Final Reminder: Prioritizing research ideas for promoting sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health in humanitarian emergencies

31 July, 2018

Dear HIFA,

At the suggestion of Neil Pakenham-Walsh I am forwarding the below request for participation in a research prioritization exercise for SRMNCAH in humanitarian settings.

Thank you in advance for your kind contribution.

Kind regards,



Subject: Final Reminder: Prioritizing research ideas for promoting sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health in humanitarian emergencies

Dear Colleagues,

The Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MCA) and the Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR), of the World Health Organization (WHO), are coordinating a process to identify research priorities on sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (SRMNCAH) in humanitarian emergencies. We are inviting you to participate in this process, as an expert and a stakeholder in this area. Many of you have already received this invitation earlier. If you have already provided responses, we apologise for the inconvenience and ask you to please disregard this email.

Considerable burden of maternal, newborn and child deaths and other ill health (physical, mental, and social) outcomes have been estimated to occur in humanitarian crisis settings, such as conflict and post conflict situations, transnational crises, natural disasters, or situations of protracted socioeconomic and political instability. Further, women in crisis situations are in extreme need for adequate and accessible sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services. The average time for women spent in displacement for women in crisis is 20 years, the effects of which are substantial leading to often associated with increased rates of exposure to sexual and domestic violence, complications during pregnancy and delivery, induced septic unsafe abortions, maternal mortality, malnutrition, starvation and anemia, perinatal mortality and morbidity, increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases and reproductive tract infections. By coordinating a research prioritization exercise, the WHO wishes to accelerate promotion of SRMNCAH in humanitarian crisis contexts.

For the identification of research priorities, we will use a method developed by the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI). There will be four steps in this process:

Generation of a list of potential research questions by a large number of experts (our current stage)

Consolidation of the list of suggested research questions

Scoring of the suggested questions based on pre-defined criteria, ranking them by their total score, and selecting 25-50 top-ranking ideas for further discussion

Discussion and re-ranking of the selected ideas to come up with a final list of research priorities

Please scroll to the end of the email for more information on the CHNRI process, and for examples of where it has been used in the past.

At this stage, we would like to ask you to propose up to 5 research questions that you feel are the most important to address, using a simple online survey. Soon we will ask for help again in scoring the suggested questions.

To access the survey, please click here []. Answering the survey should take no more than 10 minutes. We would ask you to complete this by 15 August 2018.

Results from the SRMNCAH research prioritization exercise will be published as a technical report by the WHO (by early 2019) and later as an article in a scientific journal (2019). Survey participants who give their permission will be acknowledged in these publications. We are aiming to send this survey to approximately 1000 relevant experts and stakeholders. If you can think of somebody who may be interested in completing this survey, please share their name and contact with us by emailing Egmond Evers at We appreciate your time and collaboration and look forward to your contribution.


Egmond Evers, Maha Nair, Samira Aboubaker, Per Ashorn, Loulou Kobeissi, and Lale Say

Departments of Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health & Reproductive Health and Research

World Health Organization

For more information on the CHNRI process, please see the articles below:

Viergever RF, Olifson S, Ghaffar A, Terry RF. A checklist for health research priority setting: nine common themes of good practice. Health Res Policy Syst [Internet]. 2010; 8(1): 36. Available at:

Rudan I, Gibson JL, Ameratunga S, El Arifeen S, Bhutta ZA, Black M, et al. Setting priorities in global child health research investments: guidelines for implementation of CHNRI method. Croat Med J. 2008; 49(6):720?33. Available at:

For examples of where the CHNRI process has been previously used, please view the articles below:

Fontaine O, Kosek M, Bhatnagar S, Boschi-Pinto C, Chan KY, et al. Setting Research Priorities To Reduce Global Mortality from Childhood Diarrhoea by 2015. PLoS Med. 2009; 6(3): e1000041. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000041. Available at:

Lawn JE, Bahl R, Bergstrom S, Bhutta ZA, Darmstadt GL, et al. Setting Research Priorities to Reduce Almost One Million Deaths from Birth Asphyxia by 2015. PLoS Med. 2011: 8(1): e1000389. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000389. Available at:

Yoshida S, Martinez, J, Lawn JE, Wall S, Souza JP, et al. Setting research priorities to improve global newborn health and prevent stillbirths by 2025. Journal of Global Health. 2016; 6(1). doi:10.7189/jogh.06.010508. Available at:

Nagata JM, Ferguson BJ, Ross DA. Research priorities for eight areas of adolescent health in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. J Adolesc Health. 2016: 59(1); 50-60. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.03.016. Available at:

Dr Egmond Samir Evers

Technical Officer

Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MCA)

Avenue Appia 20, 1211 Geneva 27, SWITZERLAND

Mobile: +31-6-14954132 - Telephone: +41-227911985 - GPN: 11985 - Email: - Web: