Dr. Garfield combines qualitative perspective of community health promotion and the quantitative approaches of epidemiology to assess morbidity and mortality changes among civilian groups in humanitarian crises. He has assessed the humanitarian impact of conflict and economic embargoes in Cuba, Haiti, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan Iraq, and Liberia for UN organizations, was the founding director of the World Health Organization-led Health and Nutrition Tracking Service in Geneva, coauthored WHO's World Report on Violence and currently chair of the Collective Violence Group of the Global Burden of Disease project. He has assisted Ministries of Health in supporting mid level and professional nursing staff in Liberia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Sudan, northeast Brazil, Afghanistan, and in hurricane Katrina-affected Louisiana in the U.S. In 2009 he led the 5-year post disaster evaluation of recovery in health in tsunami-affected countries for UNICEF and Save the Children.
Since the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, he has assisted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the UN and the Haitian Government to organize relief and recovery programs on the ground. His major effort is to rebuild the systems to train and employ mid-level health workers to make the health system more effective and responsive to the Haitian people's needs. Since returning to the U.S. from the World Health Organization, he has continued to work closely with the Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in developing and carrying out inter-sectoral joint needs assessments following sudden onset emergencies in Myanmar, Haiti, and most recently Pakistan.