Humanitarian Protection Initiative (HPI)

HPI woman walking in a refugee camp carrying items on her head
A woman walking home through the heavily guarded Bentiu camp for people fleeing conflict in South Sudan.
Photo by Anouk Delafortrie, © European Union, 2018 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (
HPI is a collaboration between J-PAL and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) with support from the United Kingdom (UK) international development funding from the UK Government. The initiative will generate and share new evidence to inform policy and practice to effectively improve protection of conflict-affected populations.


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About the Initiative

The humanitarian sector faces increasing challenges as conflicts globally are more entrenched, leading to severe repercussions for civilians. According to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), nearly 300 million people will be in need of assistance and protection in 2024 while emerging and ongoing conflicts have led to a considerable rise in conflict fatalities and harm to civilians.

Improving the effectiveness of efforts to better protect conflict-affected populations from violence, coercion, and deliberate deprivation is a priority as experts warn that protection risks are increasing in complexity and severity. More evidence is needed to understand the mechanisms that promote the safety, dignity, and rights of people affected by conflict and to understand the most effective designs of protection policies and programming. 

To address this gap, HPI supports research to generate rigorous evidence through funding proposals to design, pilot, and evaluate solutions to effectively improve protection outcomes. HPI will foster research and learning on pivotal protection concerns in conflict settings, including the prevention of sexual- and gender-based violence; addressing the psychological effects of abuse and distress; promoting the recognition, respect and uptake of rights; and mitigating conflict escalation while fostering restraint among armed actors.

In doing so, HPI aims to fill gaps in research and equip humanitarian actors with a greater understanding of cost-effective, scalable, and context-sensitive solutions to prevent and remedy physical, psychological, social, and legal harm against conflict-affected populations.

Key Facts

J-PAL Europe
  • Research RFP: Open
Open to J-PAL affiliated professors, HPI and J-PAL Europe invited researchers, J-PAL postdocs, and J-PAL scholars.


For Researchers

Request for Proposals

The Humanitarian Protection Initiative’s first Request for Proposals has closed. Funding decisions will be announced in September 2024.


HPI Scholars Program

HPI provides research funding and mentoring opportunities to researchers from or based in low- or middle-income countries (LMIC) through HPI's Scholars Program.

For Partners

Humanitarian actors interested in partnering with researchers

If you're part of an organization interested in partnering with researchers on a randomized evaluation of your program, please submit our matchmaking form or reach out to [email protected].

Initiative Staff

Sara Merner, Senior Policy Associate 

Aminatou Seydou, Policy Associate