RIAH Research Project

A consortium of researchers, led by the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at The University of Manchester in collaboration with the University of Geneva’s Centre of Humanitarian Studies, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new research programme: Researching the Impact of Attacks on Healthcare (RIAH). The programme currently receives funding from the UK Department of International Development.

The aim of this multi-institution and interdisciplinary research programme is to improve our understanding of the immediate, long-term, and wider impacts of attacks on healthcare on populations in contexts that have experienced armed conflict.

Multiple international studies confirm a global consensus that attacks on health often threaten the sanctity of health care, disrespect the right to health care, and violate international humanitarian law.

Gathering evidence of attacks has to date been crucial in raising awareness of the issue. But existing evidence is largely restricted to the reporting of incidents and their immediate impact, and falls short of providing data on the longer-term and wider impacts of attacks on healthcare access and utilisation as well as broader public health outcomes. 

This research will transcend previous work on attacks against healthcare through rigorous new and sustained data collection over the lifetime of the project. It aims to produce data that generate stronger evidence of the scale and nature of the problem and document the impacts of the attacks to support global policy and advocacy efforts.

Insecurity Insight is working with us on the data collecting and processing work, and Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, will work with us on policy and impact activities.

To be added to the mailing list for regular updates please email RIAH@manchester.ac.uk.

Over the next few years, the RIAH project – Researching the Impact of Attacks on Healthcare – will generate new evidence about how these attacks affect civilian populations. This research is particularly important as the world faces a global health pandemic. The Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies will play a key role in the project, leading research focused on Afghanistan and the Central African Republic and organising events with key humanitarian actors in Geneva“.

Larissa Fast, Senior Lecturer, Humanitarian Studies and Director of Research, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI), University of Manchester.

Staff involved

Prof. Karl Blanchet

Prof. Karl Blanchet

Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva

Director of the Centre

Audrey Mahieu

Audrey Mahieu

MA in Political Sciences / MSc in International Public Health


  The RIAH Research Projects is funded by: