Surveillance beyond camp settings in humanitarian emergencies: Findings from the humanitarian health information management working group

Susan Purdin, Paul Spiegel, Katelyn P. Mack, Jennifer Millen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: Surveillance is an essential component of health and nutrition information management during humanitarian situations. Changes in the nature and scope of humanitarian assistance activities have created new challenges in health surveillance, particularly outside of camp-based settings.Objectives: The primary aim of the Humanitarian Health Information Management Working Group was to identify challenges and areas that need further elucidation in a range of non-camp settings, including urban and rural as well as low-and middle-income countries.Results: Three major themes emerged: (1) standardization of measures and methodologies; (2) context in data collection and management; and (3) hidden populations and the purpose of surveillance in urban settings. Innovative examples of data collection and management in community-based surveillance were discussed, including task-shifting, health worker to community member ratio, and literacy needs.Conclusions: Surveillance in non-camp settings can be informed by surveillance activities in camp-based settings, but requires additional consideration of new methods and population needs to achieve its objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPrehospital and Disaster Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL.2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • assistance
  • context
  • health
  • humanitarian emergency
  • standardization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Medicine(all)

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