Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform

SSHAP (the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform) focuses on the social dimensions of emergency responses related to health, conflict, or the environment by exploring the political economy, community engagement and cultural logics, social difference, and vulnerabilities of those emergencies.

Visit the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform website

SSHAP is a partnership between the Institute of Development Studies, Anthrologica, Gulu University, Institut Supérieur Pédagogique de Bukavu, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University of Juba. It is funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Wellcome Trust.

The SSHAP vision is to encourage emergency responses which are effective, adaptive, contextually informed, sensitive to vulnerabilities and power relations, planned in consultation with affected communities and local institutions, and based on social and interdisciplinary science and evidence.

SSHAP’s global network of social scientists with regional and subject expertise is the driving force behind SSHAP’s work, rapidly providing insight, analysis and advice, tailored to demand and in accessible forms, to better design and implement the social and communication dimensions of emergency responses.

To achieve SSHAP’s aims, IDS and partners work to:

  • Further grow SSHAP’s network of experts and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Provide knowledge and evidence on demand.
  • Build operational capacity.
  • Contribute to knowledge sharing through our networks and beyond.

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Recent work


Key Considerations: Alleviating Chronic Food Insecurity in South Sudan

SSHAP Briefing

This brief describes the scale of the food insecurity facing populations in South Sudan. It also analyses the causes of food insecurity, responses by government and non-government actors and partners, and offers considerations for these actors to support ending food insecurity, especially via...

17 May 2024


Key Considerations: Effective Vaccine Rollout and Uptake in Sierra Leone

SSHAP Briefing

This brief draws on evidence from academic and grey literature, proposing key considerations for ongoing vaccination efforts in Sierra Leone.

Abu Conteh & 3 others

15 May 2024


Key Considerations: Child Engagement in the Context of Disease Outbreaks in Eastern and Southern Africa

SSHAP Briefing

Effective child engagement strategies are essential to optimise the response to disease outbreaks and minimise their impact while ensuring children's protection, well-being and resilience. When children understand disease outbreaks, they are better able to cope, contribute and recover. This...

Elena Reilly & 2 others

18 April 2024


Key Considerations: Social, Structural and Community Dynamics of Cholera Transmission and Mortality in Ethiopia

SSHAP Briefing

The current cholera outbreak in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia began in August 2022. As of April 2024, active outbreaks had been recorded in most regions of the country, including: Amhara; Dire Dawa; Harari; Oromia; Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR);...

9 April 2024