The Complex Emergency Database (CE-DAT) is an international initiative to monitor and evaluate the health status of populations affected by complex emergencies.
CE-DAT is managed by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) and was created in 2003 as part of SMART, an interagency initiative to encourage rational, evidence-driven humanitarian decision-making.
The database focuses on mortality and acute malnutrition - the most commonly used public health indicators of the severity of a humanitarian crisis. Field agencies use mortality and nutrition indicators to identify and measure the severity of needs in order to prioritize human and financial resources. These indicators have also proved useful in monitoring the extent to which the relief system meets the needs of vulnerable populations, and thus the overall impact and effectiveness of the relief system.
Today, with over 3,300 epidemiological surveys from 51 countries, CE-DAT serves as a unique source of field data for monitoring the health status of conflict-affected populations and for the production of trend analyses, impact briefings and policy recommendations.
The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) is based at the School of Public Health of the Université catholique de Louvain in Brussels, Belgium. For over 35 years, CRED has been active in the field of international disaster and conflict health research. It promotes research, training and technical expertise on humanitarian emergencies, with a special focus on public health and epidemiology. Since 1980, CRED has been a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre.
The Centre is actively involved in stimulating debate on the effectiveness of humanitarian interventions. It encourages scientific and policy discussions on existing and potential interventions and their impacts on malnutrition, human survival, morbidity, infectious diseases, and mental health.
The CRED team works in four main areas:
- Natural disasters and their impacts
- Civil conflict and health research
- Database and information support
- Capacity building and training