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Conducting Health Research in Conflict Settings: Navigating Research Challenges for Impactful Evidence

Understand and address the challenges of conducting rigorous, ethical, and impactful health research in conflict-affected areas.

A doctor conducting research with a participant in a conflict setting (camp).

Conducting Health Research in Conflict Settings: Navigating Research Challenges for Impactful Evidence

  • 7 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Advanced level

Find out more about how to join this course

Prepare for a complex research project with King’s College London

Whether from a quality or an ethics perspective, health research comes with its own unique challenges. These are only amplified in fragile or conflict-affected environments.

This seven-week course from King’s College London provides an overview of the challenges associated with health research in conflict. Structured around a series of real research case studies, the course provides the knowledge and skills you need to conduct impactful health research or audit and quality improvement projects in conflict settings.

The course will begin by examining the ethical context of research in conflict settings.

You’ll gain an introduction to the ethical considerations of working with conflict-affected populations, and an overview of different study designs applicable to this research.

Review the challenges associated with specific research methods

Once you’ve understood the context you as a researcher will be working in, you can begin setting the parameters of your own research project.

Each week, you’ll review a different method or group of methods within health research, considering the specific challenges that arise with each.

You’ll also explore ways of maximising the impact of research to inform policy and practice.

Learn alongside interdisciplinary experts based around the world

Your instructors on this course are experts based at King’s College London, together with their partners in the Middle East and North Africa region. They all have years of experience in conducting research and providing research training in conflict-affected areas.

With their guidance, you’ll be able to ensure your research project achieves the greatest impact and meets the highest standards of ethics and academic rigour.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to Study Designs in Conflict Settings

    • Welcome and Housekeeping

      Let's have a warm welcome!

    • Understanding the unique context of conflict settings and its impact on research

      We will shed light on the unique context of conflict settings and its profound impact on research, highlighting key challenges faced by researchers.

    • Ethical Considerations in Conducting Research in Conflict-Affected Populations

      We will now shed light on the ethical considerations that researchers must navigate when conducting research in conflict-affected populations, with examples illustrating the importance of ethical decision-making in such contexts.

    • Overview of Study Designs Applicable in Conflict Settings

      Now, that you are introduced to the uniqueness of conflict settings, you will have a look at the spectrum of study designs applicable in conflict settings, and a step-by-step guide to conducting a research project in conflict.

    • Addressing Challenges and Maximizing Research Potential in Conflict Settings: Insights and Practical Examples

      Now, you will explore key challenges encountered in conflict settings with practical examples, highlighting innovative approaches and lessons learned. And we will then invite you for a discussion to reflect on your context.

  • Week 2

    Cross-Sectional Study Design in Conflict Settings

    • Importance of cross-sectional studies in conflict settings

      Why do we conduct cross-sectional studies? What are they? How do we conduct them?

    • Sampling Techniques and Considerations for Data Collection in Conflict Settings: Ensuring Representative and Ethical Research

      What are the different types of sampling that can be used in a conflict setting?

    • Ethical Challenges and Strategies for Participant Recruitment and Consent: Ensuring Ethical Research in Conflict Settings

      Researchers must navigate complex circumstances to protect participants' rights and well-being while generating valuable data.

    • Analysing and Interpreting Cross-Sectional Study Data in Conflict Settings

      How do we analysing and interpreting data from cross-sectional studies conducted in conflict settings?

  • Week 3

    Case-Control and Cohort Studies in Conflict Settings

    • Utilizing case-control and cohort studies to investigate specific outcomes in conflict settings

      This section explores the importance of case-control and cohort studies in conflict settings and provides an example to illustrate their application.

    • Addressing Challenges of Sample Selection, Data Collection, and Follow-up in Cohort and Case-Control Health Research in Conflict

      This article discusses the specific challenges encountered in cohort and case-control health research in conflict settings and provides strategies to address them effectively.

  • Week 4

    Mixed Methods Research in Conflict Settings

    • Integrating qualitative and quantitative approaches in conflict settings

      conducting comprehensive and nuanced health research requires a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches.

    • Step-by-Step Guide to Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Health Research in Conflict Settings

      This step-by-step guide provides researchers with practical guidance on designing and conducting mixed methods health research in conflict settings, along with a real-world example to illustrate the process.

    • Data Collection Techniques and Tools for Capturing Contextual Factors and Lived Experiences

      It is crucial to capture the contextual factors and lived experiences of individuals and communities.

    • Triangulation and Data Synthesis in Mixed Methods Research in Health in Conflict Settings

      Triangulation and data synthesis are essential components of mixed methods research, let's have a read-through.

  • Week 5

    Participatory Research Approaches in Conflict Settings

    • Participatory Action Health Research for Empowering Conflict-Affected Populations

      This chapter explores the concept of participatory action health research and highlights its potential for empowering and promoting the well-being of those affected by conflict.

    • Engaging communities and stakeholders in research design and implementation

      This chapter discusses the importance of community and stakeholder engagement in health research design and implementation and provides an example to illustrate its practical application.

    • Ethical Considerations and Power Dynamics in Participatory Health Research in Conflict

      This chapter explores the ethical considerations and power dynamics inherent in participatory health research in conflict settings and provides insights into navigating these complexities.

  • Week 6

    Data Analysis and Dissemination in Conflict Settings

    • Strategies for analyzing and interpreting data in conflict settings

      This chapter will discuss strategies for effectively analyzing and interpreting data in health research in conflict settings, highlighting key considerations and providing practical examples.

    • Addressing Challenges of Data Security and Protection

      Here, we will discuss the challenges of data security and protection in conflict-affected environments and provide strategies for addressing these challenges in health research.

    • Effective Dissemination of Health Research Findings to Inform Policy and Practice

      This chapter explores the importance of effective dissemination of health research findings and provides strategies for ensuring the translation of research into policy and practice.

  • Week 7

    Audit and Quality Improvement Projects in Conflict Settings: Enhancing Healthcare Delivery

    • Introduction to Audit and Quality Improvement Projects

      In this chapter, we will provide an introduction to audit and quality improvement projects, highlighting their importance, key concepts, and benefits.

    • Case Studies: Successful Audit and Quality Improvement Projects in Conflict Settings

      Let's have a look at these examples

    • Research, quality improvement (QI), and audit; differences and similarities

      Research, quality improvement (QI), and audit are distinct but interconnected activities in healthcare. While they share some similarities, they differ in some aspects.

    • Acknowledgement

      Thanks and gratitude

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate deep understanding of the unique challenges presented by conflict-affected environments
  • Assess and address ethical considerations
  • Collaborate effectively in meaningful, impactful and population-focused research projects in conflict settings
  • Contribute effectively in population-focused audits and quality improvement projects

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone intending to conduct health research in conflict zones. This includes healthcare professionals, academics, and researchers.

What software or tools do you need?

Learners will need an internet connection and a smart device (mobile phone, PC, or laptop).

Who will you learn with?

Abdulkarim is a Syrian medical doctor and an epidemiologist. Currently, his work at King's College focuses on building the capacity to research health in conflict in the middle east.

Yamama is a Syrian family doctor in training in the UK. Holds an MSc. in Evidence Based Healthcare from Oxford University, and is a researcher at King’s College London in medical education in conflict

I am a Syrian dentist pursuing my doctoral studies in epidemiology at the Swiss Tropical and Public health institute

Dr. Safwan, Chairman of Syrian Board of Medical Specialties, is an MD. who has an MSc in Anesthesiology from Damascus Uni. Currently, he is studying for an MSc in Medical Education at South Wales Uni.

I am the founder of the Syria Development Centre – https://www.syriadev.com/our-team

Who developed the course?

King's College London

King’s College London, established in 1829 and a founding college of the University of London, is one of the world’s leading research and teaching universities, based in the very heart of London.

Syria Development Centre

The Syria Development Centre is an enterprise founded and run by Syrians, for Syria. As refugees, migrants, and dual nationals in world-leading academic centres and corporations we founded this centre to take an active role in development, as it happens in Syria.

Syrian Board of Medical Specialities

The Syrain Board of Medical Specialties SBOMS is a scientific professional academic board that awards a unified certificate called Specialization Certificate of Syrian Board of Medical Specialties to all trainee doctors in various specialties after they accomplish the training period curriculum accredited in SBOMS-approved medical facilities and pass the required examinations.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 5 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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