SSHAP (the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform) is a programme of work focusing on the social dimensions of emergency responses. 

We work on emergencies that relate to health, conflict or the environment. We focus our efforts on exploring the political economy, community engagement and cultural logics, social difference and vulnerabilities of those emergencies.

SSHAP is a partnership between the Institute of Development Studies, Anthrologica and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and is funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Wellcome Trust. It has previously received funding from UNICEF, and their images continue to be used on this website with their kind permission.

Our vision is to encourage emergency responses which are effective, adaptive, contextually informed, sensitive to vulnerabilities and power relations, planned in consultation with affected communities and local institutions, and based on social and interdisciplinary science and evidence.  

With this in mind, one of our founding aims was to establish a network of social scientists with regional and subject expertise. This network is a driving force behind SSHAP’s work, rapidly providing insight, analysis and advice, tailored to demand and in accessible forms, to better design and implement the social and communication dimensions of emergency responses. 

To achieve our aims, we work across four pillars:  

  1. we grow our existing network of experts and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration (academic-practitioner, social-medical science);  
  2. we provide knowledge and evidence on demand; 
  3. we build operational capacity;   
  4. we collect our resources and relevant resources from others and share them through our website. 

You can browse our collections of resources relating to emergency responses

We encourage you to get involved in SSHAP’s work. You can suggest a topic for us to cover in a rapid response briefing, send us your news, events, resources and blogs for us to share, or request to join our network of experts. Find out more.

We also work with other related programmes, including SoNAR Global. Find out more.