top of page

A knowledge resource selected by UNICEF for humanitarian practitioners everywhere

Operational Research for Humanitarians

Evidence is central to good decision-making both in the humanitarian sector and beyond. Every day, a vast amount of evidence is generated that is relevant to humanitarian actors, much of it through research by academics and practitioners. This evidence can be incredibly valuable. It can help us better understand a situation and make humanitarian action more effective and accountable. The difficulty comes with understanding what evidence is relevant to our circumstances, where to find it, and how to assess its quality.

This course will provide you with the fundamental knowledge and skills to answer these questions and help you better engage with research. It has been developed with you - a humanitarian professional or junior researcher - in mind. The course moves through the core research concepts one-at-a-time and does not require any prior knowledge or experience. We encourage all of you to plan your own learning journey by using this MOOC in a way that is most useful to you.

Content highlights:
• How can research be used for humanitarian practice?
• What are the most appropriate research methods?
• How can I judge the quality of the evidence and whether it is applicable to the context I work in?
• How can populations in a situation of vulnerability be protected during a study?

This course - co-developed in a partnership between academic and humanitarian institutions - is strongly positioned to give you the needed skills and knowledge to build a bridge between research and practice.

We hope that this course will change your perspectives and improve your knowledge and, ultimately, make humanitarian responses more evidence-based. Enjoy!


University of Geneva

Area of Work






Year Published


Last Checked





bottom of page