Humanitarian crises and their impact on health, protection, and related sectors pose major obstacles to international development and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Effective decision-making by humanitarian actors is vital to the effectiveness of humanitarian responses. Accurate and timely information and evidence are essential in achieving effective decision-making. Yet current humanitarian decision-making and programs are impeded by limited data, evidence, capacity, guidance, and ethical preparedness.
The GCRF RECAP project focuses on research and capacity-strengthening to improve decision-making and accountability in response to humanitarian crises and epidemics. It is a partnership between universities in the United Kingdom, Lebanon, and Sierra Leone and some of the leading humanitarian NGOs. In this regard, the Knowledge to Policy (K2P) Center conducted a workshop on building the capacity of its project team to promote the use of evidence in policy and practice.
Twenty individuals from the multidisciplinary background and spanning three different countries attended the workshop. Participants included a mix of researchers, policymakers, and representatives from non-governmental and humanitarian organizations.
The workshop aimed to achieve the following objectives:
• Raise awareness and strengthen knowledge about the fundamentals of evidence-informed policymaking, and the range of knowledge translation products and approaches available to promote the use of evidence in policymaking
• Strengthen skills in accessing and searching for relevant research evidence, framing policy problems, preparing policy briefs and other knowledge translation products, convening dialogues, and monitoring and evaluation.
• Encourage the exchange of ideas and experiences between participants from the three universities involved.
The workshop featured didactic material balanced with case studies and interactive group assignments in addition to simulation exercises. It used both case examples (from K2P Center’s work in humanitarian settings) and participants’ own projects and experiences as foundations for applied learning.
K2P Center shapes and impacts health and social policies at national and regional levels by providing context-specific solutions to complex policy issues, convening high profile dialogues, and engaging in capacity-building. K2P Center has been designated as a WHO Collaborating Center for Evidence-informed Policy and Practice. K2P Center recognizes the need for greater emphasis on the role of evidence and knowledge translation in humanitarian crises to enhance the effectiveness of response and achieve meaningful impact. It also recognizes the importance of leveraging pre-existing research, ensuring timely response to emerging and changing priorities, and engaging the right stakeholders. K2P Center has led several projects focusing on humanitarian settings, including promoting access to essential care health services for Syrian refugees and reducing preventable pre-term deliveries among Syrian refugees in Lebanon. K2P Center has also contributed to the development of evidence and gap maps and policy papers on Health Care Workers in the Setting of “Arab Spring”.