Social Science in Humanitarian Action: a Communication for Development Platform

The Social Science in Humanitarian Action: A Communication for Development Platform aims to establish networks of social scientists with regional and subject expertise to rapidly provide insight, analysis and advice, tailored to demand and in accessible forms, to better design and implement the social and communication dimensions of emergency responses.

The need to bring in anthropological perspectives to humanitarian crises was highlighted by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. In reference to the most recent set of Ebola cases in the DRC (2018) founder and director of Anthrologica, Juliet Bedford, a partner of the platform explains the ‘Anthropologists can provide intellegence about the context of response for getting things rights. It is important to understand things not just from a clinical perspective, but also from a sociocultural perspective’

Listen to the full interview with the BBC World Service

The Platform is a partnership between UNICEF and Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and support from Anthrologica.

Visit the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform website

Project details

start date
1 October 2016
end date
31 December 2020


In partnership with
Supported by

About this project


Image of Alice Webb

Alice Webb

Communications and Impact Officer

Image of Annie Wilkinson

Annie Wilkinson

Research Fellow

Image of Santiago Ripoll

Santiago Ripoll

Research Fellow

Recent work


Covid-19 RCCE Strategies for Cross-Border Movement in Eastern and Southern Africa

This brief focuses on cross-border movement in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and its implications for development of risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) strategies aimed at preventing transmission of Covid-19 in the ESA region. Given the extensive risk of cross-border...

Leslie Jones

Megan Schmidt-Sane

4 August 2020


Background Paper: Covid-19 Forced Displacement in the Middle East and East Africa

This background paper presents considerations on how the Covid-19 pandemic is accentuating existing vulnerabilities of populations forcibly displaced by war (refugees, asylum-seekers, internally-displaced and stateless persons), in settings across East Africa and the Middle East. In addition to...

Dianne Duclos

Jennifer Palmer

6 July 2020


Key Considerations for Covid-19 Management in Marginalised Populations in Southeast Asia: Transnational Migrants, Informal Workers, and People Living in Informal Settlements

This brief presents considerations for Covid-19 management among structurally vulnerable populations in Southeast Asia, including transnational migrants, people working in the informal economy, and people living in informal urban and peri-urban settlements. These vulnerable groups are generally...

21 May 2020


Covid-19: Why Are Prisons a Particular Risk, and What Can Be Done to Mitigate this?

This brief provides key considerations related to Covid-19 in the context of prisons, jails and similar detention facilities (referred to collectively in this brief as “prisons”). It summarises the particular risks associated with an outbreak of Covid-19 in prisons in low-and middle-income...

Leslie Jones

Olivia Tulloch

7 May 2020