What Are The Practices to Identify and Prioritize Vulnerable Populations Affected by Urban Humanitarian Emergencies?: A Systematic Review

Patel, R., King, J., Phelps, L. and Sanderson, D.
Publication language
Date published
01 Jan 2017
Research, reports and studies
Targeting, Identification and Profiling, Urban
Tufts University

This systematic review, commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme (HEP) and carried out by a team from Stanford University, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and University of New South Wales, represents the first ever attempt to systematically search, sort and synthesize existing evidence on targeting the most vulnerable in urban humanitarian crises in low and middle-income countries. More specifically, the research aims to consolidate findings on the practices (tools, methods and metrics) used to identify and prioritize vulnerable people, households and communities in humanitarian emergencies, including those displaced within and to urban areas. Targeting is difficult to design given that vulnerability is a complex attribute to measure; it is both dynamic and relative, and depends on programme objectives. The review investigates vulnerability assessment as a means of identifying target beneficiaries of humanitarian aid programmes in both disasters caused by natural hazards and complex emergency settings since 1985.

The research team:

  • mapped and documented existing research
  • identified gaps in existing research and knowledge
  • synthesized the evidence in response to a considered research question.