IS members represent nonprofits, foundations, and corporations engaged in every kind of charitable endeavor, with missions that reflect the myriad of ways that we work for the common good and make the world a better place.
New member Research-Aid Networks seeks to improve global humanitarian aid by creating a collaborative interdisciplinary network of researchers, aid organizations, and the communities they serve, enabling cost-effective, evidence-based community development and humanitarian aid.
We talked with Jeremy S. Rossman, Ph.D., President and Founder of Research-Aid Networks.
Q: Tell us about your organization and your mission.
JR: The mission of Research-Aid Networks is to facilitate connections between aid or service organizations, researchers, and local communities, and create a system that allows people to connect, enables people working on similar projects to find additional resources and additional partners, and come together to do more than any one partner can do by themselves, and at the same time, facilitate community integration and participation in the aid or service project.
Q: How did your career path lead you to become President and Founder of Research-Aid Networks?
JR: I’m an infectious disease scientist. I have a faculty appointment in England and I’ve been running a research lab on viruses that cause epidemics for about eight years. In doing that I’ll go out into the field and see the response to infectious disease epidemics, anywhere around the world. In those crises, many different aid organizations are there to provide services, and many different researchers are there to study the virus, or study the community, or study a vaccine. Yet there are very few interdisciplinary collaborative responses, partly because nobody has the time to develop a robust partnership or establish a collaborative working arrangement in the middle of a crisis. It’s great that there are so many responders, but with everyone focused on their own specialty, establishing collaborative projects is not practical. So, I started an organization that can help connect aid organizations, researchers, and people from different disciplines before the crisis and facilitate the collaboration process for them. If I can help find partners, bring people together and facilitate a collaborative project, then maybe when the next outbreak strikes, people can respond with an integrated and collaborative approach. This is the goal of Research-Aid Networks.
Q: What role did your work as a research scientist play in identifying the need for an organization with your mission?
JR: My career has always been in sciences and research. So now I’m trying to help integrate research with community participation and humanitarian aid provision.
Q: Describe the services that Research-Aid Networks provides.
JR: We’re looking to do two main things. First, we want to facilitate collaborative partnership building — internationally and in the U.S. That’s the core of our mission. But secondarily, we want to promote policies and approaches that highlight the importance and benefits of working in collaborative partnerships with local communities.
Q: As a fairly new organization, what are you most excited about achieving this year?
JR: We are a very new organization, so we’re looking to promote our organization, our approach, and define the need for this type of cooperative working. We will do this by establishing initial partnership test cases that will provide data that can be used to analyze our approach and demonstrate our ability to enhance the effectiveness of our partner organizations.
Learn more about Research-Aid Networks at https://researchaidnetworks.org
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