Defining a Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements Research Agenda

Defining a Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements Research Agenda

Summary

As a global community, we continue to assemble a growing wealth of knowledge on humanitarian shelter and settlements, yet this begs the question – are we collecting the right evidence? This research aims to synthesise research priorities for the humanitarian shelter and settlements sector, drawing from surveys, an expert panel (Delphi method), and interviews which will solicit opinions on research needs from NGOs, governments, and academic institutions to collaboratively define a strategy to guide future research. By more clearly defining the problems facing the humanitarian shelter and settlements sector, we hope to provide guidance on where academics and practitioners should direct their research efforts.

Roles: Aaron Opdyke (CI), Amy Javernick-Will (Co-CI) [University of Colorado Boulder], Briar Goldwyn (Graduate Research Assistant) [University of Colorado Boulder]

Project Status
80%

Research Questions

  • What are the current research priorities for the humanitarian shelter and settlements sector?

Research Methods

As a preliminary step, this research solicited an online survey to humanitarian shelter and settlements practitioners in late 2017.  Survey response were then qualitatively coded in Nvivo software, grouping similar themes together. Next, an expert panel of practitioners was assembled and asked to list research needs. These responses were similarly coded and combined with initial survey data to create a comprehensive list of research topics.

Subsequently, this research will employ the Delphi method, which will solicit opinions on research needs from expert panellists over three rounds of on-line surveys. During the first round we will first ask each panellist to verify the compiled list of research topics. During the second round, the complete list of topics will be sent to each panellist and they will be asked to rate the relative importance of each research topic. The research team will then analyse and summarise the responses for common trends and identification of outliers, followed by the redistribution of this analysis to the panellists for rating and comment in the third round, with each panellist having the opportunity to change their answers based on comments made by other panellists. All responses during the survey will be anonymous to the other participants.

Findings

By more clearly defining the problems facing the humanitarian shelter and settlements sector, we hope to provide guidance on where academics and practitioners should direct their research efforts. We will disseminate our findings to participating organisations through a free, online report and aim to publish the results in a peer-reviewed academic journal. We may also present results at forums, workshops, or conferences.