UVA Humanitarian Collaborative

Illustration of people and tents
An illustration of a refugee camp with tents, roads, people, trees and facilities.

The Humanitarian Collaborative is the heart of the Global Policy Center’s work. The Collaborative brings together faculty, staff, and students from across Grounds with practitioners and community partners to address the world’s pressing humanitarian and development challenges. The Collaborative works with our organizational and community partners in interdisciplinary research, advocacy, and policy projects to bridge scholar-practitioner gaps in humanitarian aid. The Office of the Provost’s Strategic Investment Fund, the Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation’s Ruth Young Endowment/Indar-Riyukhe Fund and the Center itself fund the Collaborative.

Thematic Areas

Our thematic areas fuel the Collaborative's applied, interdisciplinary work. We organize each lab around a theme designed to understand, explore, and develop solutions to each humanitarian and development challenge.
  • A picture of leaders in education and humanitarian response
    The Global Policy Center represented UVA at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva, Switzerland in 2019 joining nations and international organizations in pledging commitments to early childhood education for displaced youth.
    Almost 90 million children under the age of seven have lived their entire lives in war and conflict. They’ve endured unthinkable violence and loss during a critically important time in their development. Yet major policy and research gaps exist. In order to recognize early childhood development as a life-saving priority, we need radical changes to the humanitarian system.
  • Tents and laundry of asylum seekers at the US Mexico border
    Laundry hangs to dry against the backdrop of asylum seekers' tents in Matamoros, Mexico.
    Immigration policy under the Trump administration caused tens of thousands of asylum seekers to wait for their court proceeding under horrific conditions in Mexico. More recently, while most Trump-era policies have been rolled back, thousands of migrants still arrive at the US/Mexico border and unaccompanied minors are filling detention centers in the US.
  • Using Predictive Analytics for Humanitarian Goals - Research Exchange Lab
    Members of the UVA Humanitarian Collaborative’s Predictive Analytics team meet with Save the Children in London to work on their modeling project.
    As the humanitarian operational community invests in data-driven strategic planning and programming, they’re developing the forecasting tools that will help predict the timing, magnitude, and duration of mass-displacement and crisis events that affect children and their families. This theme brings together faculty from Batten, the Departments of Statistics, Politics, and Systems Engineering, along with the School of Data Science, among others to build and evaluate useful displacement models that can guide humanitarian response.
  • Interior of a tent showcasing the current humanitarian crisis in Venezuela with dirty mattresses, torn towels, ripped clothing, shoes with no laces, an empty water jug, and a pair of children’s stuffed animals.
    The Towards a Better Latin America's exhibit at “A Venezuelan Journey: The Search for a New Home” event co-hosted by The Humanitarian Collaborative.
    Global humanitarian response organizations use advocacy campaigns to call attention to humanitarian crises. These communication efforts call for individual and government action to alleviate human suffering. Despite these efforts, we still don’t know the best way to effectively and ethically accomplish this goal. Our team of faculty, students, practitioners, and community members work to help us find new answers to these long-standing challenges.
  • Woman wearing a mask
    The Covid-19 global pandemic has impacted people across the world, including in the Charlottesville area. Our team is working with partners both locally and internationally to aid in the response and recovery efforts for those hardest hit.
  • Ai Weiwei

    Here, you will find a compilation of the UVA Humanitarian Collaborative's major projects that have been completed and are no longer active.