The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


'Human, Economic and Social Flows beyond Crisis' programme begins

8 November 2016

DPU and the Humanitarian Affairs Team of Save the Children UK are delighted to announce their new programme "Human, Economic and Social Flows beyond Crisis: Understanding the Urbanitarian".


In the effort to inform humanitarian action and policy makers in urban contexts of protracted displacement, the programme will explore the intersection of urban, humanitarian and forced migration studies. 

As protraction of crises increasingly becomes a long term drive for urban change and a challenge for city governance and infrastructures, this research project focuses on “urban-itarian” settings: that is the interactional moment between the urban and the humanitarian, when cities have become home to humanitarian actors and de facto refugees, and urban and humanitarian infrastructures provide and negotiate basic services and livelihoods. The project investigates how human, social, and economic relations, exchange and consumption experiences can better inform humanitarian policies and practices, both of which regulate access and relations to services, labour, and resources.

The primary research objectives of the programme are:

  • To develop a more robust understanding of the contribution of humanitarian actors to urban transformations and their relationship with unconventional self-recovery mechanisms.
  • To increase urban governance actors understanding of how the mechanisms they put in place intersect with humanitarian practices and policies.
  • To identify and contextualise social and economic opportunities and challenges for refugees inhabiting the “urbanitarian” systems.
  • To suggest more appropriate strategies and policies for urban and humanitarian actors, in order to cope with rapid urban changes and assist local and refugee populations.