FAQ

What is the aim of this website?
We created the COVID-19 Humanitarian platform to gather, curate, analyze, interpret, and disseminate COVID-19 specific and sensitive interventions that are being implemented in a variety of humanitarian settings. The goal is to facilitate the sharing of different field experiences about how humanitarian programs are responding and being adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic. This website will host both technical guidelines as well as operational field experiences from humanitarian actors in various settings.


Why do we need to document context-specific experiences?
Many of the approaches used to prevent and respond to COVID-19 in the most affected areas thus far (e.g., China, Europe, and the United States of America) may not be feasible in most humanitarian settings. Numerous humanitarian organizations are creating guidance and tools for the field. Still, there is a need for more evidence describing how such programs are being adapted according to varying contexts and socio-cultural settings. These adaptations and innovations need to be shared widely so others can learn from them and adapt or modify them according to their specific environment.

What do you mean by “field context-specific adaptations and innovations”?
Our objective is to capture examples of how humanitarian organizations are responding to and adapting their existing programs or innovating new programs to address COVID-19 in their unique environments.

The operational framework on this website are grouped into three categories:
COVID-19-specific: these interventions aim to prepare and respond to the threat posed by the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19-sensitive: these interventions do not directly address the threat posed by COVID-19, but rather capture how existing programs need to be adapted to continue while reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Cross-cutting issues: these are essential areas that need to be taken into consideration throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Within each group, specific sections and detailed programmatic areas are listed.

How can humanitarian actors share their experiences?
There is a “Share Field Experience” tab at the top of the site to submit your context-specific adaptations and innovations. You can also find the form to submit your experiences at the bottom part of the webpage under each area. The forms are standardized to document your specific context. You can write the specifics of your program adaptation in the comment box or in a document that you can upload. You may also upload other documents which may include data, photos, revised guidance, or anything else you want to share with us. Please contact us at covid19humanitarian@gmail.com if you prefer to share your experience via a brief interview.

How will my submission be shared on the platform?
You will decide how the information you share will be published. We invite organizations to post the name of your organization and the location where you are working, but this will not be done if you have security or protection concerns; please just state this clearly in your submission.
We do ask for your name and email when submitting an experience to contact you for possible clarification. However, your submission will be de-identified to remove name and email.

If you would like to share your experience without making anything publicly available on the website, please make a note of this in the comments section of the submission or send it to covid19humanitarian@gmail.com.
Uploaded submissions do not go directly onto the website. Rather, they are reviewed by two of the three universities and then a decision will be made as to which posts will be added to the website. Submissions should not be political in nature and should be as evidence-based as possible. Adaptations that may be considered harmful to a population will not be posted.

Who is compiling the guidance documents uploaded on the website?

Three academic institutions will regularly update the platform: The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Humanitarian Health (JHSPH/CHH), the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene/Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre (LSHTM/HHCC) and the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH).

How are guidance documents and tools selected?


A team of researchers from the three academic institutions searches for and reviews guidance and tools produced by humanitarian organizations, United Nations agencies, coordinating bodies and other relevant institutions, as well as peer-reviewed literature as it becomes available.


We aim to be inclusive in the selection of guidance and tools to be uploaded on the website, and do not ourselves judge content for technical accuracy. We select guidance and tools that are relevant to humanitarian action and that are produced in one of the languages our team can work in. All content is reviewed before uploading. Relevant materials produced by United Nations agencies, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee and its working groups, public health institutes with international reach (e.g. Africa Centers for Disease Control, European Centre for Disease Control, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement (IFRC, ICRC) are automatically included.

Material produced by other sources is included if it meets all of the following criteria:

1. Published since 1 April 2020.

2. The material has been specifically developed for or is applicable to the context of humanitarian responses and/or low-income fragile settings;

3. The organization producing the material, and/or its authors, are reputable (e.g. they have technical expertise and/or practical experience in the topic);

4. The material appears to be based on sound evidence (including experiential evidence arising from recent work on COVID-19), and an attempt is made to cite sources and back up technical statements;

5. There is no evidence of bias, commercial interest or other conflicts of interest, and/or conflicts of interest are declared transparently; the material is written with an objective tone and is not sectarian or otherwise discriminatory towards specific people or groups (note however that faith-based sources are welcome as long as the above criterion is met);

6. The guidance or tools are actionable by humanitarian actors, i.e. set out principles and concepts but also ways to practically apply these.

My organization uses guidance or tools not posted on this site: why have you not included these?

We do our best to frequently update our platform with the latest guidance and tools. It may be that the material in question has not met one of our inclusion criteria. Alternatively, we may simply have missed it or may be in the process of reviewing it. If you feel that we have missed key guidance or tools relating to COVID-19 and humanitarian settings, please send us a message at covid19humanitarian@gmail.com with your suggestion.


How do I search for guidance or field experiences?
Click on the search icon in the upper right hand corner. You can search documents by keywords including title, country, organization, and operational area. Guidance documents will be labeled as “Guidance” and experiences shared by organizations will be labeled as “Experience.” When you enter a search term you may filter for “Guidance and Shared Experiences” in the left hand column and while both types of documents may result, they are labeled as mentioned.

Why do I not see my submission on the website?
All submissions undergo a screening and validation by an advisory committee. They will be screened for utility, specificity to context, innovation, quality, and a principle of “do no harm”. Your submission may be in the process of review or excluded based on the advisory committee screening. Please contact us at covid19humanitarian@gmail.com if you have any questions about your submission or would like to provide more information for its review.

Who can I contact about my adaptive programming questions or suggestions?

If you have questions on adapting a program to your context or an operational area that you would like addressed on the platform, please send your suggestions to covid19humanitarian@gmail.com.

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Please Let Us Know in the Comments:

Le formulaire en français sera bientôt disponible. Pour l’instant, n’hésitez pas à partager votre expérience en français en utilisant le formulaire existant

1. Which specific intervention within the specific program area that you chose, do you want to document?

2. How did you specifically implement it (COVID-specific) or adapt it (COVID-sensitive; what changes/modications)? Did you add a new activity in your program, did you change its focus, did you change the way/modality it was implemented?

3. Why did you decide to adapt it this way? Explain the contextual considerations amongst other issues.

4. What challenges did you have in adaptation?

5. Which resources (financial, human, supplies/logistics) did you need?

6. Is it working as intended or not? Please explain regardless of outcome.

Share Your Field Experience