Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI)

HDI is a college-wide interdisciplinary research center at Wheaton College dedicated to helping the vulnerable and underserved domestically and internationally, across a wide spectrum of relief and development challenges.


Our Mission

The mission of HDI is to equip congregations and faith-based organizations to better prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

Our Uniqueness 

  • The first faith-based academic disaster research center in the country.
  • One of the few academic disaster or humanitarian centers in Illinois and the Midwest.
  • Among only a small group of truly interdisciplinary academic disaster or humanitarian centers in the country.

Our Work

Recognized scholars and educators and students, in collaboration with other centers, institutes, and resources from across the Wheaton community carry out HDI’s mission through:

  • Research 

    We conduct applied and basic research to assist and empower communities affected by disasters and humanitarian crises.  
  • Training and Education

    We provide training and education to enhance public and professional awareness and competence to prepare for and respond to disasters and humanitarian emergencies.
  • Technical Assistance

    We provide technical assistance in evaluation research, impact studies, knowledge transfer, quality improvement, and capacity building.

Our Approach

HDI’s interdisciplinary approach facilitates cutting edge and innovative solutions. HDI’s collaborative approach builds partnerships with churches, faith-based organizations, humanitarian organizations, private research organizations, individual scientific collaborators, academic centers, and state and federal agencies.

Our aim is to compliment or extend the success of these organizations by joining together for a common aim.

Learn more about HDI >

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