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About Us

The Canadian Research Institute on Humanitarian Crises and Aid (OCCAH) is an autonomous academic research group on humanitarian crises. It is based out of the University of Québec at Montréal’s School of Management Sciences (ESG). OCCAH is a member of the Institut d’études internationales de Montréal (IEIM).

OCCAH’s mission is to conduct independent research as well as commissioned studies or evaluations on crises resulting from armed conflicts and/or disasters and the humanitarian action that follows. Given its academic status, OCCAHactively participates in the public dissemination of knowledge and the advancement of humanitarian science and good practices worldwide.

The institute’s objectives reflect the diversity and multidisciplinarity of its research team. Namely, the institute aims to:

1/ Develop and nurture a stimulating academic context for its members and students by proposing research activities and programmes in alignment with their fields of expertise.

2/ Provide services to the community by:

  • engaging in public debate with the media, the population and concerned actors in order to foster exchanges, collaborations and knowledge sharing
  • influencing the development of public policies and humanitarian best practices
  • developing partnerships between academia and practitioners.

3/ Improve the effectiveness of humanitarian relief, protection and prevention strategies by monitoring and transmitting on-going research on humanitarian crises and action. OCCAH’s approach of linking practice to research enables lessons learned to be used by academics, policy makers, NGOs and other actors working in international aid.

4/ Participate in training the next generation of humanitarian leaders by offering courses related to the Institutes’ research areas and through its Risk and Security Management Program


OCCAH oversees important research programs in six thematic areas: 

  • Populations in crisis and refugee camp economies
  • Risk and security management
  • Education in emergency contexts
  • Disaster resilience
  • Aid and the localization agenda
  • Humanitarian negotiation


Chaire de gestion de projet (ESG UQAM) Institut d'études internationales de Montréal (IEIM) Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC) Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines