Research in Complex Emergencies

The Population Council conducts robust, timely research in complex emergency settings around the world. Our work has focused on generating rigorous evidence for improving programs and policies in complex emergency settings such as Haiti and Niger.

We partner with leading humanitarian organizations, bringing our implementation science and mixed methods research expertise to better understand issues in settings that are affected by a combination of both natural disaster and post-conflict crises.


Assessing Community Health Systems Referral Processes and Community Health Worker Program Sustainability in Haiti

Launched in 2018, as part of the Frontline Health project, this mixed-methods study aimed to evaluate the efficacy, sustainability, and cultural compatibility of an annual volunteer-led training program for Community Health Workers in rural southeast Haiti. Conducted in partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population, the recommendations from the study will strengthen the potential impacts of the work of Community Health Workers in this complex emergency setting.

Breakthrough RESEARCH Evaluation of RISE II Integrated Social and Behavior Change Activities in Niger  

Through the Breakthrough RESEARCH Consortium, Council researchers utilized mixed methods research to assess successes and challenges of integrated social and behavior change (SBC) programming, including its effectiveness on priority behaviors and cost-effectiveness in a climate-stressed setting. The consortium’s evaluation activities will improve the design and implementation of SBC programming in RISE II and inform USAID’s global portfolio of integrated SBC programming.


Judith Bruce represents the Council as a founding member in the Girls in Emergencies Collaborative, which works with girls immediately after natural event disasters or in protracted conflict settings where they are at high risk. A Statement and Action Agenda was issued in 2013 that outlines the efforts of this collective to serve the needs of adolescent girls in emergencies and to emphasize the short and long run experiences mediated through child marriage.