The Humanitarian Collaborative fosters partnership among scholars, students, practitioners, and affected communities to explore, understand, and develop solutions to overcome critical challenges facing crisis-affected communities around the world. The Collaborative aims to bridge traditional gaps among theory, policy, and practice to advance the Batten School and University’s opportunities to work on real-time policy challenges and be a known actor and thought leader in the global humanitarian sphere.


The monument at the national headquarters of our partner, the American Red Cross, in Washington D.C.


We believe that collaborating with teams of scholars, practitioners and communities creates more ethical work, better solutions and more robust outcomes. We value reciprocal attitudes, approaches, and programming and reject exploitative or extractive research and practices.

Operations Manager Brooke Ray listens to speakers in an auditorium at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.


We subscribe to a spirit of collaborative learning, of constantly seeking new knowledge, input, and criticism. We believe that the open exchange of ideas, evidence, and knowledge, with humility, is critical to our work and process.

MOE Event Fall 2018


We view the Center as a laboratory to test ideas and a space where the humanitarian and development world can learn and engage free of the fear of failure.

Batten alumna Althea Pickering visits a water tank from a solar-powered borehole in Mt. Darwin district in Zimbabwe with the local community members and leadership, Government Agritex officer, and WFP and partner staff.


We commit to continually evaluating and adapting our practices and perspectives to respond to the structural inequities we encounter in our work.


At its heart, the Collaborative aims to provide an environment where academics and students from across Grounds can collaborate with global practitioners, organizations, and community members on applied research to address problems faced by crisis-affected communities. This allows Batten and the University to engage in real-time problem-solving and brings practitioners into the university space in new ways.

Developing New Knowledge


We engage in applied, evidence-based policy analysis and research that propels the humanitarian and development fields forward. We believe in bridging the gap between practitioners and scholars by building interdisciplinary policy-oriented research with faculty, students, governments, organizations, and affected communities around the world. Our work ranges from urgent short term projects to multi-year initiatives that impact humanitarian response or development for crisis-affected communities.

Department of Homeland Security


We share our findings with governments, NGOs, academics and communities involved in the humanitarian and development sectors through dialogue, events, publications, and our research and internship opportunities. Our faculty’s experience in academia and involvement in the global humanitarian and development sectors gives our students opportunities to engage with real issues at every level.

UVA Darden Leadership Unscripted featuring Carolyn Miles


We support policy makers and leaders to have greater impact in humanitarian and development practice and theory. As the field develops, we encourage these leaders to adopt evidence-based policy.