Humanitarian Institute


Humanitarian Summit 2019

18 June 2019, 9:00 am–6:00 pm

Rohingya camp in Bangladesh

We invite the UCL community, our partners, collaborators and others with humanitarian interests to join us for the third UCL Humanitarian Summit, to discuss Gender DRR and Conflict; Working in challenging environments and conflict zones; Infectious disease outbreaks; and undergraduate humanitarian teaching.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Rosanna Smith – Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


G06 and Foyer
45: Roberts Building
Torrington Place
United Kingdom


09:00 - 09:20Registration
09:20 - 09:30Welcome
09:30 - 11:00Panel on Gender, Disaster Risk Reduction and Conflict
11:00 - 11:30Coffee Break
11:30 - 13:00Panel on Working in Challenging Environments and Conflict Zones
13:00 - 14:00Lunch break (not provided)
14:00 - 16:00

Digital Public Health Workshop on Outbreak! Infectious Diseases

16:00 - 16:30Coffee Break
16:30 - 18:00

Humanitarian Teaching Forum

18:00 - 19:00Reception and Close
Panel on Gender DRR and Conflict

The UCL IRDR Centre for Gender and Disaster will convene this panel to explore various important topics related to gender in different humanitarian settings, including Gendered Approaches and Responses to Psychological Sufferings from Conflict-related Gender-Based Violence; Engendering Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction and management: Lessons from the Metro Cebu Philippines; Masculinity and Change in the People’s Liberation Army of Nepal; and Queer Humanitarianism, or Disciplined Identities? Examining Responses to Non-Normative Refugees from Syria in Lebanon and Turkey.

Dr Punam Yadav, Centre Co-Director, UCL IRDR Centre for Gender and Disaster

Jordana Ramalho, London School of Economics and Political Science 
Engendering CBDRRM: Lessons from the Metro Cebu Philippines

Aydan Greatrick, University College London 
Queer Humanitarianism, or Disciplined Identities? Examining Responses to Non-Normative Refugees from Syria in Lebanon and Turkey

Ayesha Ahmad, lecturer in Global Health, St Georges University of London and honorary lecturer, Institute for Global Health, University College London 
Gendered Approaches and Responses to Psychological Sufferings from Conflict-related Gender-Based Violence

Heidi Riley, University College Dublin 
Masculinity and Change in the People’s Liberation Army of Nepal

Panel on Working in Challenging Environments and Conflict Zones

Universities have never been ivory towers. But academic interest in forced migration, trafficking, conflict and humanitarian response has meant that researchers are more likely than ever to find themselves working in challenging environments and conflict zones.

With the UK universities winning substantial funding from the Global Challenge Research Fund, academics, researchers and students have increasingly found themselves challenged ethically, practically and legally in conducting research and delivering impact:
UK Researchers into conflict and terrorism have fallen foul of catch-all ‘Prevent’ legislation, had their books banned through the draconian English libel laws and now could break the law visiting a ‘designated area’ under the new Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019

Working with colleagues in Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Sudan present unique challenges as these countries are subject to embargo and sanctions.

Working with authoritarian regimes poses profound ethical issues to which there may be no easy answers.

The personal safety of researchers and their teams may be at risk.

So for all those researchers working with authoritarian regimes, in conflict zones or areas the Foreign Office advises against travel, this session examines ways of providing support and tackling practical issues such as safety and security, insurance and ethical approval.

Dr Marie Aronsson-Storrier, Lecturer in Global Law and Disasters, University of Reading

Dr James Hammond, Reader in Geophysics, Birkbeck, University of London
Working in North Korea - a country under UN sanctions

Dr Bayes Ahmed, Lecturer, UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction
How to deal with your research team being kidnapped

Liz Harding, Humanitarian Representative, MSF
What are the red flags that means an operation has to change or be stopped?

Outbreak! Infectious Diseases: Digital Public Health Workshop

Convened by the UCL IRDR Centre for Digital Public Health in Emergencies.

Lecture session: We will introduce participants to the key concepts of digital public health. We will cover the underlying knowledge management, semantic modelling, international disaster surveillance IT systems, early warning and response to disease outbreaks and emergencies, social media, serious games for public health interventions and big data challenges. 

Breakout session: Participants will work in teams and apply the knowledge of digital public health on a scenario developing an intervention to investigate and to stop an outbreak of a hypothetical disease.

Presentation: Teams will present their solutions and an award will be given to the best team.

We will conclude with a summary and highlights of the session

Note: this workshop is open to participants from all subject area backgrounds, and is open to students, researchers, and the broader public. No prior knowledge of health or computer science is needed.

Humanitarian Teaching Forum

The Teaching Forum at the UCL Humanitarian Summit 2019 will discuss the new UCL degree programme: BSc / BA Humanitarian Science / Studies. Academic staff, school and college teachers and students, humanitarian and educational professionals and professional services staff are cordially invited to join us and help shape the programme. 

BSc Humanitarian Science / BA Humanitarian Studies programme 
The BSc Humanitarian Science / BA Humanitarian Studies programme is intended to provide a unique and complete multi-disciplinary and integrated education and training, connected to UCL’s research excellence, over the breadth of the subject. These will qualify graduates for employment and training in the humanitarian field and provide transferable skills that will equip them for a wide range of professional employment. 
On entry to the BSc/BA programmes, the student has one compulsory pathway in Humanitarian Studies and will select 2 optional pathways from 1) Data Science; 2) Global Health; 3) Anthropology and Social Science; 4) Management and Policy; 5) Environmental Science and Engineering; 6) Law, Human Rights and International Relations. The combination of pathways determines whether the student follows the BSc or BA programme. The holistic nature of the subject is emphasized. 

Educational aims 
BSc Humanitarian Science and BA Humanitarian Studies aim to educate and train future generations of humanitarian leaders to have the transdisciplinary education and skills to equip them for planning, preparation, prevention and management of crises, such as conflict, famine, disasters, climate change and health emergencies. Students will acquire the knowledge and leadership skills for strategic thinking, decision-making under uncertainty, communication, project and crisis management and designing preventative approaches.