Maintains - research helping adapt humanitarian response during shocks

The ultimate outcome of the Maintains programme is to enable our six focus countries to more effectively manage their risk, ensuring their social services and humanitarian response are able to act more quickly, more reliably, and at lower cost, during and after a shock or disaster.

Maintains aims to find out why and how social services may fail in times of shock or disaster, and how they could be prevented from doing so and improve the level of on-the-ground response.

Helping families cope with future food disasters in Kenya during a humanitarian response
Helping families cope with future food disasters in Kenya.
Credit: Charlotte Morgan/DFID

In answering five research questions, evidence gathered from Maintains can be used to inform current programming and future programme design to better improve response to shocks:

  1. How can social services be designed so that they are not only resilient to disasters but can also expand and adapt in response to shocks?
  2. How should decisions be made about targeting shock-responsive social services?
  3. What should be in place before a disaster strikes so that a scaled response can be implemented efficiently?
  4. How should risk financing be designed to support a timely, reliable, and cost-effective response?
  5. How feasible is a shock-responsive approach in different contexts?

You can find all of our latest and historical research through our Resource centre as well as blogs to give further analysis and insight from our leading experts.

Programme structure

Maintains has three components that work closely together. Maintains delivers research that responds to user demand, fills evidence gaps, and is accessible and engaging for public and private sector stakeholders. It also provides technical assistance to support practical implementation.

  • Research to build a robust evidence base
  • Targeted technical assistance support in six countries
  • Promotion of research findings to inform policy and practice globally.

To learn more about our research or ask any questions about our aims, please email us at

Programme structure

Oxford Policy Management
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