Floods in Bangladesh
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The Humanitarian Assistance Technical Support (HATS)

Humanitarian Assistance Technical Support (HATS) is a global initiative at the University of Arizona designed to support the U.S. Government's commitment to prepare for and respond to international humanitarian disasters.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funds HATS through its Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), formerly the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. Here at the University of Arizona, technical staff directly supports BHA in several key sectors of operation. At the same time, the University actively engages with a diverse and interdisciplinary pool of expertise and experience in finding innovative strategies and solutions to reduce global disasters' causes and impacts. HATS seeks to assemble its faculty and students around a vibrant community of practice that contributes to the many dimensions of disaster preparation, response, and recovery.





The Humanitarian Assistance Technical Support project, fondly known as HATS, is in its 5th and final year.  HATS provided senior technical support to the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance at  USAID in the persons of three UA staff members (Laura Meissner, Dr. Sezin Tokar, and Rhonda Stewart) and focused on expanding the institutional capacity of our University of Arizona in disaster management, disaster risk reduction, humanitarian assistance, and related topics. The HATS team identified where such capacity lies at our institution, generated the network of HATS faculty across the campus, promoted academic courses in the relevant content areas, introduced a graduate-level course, and supported over two dozen graduate and undergraduate students.  In its 4th year, HATS was awarded an additional 2 million dollars to establish a research fund on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction for early career scholars and graduate students distributed across a network of 12 African universities called PERI-PERI U. This additional activity, the Climate Adaptation Research Program (CARP), was administered under a highly effective partnership with Stellenbosch University in South Africa.  More than 30 local research projects have been funded and are under implementation, involving over 100 young scholars.


The UA has been awarded 10 million dollars to scale up the CARP program globally (we call it CARP+).  New partnerships have been forged with CSUCA in Guatemala, Aukland Technical University in New Zealand (along with Stellenbosch U) to fund university climate adaptation research in Latin America and the South Pacific. We are incredibly excited to collaborate with dozens of universities across the globe and to embrace the challenge of creating a global network of scholar-practitioners-policymakers.


Consequently, a new website for the CARP program has been launched (https://carp.arizona.edu/) and will replace the HATS website at the end of this year.  We intend to make the transition seamless and invite you all to join us on the CARP journey.