Raise the profile of the use of robust evidence in the humanitarian sector. Highlight barriers towards using evidence in the humanitarian sector. Debate solutions to ensure greater use of evidence in the humanitarian sector. Publish a commentary about improving the use of evidence in the humanitarian sector, perhaps with accompanying podcasts.
Key topic to be addressed by speakers: What are the main barriers, and solutions to overcome them, when trying to ensure that the evidence base is used to save lives and improve health in humanitarian emergencies?
We will hear different perspectives outlining possible solutions in three sectors:
- Academic research
- Public health
- Humanitarian action
Three 15-minute presentations, with audience questions and discussion after each speaker, and a roundtable discussion at the end.
With more than US$28 billion spent in 2015 on international humanitarian aid, the use of evidence is critical if funding is to be used effectively. Since Evidence Aid (www.evidenceaid.org) was established in December 2004 (as a Cochrane project, but now an independent charity registered in the UK), 1.6 billion people have been affected by disasters globally, with the estimated total cost of damages totalling over US$1.3 trillion for the period to 2013. However, despite this enormous burden and the real and pressing need to alleviate it, robust evidence of the effects of interventions in humanitarian response remains hard to find. More promisingly, though, recognition of the need for evidence-based decision making is increasing. By bringing together those can generate the necessary evidence with those who need and want to use it, the opportunity to improve outcomes for billions of people is great.