Patrick Vinck

Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health and Population

Department of Global Health and Population

Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
14 Story Street, 2nd floor
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138


Short Bio

Dr. Vinck, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department Global Health and Population  at the Harvard School of Public Health and in the Department of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School. He is also the Research Director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. He leads a team conducting research on resilience, peacebuilding, and social cohesion in contexts of mass violence, conflicts and natural disasters, with support from the Mac Arthur Foundation, UNDP and UNICEF among others. This research has lead him to examine the role of technology and ethics of data in the field. He is the co-founder and director of KoBoToolbox a digital data collection platform, and the Data-Pop Alliance, a Big Data partnership with MIT and ODI. Dr. Vinck served on the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) form 2010 to 2017. He serves as a regular advisor and evaluation consultant to the United Nations and other agencies. He graduated as an engineer in applied biological sciences from Gembloux Agricultural University (Belgium), and holds a Ph.D. in International Development from Tulane University.

Research / Contribution:

Conflict and Health

  • Effects of violence and reconstruction after conflicts and other forms of violence
  • trauma and its association with peace building
  • Health behaviors during outbreaks in fragile countries
  • Field research methods in conflict settings
  • Resilience for Peace

Peace, Transitional Justice and Human Rights

  • Effectiveness of peacekeeping operations
  • Role of justice and transitional justice in the recovery process
  • ‘Reconciliation’ post-conflict
  • Outreach evaluation

Peace and Education

  • Role of education, in-and out-of-school, on reconstruction and peace-building
  • Inter-generational transmission of trauma and violence
  • Stigmatization associated with interrupted education.

Technology and the ethics of data

  • Role of technology in responses to conflict and complex emergencies.
  • Ethical challenges posed by field data collection, new technologies and applications of Big Data,.

Resilience to disasters

  • Understanding the experience of survivors and their capacity to rebound, recover and adapt.
  • Subjective measures of resilience