Research in Natural Disaster Settings

The Population Council conducts extensive, high-quality policy, synthesis and research activities in natural disaster settings worldwide. Over the last decade, our work has examined the impacts of biological, climate-, and weather-related emergencies on vulnerable populations, focusing on mitigation and building resilience. This ranges from the review of social and behavior change programming aimed at mitigating the Zika outbreak in Latin America and the Caribbean to the examination of factors affecting risk and resilience in communities affected by the 2010 floods in Pakistan.


Climate Change, Resilience, and Population Dynamics in Pakistan: 2010 Floods

Utilizing demographic and geospatial data, this study examined the effects of the 2010 floods in Pakistan to identify demographic processes contributing to both the vulnerability of populations at risk, and their adaptive responses and resilience in high-risk flood events. Findings highlighted the need to include demographic and health information in the analysis of natural disasters and demonstrated that data from Population Censuses, Agricultural Censuses and other sources can be used to build a national overview on the impact of climate change.

Lessons Learned from the USAID Zika Response in Latin America & the Caribbean

The Council, through its flagship USAID social and behavior change (SBC) implementation science project, Breakthrough RESEARCH, examined USAID and its implementing partners’ collaborative efforts to respond to the Zika epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean to inform future SBC programming for public health emergencies. Breakthrough RESEARCH examined USAID’s multi-pronged approach focusing on crosscutting themes such as SBC communication; vector, or mosquito, control; service delivery; and research and innovation.


Adolescent Girls, Human Rights and the Expanding Climate Emergency

In their published viewpoint “Adolescent Girls, Human Rights and the Expanding Climate Emergency,” the Council’s Judith Bruce and Holly G. Atkinson describe that the number and scale of natural disasters, one of the major causes of humanitarian emergencies, have increased markedly, and urge the global community to invest in adolescent girls by centrally anchoring them in climate adaptation strategies.