A multi-method research and participatory approach

The concept selection is structured in four steps combining quantitative and qualitative research methods. This process seeks to reflect the diversity of languages and practices existing in the sector by involving a broad range of humanitarian actors .

  • Mapping the diversity of the humanitarian sector by creating an exhaustive database of about 2’600 organizations, composed by all self-declared humanitarian entities, whatever their type, geographical origin and mission
  • Examining  the terminology used by humanitarian organizations through a content-analysis of strategic documents
  • Asking humanitarian practitioners about their understanding of concepts and what they perceive as priority concepts through a consultative online survey
  • Organizing panel discussions in various world regions to further explore: What are the most central concepts in day to day practices and why? Which concepts are lacking? Which concept groupings emerge? Which concepts have complementary or contradictory relationships and why?

Practitioners play a leading role in this concept selection process : they will shape the Humanitarian Encyclopedia’s architecture, by contributing to these research activities. The final selection of the entries will be the responsibility of the Advisory Board.