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Welcome to this website.

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide live in areas affected by armed conflict and man-made crises. These crises have various negative effects on health, ranging from deaths and trauma due to military actions to subtler, indirect consequences such as an increased risk of infectious diseases as a result of various risk factors brought about by war.

The potential contribution of epidemiology to improving humanitarian interventions in these settings is increasingly appreciated. However, epidemiological tools are often under- or misused, and existing guidelines and training courses are mainly targeted to field researchers, often leaving the actual end users of epidemiological evidence without the necessary set of skills to make the most of what epidemiology has to offer.

The target audience of this website consists of those "policy-makers" in the humanitarian relief and human security fields who, despite not having a background in public health and epidemiology, are nonetheless often in the position of having to commission, interpret, and act upon epidemiological assessments. This may include NGO, UN, and government relief staff, donors, journalists, students, and the broader community of civil society stakeholders who rely on epidemiological data for purposes ranging from programme implementation to advocacy.

This website is not a "course" in epidemiology in humanitarian emergencies. There is no certificate offered for its completion, nor is it organized to present a comprehensive body a knowledge. Instead, this website presents short, accessible discussions of various key topics in field epidemiology as applied to humanitarian emergencies. Users may choose to go through the materials in a progressive fashion or select a specific topic that is of interest to them and read the corresponding pages.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to the reviewers who provided insightful comments on an early draft of this course which greatly improved the text:

Alessandro Colombo

Oliver Morgan

Ilona Drewry

We hope you find the information on this website useful. As users submit comments, we plan to revise the materials accordingly. This may entail the addition of more detail to existing pages, as well as the addition of new topics. Your comments are greatly appreciated; please submit them to Olga Bornemisza at

Happy browsing,

The project team

Bradley "Woody" Woodruff
Olga Bornemisza
Francesco Checchi
Egbert Sondorp


This project has been funded by the Global Peace and Security Fund of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Government of Canada (project number: GPSF 07-166).

We are grateful to staff of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (especially Cally Taylor) for technical support, and to external reviewers who commented on its content and appropriateness.