Our teams are working with faculty and centers across Harvard University and elsewhere to examine and prepare-for the impact of the changing climate on human health. As a recipient of Harvard’s inaugural Climate Cluster grant awarded by the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability at Harvard University, our research is focussed on adaptation interventions aimed at supporting climate-driven migration in South Asia.

Dr. Balsari direct’s Harvard’s Climate and Human Health Fellowship, which is anchored at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, C-Change, and the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights.

Projects & Initiatives

Climate Adaptation in South Asia Research Cluster

This project, backed by Harvard’s Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability, focuses on enhancing climate adaptation at multiple levels in South Asia, particularly regarding climate-related migration. The team will collaborate with partners to develop and scale diverse climate adaptation strategies, such as health, technological, and policy solutions. These strategies are designed to address challenges posed by droughts, floods, and sea-level rise, ranging from habitat modifications to disease surveillance and comprehensive insurance and response plans for climate-induced disruptions.

Team leads: Professors Caroline Buckee, Peter Huyber, Tarun Khanna, Jennifer Leaning, Dan Schrag, and Satchit Balsari.

Landscape Analysis of Climate Adaptation Action in South Asia

This project analyzes the climate adaptation interventions led by a variety of stakeholders in South Asia. The analysis is focused on four key sectors – habitats, agriculture, energy services, and health — and includes adaptation interventions to address risks and vulnerabilities at various timescales – acute, medium, and long-term. 

The research team will also also study the scenarios/conditions under which these adaptations will be effective and engender long-term resilience.


South Asia, home to over 2 million people and heavily impacted by climate change, urgently needs evidence-based policy and humanitarian responses. Climateverse is designed to address local challenges in data procurement, processing, and analysis to construct a regional data-ecosystem, partnering with local governments and organizations to provide tools for reducing climate impacts and protecting communities.

This project is made possible by generous funding provided by the Office of the Vice Provost for Climate and Sustainability at Harvard University, under the Climate Change Solutions Fund.

Community HATS

The Community HATS (Heat Adaptation and Treatment Strategies) Project focuses on collecting data on how extreme temperatures and humidity affect people in South Asia.

Working in collaboration with India’s Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), we aim to gather high-resolution body temperature, ambient temperature, and humidity data in various home and work environments to explore how extreme heat impacts behavior, mental health, mobility, livelihood access, and work productivity.

This unique study will provide nuanced insights into the real-life effects of extreme temperatures, aiding local communities and governments in developing effective climate adaptation strategies.

Adapting to Climate Change in South Asia and West Africa Workshop

Climate change is causing widespread global effects such as extreme heat, flash floods, sea level rise, and severe droughts, with particularly severe impacts in the climate-stressed regions of South Asia and West Africa. These areas are expected to face increasingly dire consequences in the years ahead, underscoring the critical need for immediate action. 

Various institutes at Harvard University held a three-day workshop focusing on this challenge. Through panel discussions, presentations, and demonstrations, the workshop facilitated a cross-regional exchange of ideas and strategies for effective climate adaptation.

Climate and Human Health Fellowship

The intensive two-year program includes a master’s degree in public health or public policy at Harvard University; internships at external organizations and agencies; opportunities to learn and engage in advocacy; and training to lead independent research at the intersection of climate change, human health and policy.

Mentorship is provided by an interdisciplinary team of faculty from across Harvard.

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