Challenges to the humanitarian community: The role of academia in advancing best practices and policy promotion

Frederick M. Burkle, Gib Clarke, Michael J. Vanrooyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The Humanitarian Action Summit is unique in that it focuses solely on chronic, unsolved problems facing the humanitarian community. As an academically-based format, it provides an environment whereby health professionals, non-governmental organizations, donors, academic institutions, governmental agencies, advocates, and the media address and identify potential deliverables and products to improve best practices, field implementation, and policy promotion and acceleration. The Humanitarian Action Summit was preceded by year-long, online Working Groups that addressed human resource development, civilian protection in conflict, information communication and data management, collaboration and collective action in the health sector, mental health in crises and conflict, and the global burden of surgical disease. The Humanitarian Action Summit also addressed new and emerging humanitarian crises such as climate change, the influence of the military on humanitarian aid, and urbanization. This article focuses primarily on an inherent weakness of the humanitarian community - that of promoting humanitarian action into policy. The goal and process of developing a partnership relationship with a policy level institution to address this problem is described in detail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)s247-s250
JournalPrehospital and disaster medicine
Issue numberSUPPL.2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • best practices
  • health policy promotion
  • humanitarian assistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency


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