Centre for Research on Health Care in Disasters

Background and problem formulation

Natural disasters increase and affect more people globally. Due to vulnerability low-income countries are more often affected and the lack of resources limits the capacity to prepare and respond. International humanitarian assistance has increased dramatically during the last 30 years and more money is available for relief to disaster-affected countries.  However a large part of the assistance is still based on charity rather than professionalism. Several studies has documented the lack of proper needs assessments that should define and quantify the needs of the affected population. There are very few studies that aims at critically exploring the role for health care in disasters and define the type of needs that dominate and how to respond to these needs. We are convinced that our attempt to answer the above will contribute to improve the quality of health care relief following disasters.


The overall aim of KcKM KI is to contribute to strengthened and improved Swedish and global health response to major disasters. This will be achieved through research, education and policy work.

For 2016 we aim to:

  1. Increase capacity of the Swedish disaster response system through dissemination of knowledge and experience from global disasters and standby for field work and advice to Swedish authorities
  2. Improve methods, processes, and operational output for needs assessments in disasters
  3. Increase knowledge of the variations of health needs and burden of disease after different types of disasters and contexts
  4. Increase knowledge about prognostic factors associated with trauma mortality and to what extent they vary depending on context

About KcKM and the project: Health assessment in disasters

Since 2002 the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) funds a network on emergency medicine at Swedish universities. Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet is one node in this network, Kunskapscentrum för Internationell katastrofmedicin (KcKM, IHCAR) is a project mainly financed by competitive research grants from Socialstyrelsen.

What we can provide

We accept assignments such as Needs Assessments of upcoming disasters as well as evaluations of international humanitarian health relief. We can provide advice and analysis of health care response related and topics that involve essential information for action following disasters.


The following projects have been funded for 2016 by grants from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen)

Global Health