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Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA)

ELRHA was a collaborative project hosted by Save the Children that developed and supported partnerships between higher education and humanitarian agencies by making small grants.

The first scheme of its kind, it was launched in January 2009 with funding initially dedicated for two years. The higher education funding bodies then committed further funding until March 2012.

The project aimed to create a bridge between the significant resources of the higher education sector and the needs of the humanitarian sector. To this end it:

  • stimulated research and learning in the humanitarian sector
  • built a robust and effective framework for partnership that will meet the needs of the future.

Project achievements

The work supported by ELRHA has created a vibrant collaborative community dedicated to meeting humanitarian challenges. 

Achievements include:

  • creating an online map of UK humanitarian courses and centres of expertise
  • funding five academic-humanitarian collaborative projects
  • publishing two reports on humanitarian professionalisation and development
  • organising major conferences in London and Geneva
  • launching the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, which has funded 14 innovative projects since 2011
  • launching three Regional Advisory Hubs on humanitarian professionalisation and development in Europe, North America and East Africa
  • launching an interactive online guide and ‘app’ to support collaboration between academic and humanitarian organisations
  • supporting a rapid response training for shelter professionals following the Haiti earthquake
  • contributing to the UK Government Department For International Development (DFID) Humanitarian Emergency Response Review report and facilitating a DFID consultation on Research and Evidence Strategy
  • sitting on the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences’ Disasters Group and Increasing Resilience to Natural Hazards Advisory Board. 

The next phase of ELRHA’s work includes: 

  • expanding its research into effective partnerships
  • funding further collaborative research projects
  • collaborating with the Humanitarian Futures Programme on the ‘Improving future disaster anticipation and resilience’ initiative
  • developing the Humanitarian Innovation Fund further
  • creating the world's first international Learning and Development Passport for humanitarian workers
  • holding an East and Southern African Humanitarian Education and Training Conference.

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