Humanitarian Protection Initiative

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In this image:Refugees from the Central African Republic walk toward a food distribution site in Dilingala, Chad in 2018. Photo: European Union
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The Humanitarian Protection Initiative (HPI) is a collaboration between the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), with generous support by the UK International Development from the UK government. The initiative will generate and share new evidence to inform policy and practice to effectively improve protection outcomes.

About the Initiative

The humanitarian sector faces increasing challenges as conflicts globally are more entrenched, leading to severe repercussions for civilians. According to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), nearly 300 million people will be in need of assistance and protection in 2024 while merging and ongoing conflicts have led to a considerable rise in conflict fatalities and harm to civilians.

Improving the effectiveness of efforts to better protect conflict-affected populations from violence, coercion, and deliberate deprivation is a priority as experts warn that protection risks are increasing in complexity and severity. More evidence is needed to understand the mechanisms that promote the safety, dignity, and rights of people affected by conflict and to understand the most effective designs of protection policies and programming.

HPI prioritizes research and learning on pivotal protection concerns in conflict settings, including the prevention of sexual- and gender-based violence; addressing the psychological effects of abuse and distress; promoting the recognition, respect and uptake of rights; and mitigating conflict escalation while fostering restraint among armed actors.

HPI funds J-PAL's network of affiliated researchers and J-PAL scholars to generate rigorous evidence through funding proposals to design, pilot, and evaluate solutions to effectively improve protection outcomes. In doing so, HPI aims to fill gaps in research and ensure practitioners can make more evidence-informed decisions on which activities to pursue in complex and resource-constrained environments.

Researchers interested in humanitarian protection from or based in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are encouraged to join IPA and J-PAL for an information session on March 6, 2024 on the HPI Scholars Program, which will make funding and mentoring opportunities available to researchers interested in conducting randomized impact evaluations that fall within HPI’s scope. Learn more here.

To learn more about HPI, read our blog post or contact