian health in a unified approach.

Your organisation is invited to participate in this research as an agency that delivers emergency humanitarian health programs in climate vulnerable locations and/or you indicated your interest via our online survey and promotions.

If you agree to participate in the research, you will be asked to participate in a key informant interview, contribute to a focus group discussion and review draft outputs from each stage of the research.

Key Informant Interviews will be undertaken in person or via phone/skype as mutually agreed and take up to 1 hour to complete, throughout August to October 2019.  Findings from the online survey will information the themes for discussion.

Focus Group Discussions will take place over one day in Melbourne (with virtual dial attendance available) on an agreed date in November. Findings from the key information interviews will be refined and themes will be explored in the Focus Group Discussions.

The main risks to participants will be the inconvenience of time to complete the online surveys, interviews and focus group discussion.  Reasonable travel costs will be covered by the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership if you agree to participate in the focus group discussions.

At all times, you will be provided the opportunity to review transcripts, preliminary findings and draft report outputs from each part of the research.  Benefits to the sector will be an improved understanding of how agencies can better prepare and respond to climate change and health.

Privacy and confidentiality will be assured for all participants. All identifiable information will be de-identifiable and presented collectively or coded such as “key informant #”.  All research related information will be stored on secure Deakin University platforms and only available to the research team and be stored for a minimum of five years as per Deakin University policy.

Participation is voluntary. Participants and organisations have the right to withdraw from participation at any stage and have any submitted data withdrawn from the research.

It is anticipated that the research findings publicly available through CHL published report, advocacy and positional comments, and peer review journal articles and commentary.

The research is supported by a grant from GlaxoSmithKline and Deakin University. Save the Children Australia and Deakin University as institutional sponsors of the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership.  These organisations will have no direct influence on the direction or outcome of this research. Sonia Brockington declares no further relevant interests. Elizabeth Irvine declares casual employment by Ambulance Victoria in an operational role.

The research will be monitored by the research team and regular updates provided to the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership Directors for oversight.


If you have any complaints about any aspect of the project, the way it is being conducted or any questions about your rights as a research participant, then you may contact:

The Human Research Ethics Office
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood Victoria 3125

Phone: (03) 9251 7129

Please quote project number HEA-19-144.