Research-based solutions to today's humanitarian problems.
We support solutions to humanitarian issues by employing interdisciplinary research and leveraging practitioner engagement.
Our research is informed by disciplines including law, political science, and technology policy, and it is performed in collaboration with implementers (including policymakers, aid groups, government agencies, U.N. institutions, international organizations, community leaders, and others). Our ultimate aim is to support practicable, research-based solutions that can help minimize harm to communities during ongoing humanitarian crises.
Humanitarian crises that intersect with technology.
The Stanford Humanitarian Program focuses on community-wide harms that occur within and as a result of humanitarian crises. We understand humanitarian crises as those caused by major events that seriously threaten the well-being of communities, including armed conflict, mass atrocities, environmental degradation, or climate change. We see the issues that arise out of these contexts as being diverse, complex, and often life-threatening, having the potential to cause wide-spread suffering and displacement.
In today’s world, humanitarian crises often raise issues that intersect with technology, such as how technology could be used to better protect civilians or humanitarians operating in active conflict zones, or how social media interacts with the incitement of violence. We are predominantly focused on this intersection, considering the responsible application of technology where it can demonstrably improve conditions, and providing recommendations where there is evidence that technology is worsening the situation.
We focus on this intersection because we think addressing community harms that arise from today’s humanitarian crises requires an understanding of technology’s ability to provide solutions or amplify harms. To do this well, we believe research needs to be both interdisciplinary as well as collaborative with those in the field. We launched the Stanford Humanitarian Program to address this need.
Through direct partnerships with implementers, we provide expert research accompanied by concrete policy recommendations.
We produce interdisciplinary research rooted in law, political science, and technology policy and accompany that research with concrete recommendations. Our work is intended to inform practicable policy solutions, and is thus tailored to be accessible and immediately usable for practitioners working on humanitarian crises.Our Work