The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) is a research unit of the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). It is situated at the School of Public Health of the Brussels campus of the university. It has been active for over thirty years in the fields of international disaster and conflict health studies, with research and training activities linking relief, rehabilitation and development. It promotes research, training and technical expertise on humanitarian emergencies, with a special focus on public health and epidemiology. CRED promotes research and provides an evidence base to the international community on the burden of disease and related health issues arising from disasters and conflicts to improve preparedness and responses to humanitarian emergencies. This Centre trains field managers, students, relief personnel and health professionals in the management of short- and long-term humanitarian emergencies.
The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) has been active for over 40 years in the fields of international disaster and conflict health studies, with activities linking relief, rehabilitation and development. The Centre promotes research, training and technical expertise on humanitarian emergencies, particularly in public health and epidemiology. CRED regularly organizes conferences, meetings and workshops on themes such as disasters, conflicts, displacement, and morbidity. Through these events, CRED hopes to develop and improve methods and tools to assess impacts and compile reliable data for evidence-based decision making. These conferences and workshops are often organized in collaboration with other research institutes, and bring together a multi-disciplinary group of participants from academia, NGOs, the United Nations, and governmental agencies.
CRED’s research focuses on humanitarian and emergency situations with major impacts on human health. These include all types of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, windstorms, famines and droughts; and human induced disasters creating mass displacement of people from civil strife and conflicts. It focuses on health aspects and the burden of disease arising from disasters and complex emergencies. It also promotes research on the broader aspects of humanitarian crises, such as human rights and humanitarian law, socio-economic and environmental issues, early warning systems, mental health care, and the special needs of women and children.
CRED is actively involved in stimulating debates on the effectiveness of various humanitarian interventions. It encourages scientific and policy discussions on existing and potential interventions and their impacts on acute and chronic malnutrition, human survival, morbidity, infectious diseases, and mental health. The CRED team works in four main areas: Natural disasters & their impact, Conflict & health research, Database & information support, Capacity building & training. The Centre develops, implements and evaluates training materials and courses to help international agencies, national governments, non-governmental organizations, research institutes and schools of public health strengthen their technical capacity in emergency public health management. It strives to improve disaster management capacities through institutional and community capacity-building, information and data management, and partnerships. In addition, the Centre provides training in public health, epidemiology, natural disaster management and complex emergency intervention.
CRED is a member of the Joint Europe Masters in International Humanitarian Action (NOHA). This inter-university and multidisciplinary postgraduate programme provides high-quality academic education and professional competencies for personnel currently working - or intending to work - in the area of humanitarian action. The CRED staff teaches in several graduate programmes throughout Europe, North America and Asia. Continuous teaching exchanges take place with the University of Heidelberg, the University of Delhi and University of Indonesia.