The Research People delivers research, evaluations, learning reviews and strategic support to humanitarian agencies responding to emergencies across Africa and Asia. Our goal is to deliver outstanding humanitarian consultancy that promotes more effective local response.

Our Philosophy

Our work aims to reduce the repercussions of humanitarian disasters on affected communities. We believe that local humanitarian action is vital for individuals and communities to build resilience and protect themselves during crises. We support humanitarian agencies to deliver effective responses by providing research and evaluation services on the role of local actors; facilitating and making use of innovations in science and technology; and developing new techniques to assess decision-making and impact. We believe that our work is best when delivered with researchers that have a personal understanding of disaster contexts. 

Our Principles

We operate according to eight principles:

  1. Create a network of outstanding researchers, with a bias towards those from disaster-affected countries. We create deliverables together and encourage whole-team feedback. In our recruitment, we search for people with an ability to collect information sensitively in difficult settings. We are seeking opportunities to co-write research with researchers from affected communities.
  2. Stand in the shoes of our research participants. All of our researchers have previously worked or volunteered for a national level organisation. We look for opportunities to learn from national NGOs. All our team members spend time meeting with local NGOs each year.
  3. Consult broadly. We aim to cite work from a broad array of authors (not just the usual suspects!) and to understand divergent perspectives. We try to consult beneficiaries as well as our clients for feedback on our research and evaluation.
  4. Use the principles of design-thinking to develop technical insights. We use creative problem solving approaches that focus on the needs of disaster-affected communities and local NGOs, and lead to ‘human-centred’ processes and services.
  5. Invest in analytical and written communication skills of our team. We prioritise excellence in our written work, producing well-crafted, evidence-based reports. We support our team to develop clear and consistent writing styles.
  6. Involve clients and affected populations in the process. We create prototype deliverables sooner rather than later and encourage clients to give feedback on early deliverables.
  7. Simplicity. We aim to write accessible, concise research that can be understood by a broad audience. We develop user-focussed research products.  
  8. Imagine the future. We aim to challenge the status quo and to be bold in envisioning future trends, dynamics and opportunities for humanitarians.