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Evaluating returns to climate emergency humanitarian early intervention

   College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

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  Prof D Moran, Prof G Simm, Ms Stacie Gobin  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This Jameel Observatory (https://jameelobservatory.org/) funded PhD studentship will use risk prediction and economic modelling methodologies to investigate the cost-effectiveness of responding to predicted food security emergencies (Forecasted Based Action). Forecast-based action, which uses meteorological forecasts, price data, and satellite-based livestock production models to project the likelihood of weather-related distress, can be used to identify poor conditions, trigger aid earlier, and allow households to avoid harmful coping strategies. The cost-effectiveness analysis will compare the forecast-based action approach with the conventional model of post-shock humanitarian aid.

 This PhD will allow the student to develop skills in economic appraisal and evaluation, including concepts and definitions, analytical frameworks, measurement of costs and benefits, placing monetary value on program elements, costs and benefits of forecast-based action.

 Expected steps:

1.      A systematic literature review and narrative synthesis to determine which evaluation methods (economic and non-economic) are currently being used to appraisal humanitarian/climate adaptation programs

2.      Develop a model for cost-effectiveness and collect data needed to populate an economic model

3.      Work with observational and trial datasets to estimate cost-effectiveness of the trial interventions

4.      Estimate cost-effectiveness and/or rates of return to interventions and the implications of alternative measures of cost-efficiency


A statement of interest and full CV with names and addresses (including email addresses) of two academic referees, should be emailed to [Email Address Removed].

We plan to hold interviews for this PhD project on Thursday 28th of July 2022.

When applying for the studentship please state clearly the project title and the supervisor in your covering letter.

Funding Notes

Studentship will be funded for 3.5 years by Jameel Observatory


Dempsey, B & Hillier, D. A Dangerous Delay. The cost of late response to early warnings in the 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa. (2012). Oxfam International, Save the Children UK. https://resourcecentre.savethechildren.net/document/dangerous-delay-cost-late-response-early-warnings-2011-drought-horn-africa/
Dittrich, R., A. Wreford, D. Moran (2016) A survey of decision-making approaches for climate change adaptation: Are robust methods the way forward? Ecological Econ, Vol 122, 79-89, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.12.006.
Farr, E, Finnegan, L, Grace J and Truscott, M (2022). Dangerous delay 2. The cost of inaction. Report from Save the Children, Oxfam and Jameel Observatory. Available at: https://era.ed.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/1842/38980/full%20report.pdf?sequence=4&isAllowed=y. Save the Children International and Oxfam International..
Fitzgibbon, C. (2013) The economics of early response and disaster resilience: lessons from Kenya. . Humanitarian Practice Network. The economics of early response and disaster resilience: lessons from Kenya - Humanitarian Practice Network (odihpn.org)
Idris, I. Cost-effectiveness in humanitarian work: preparedness, pre-financing and early action. (2018). K4D – Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development. 461_Cost_Effectiveness_in_Humanitarian_Work_Preparedness_Pre-financing_and_Early_Action.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)
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