Capstone Projects

Each year, we welcome a small groups of students from the Graduate Institute, Geneva to conduct a one year research project around a humanitarian topic provided by us.
Projects are part of the master curricula and carry 9 ECTS.

As a Capstone partner, we propose a research challenge with background information and a set of initial research questions. Students are invited to apply for projects based on these proposals. Projects kick-off in April and are completed by December. Outputs comprise a final report plus infographic and/or other communication media.

The opinions expressed in the students’ work represent the authors’ point of view and are not necessarily those of HERE-Geneva.


Recent Capstone Projects

‘Aid Effectiveness and Humanitarian Action: Two Sides of the Same Coin?’ (2021)

Research team: Phuong Ly ; Miyuki Uchiyama ; Marta Quadrini Mosca Moschini

This report aims to investigate the evolution of the disjunction between the development and humanitarian fields and their aid evaluations, by looking at the extent to which the OECD-DAC evaluation criteria can be applied to humanitarian action.

Specifically, this report examines:
1) the notion of aid effectiveness and its evaluation criteria
2) the notion of humanitarian effectiveness; and finally
3) the link between aid effectiveness and humanitarian effectiveness.

‘First things first. Understanding priorities in humanitarian action.’ (2020)

Research team: Anna Ploeg ; Laurie Chartrand

The overall objective of this research project was to better understand how the priorities of humanitarian action have changed over time. More precisely, it studies how the understanding of ‘life-saving’ has evolved since the first edition of the Sphere Handbook, which was published in 2000. Specifically, this report examines; 1) the evolution of humanitarian priorities throughout history, and 2) analyzes the evolution of the notion of lifesaving in the Sphere Handbooks by looking at the Minimum Standards of the first (2000) and last (2018) editions as a reference.

‘The role of standards’

Research team: Carolina Cáceres ; Tim Buder

Two students from the Graduate Institute (IHEID) in Geneva have worked with HERE and have examined the drafting and revision process of the standards as well as the uptake of the standards by relevant actors. HERE organised a meeting on December 18, 2019, in order to present the findings from the students’ researchand to explore the next steps for HERE’s research around the linkages between the standards and protection practices of agencies on the ground.This Note provides a summary of the main points discussed on this occasion.

Accountability to Affected Populations: Challenges in High-Intensity Conflict Scenarios (2018)

Research team: Darine Atwa ; Enrica Lorusso ; Maria-Clara Hijano

Despite efforts and commitments to transform humanitarian action into a more appropriate and relevant, but also effective and timely response, a practical account of what accountability to affected populations actually involves in practice continue to be rarely addressed. The study was guided by the following research questions:
1. What are the challenges in the application of the concept of accountability to affected populations within the context of armed conflict? How can they be addressed?
2. What can be learned from the experience in Yemen and CAR about AAP?

For more information about the Capstone Project, watch the video below or visit The Graduate Institute’s website.