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Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds CHRIS LEWIS: For the funding priorities, they very much differ according to the needs. In many of the crises, DFID will have their specialist teams on ground with advisors, and very much will be identifying where are the priorities for funding? And therefore, channelling funding according to the need that they see on the ground, as well as often, DFID may well have more longer term funding mechanisms in different crises, which it’ll be using as well. So for example, in some countries, DFID is contributing to pooled funding mechanisms or to multi-year humanitarian programming. And so it gives much more of a longer term perspective, particularly in the case of protracted crises.

Skip to 1 minute and 7 seconds So if people are interested in what are the DFID priorities going forward, in general, I’d recommend that people have a look at the UK Aid Strategy, which was published in November 2015. And it’s available online, so you can just Google ‘UK Aid Strategy’. And it lays out that the UK has four strategic objectives going

Skip to 1 minute and 27 seconds forward, which is: strengthening global peace, security, and governance, strengthening resilience and response to crises, promoting global prosperity, and tackling extreme poverty and helping the world’s most vulnerable. And actually, if we’re talking about humanitarian health specifically, it falls very clearly within two of these, which is the second, strengthening resilience and response to crises, and tackling extreme poverty and helping the world’s most vulnerable. And in addition, the UK Aid Strategy talks about that 50% of the DFID spend will be happening in fragile states and regions. There are a number of countries where DFID is delivering both health and humanitarian programmes.

Skip to 2 minutes and 9 seconds And so in some contexts, DFID has multi-year health programmes that are able to flex and adapt to the needs of the humanitarian crises. And we see that in contexts like South Sudan and Somalia, where we have health programmes over many years in countries which experience a number of shocks, and the programmes have to adapt to these. And at the same time, we have multi-year humanitarian programmes that include significant health elements, again, in contexts like South Sudan. So very much sometimes DFID’s humanitarian health funding may be delivered through a health mechanism, a multi-year health programme, or it may be delivered through a humanitarian mechanism, either a multi-year or a short-term humanitarian funding mechanism.

Skip to 3 minutes and 5 seconds So it is always worth being aware of both the health and humanitarian mechanisms that exist in the country. I think historically, we’ve seen that health research has not been a priority in humanitarian crises. There have been a number of articles written about this. And really, it was one of the things, as we were thinking about R2HC, which is Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises, which is a funding mechanism for public health and humanitarian crises, funded by Wellcome and DFID and delivered through Elrha. As we were looking at the funding space, we realised it was a significant gap, and it hadn’t been a consistent and a priority. There weren’t long-term mechanisms for funding of this research.

Skip to 3 minutes and 57 seconds And as a consequence, the evidence in this area was very weak, and haphazard, according to the different specific area we were looking at. But rather than when we were looking at the sea of evidence, rather than finding a sea of evidence, we found islands of evidence and sort of a sea and lots of gaps. So DFID and Wellcome Trust are funding R2HC, which is Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises, which is delivered through Elrha. So R2HC launches annual calls for proposals, and has really helped to increase the research and evidence in this area.

Skip to 4 minutes and 35 seconds But there’s certainly a lot more that we can do, both in terms of the research, and particularly research in areas where there is evidence that’s lacking, such as reproductive health in emergencies, such as prioritisation of interventions. Maybe value for money. There’s a huge number of areas where a lot more evidence is needed. And not only is more evidence needed, actually, we need to be using this evidence effectively and applying the evidence that we have as effectively as possible to improve the impact of our interventions in humanitarian crises.

Health financing, policy and donor priorities

In this step we will explore the main funding priorities and policy agendas of different actors in the humanitarian sector. Chris Lewis, from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), will explain the donor view, and discuss what receives funding and what does not.

How is funding handled in your own setting? Do you know how funding is prioritised, and anything about the debates that inform your nation’s position?

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This video is from the free online course:

Health in Humanitarian Crises

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine