Certificate in Essentials of Humanitarian Practice

Course Overview

Are you ready for the realities of relief work?  Essentials of Humanitarian Practice will give you an insight into life working in the field. This workshop also aims to increase your understanding of the characteristics of emergencies induced by natural disasters and conflict and the requirements for an effective humanitarian response.  You will learn how to work in a team in an emergency environment and identify individual responsibilities.

Practical learning is at the heart of the course.  During the week, we will put you at the centre of an emergency response in an engaging simulation.  This will challenge your motivations and beliefs, giving you firsthand understanding of what it is like to work in the field. You will also have the chance to explore your own motivations for engaging in humanitarian work.


Course Objectives

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Explain the characteristics of natural disasters and complex emergencies
  • Describe the different activities required for a comprehensive response to an emergency situation
  • Analyze the roles and relationships of humanitarian agencies and the people affected by disasters
  • Describe and apply international legal instruments and humanitarian principles to a humanitarian response
  • Discuss potential impacts and dilemmas associated with humanitarian responses
  • Demonstrate and understanding of the key skills and personal attributes required for an effective humanitarian response
  • Apply skills of teamwork, coordination, communication and cultural sensitivity in a simulation environment
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key skills, personal attributes and competencies required for an effective humanitarian response
  • Reflect on and evaluate your individual performance in relation to these key skills, attributes and competencies
  • Identify further personal development steps



Course content

  • Humanitarian context
  • Concept of humanitarian principles
  • International humanitarian system
  • Accountability
  • International law
  • Needs assessment
  • Individual responsibility
  • Potential impacts and dilemmas of humanitarian response
  • Cross-cutting themes such as gender, culture and security
  • Reflection on your own motivations and competencies for relief work


Who should enroll?

This is an introductory course suitable for anyone who has recently started working in or is thinking about entering the humanitarian sector, including staff of humanitarian aid organizations, governments, UN agencies, and individuals actively seeking work in the sector. There are no prerequisites for this course. All participants are expected to have theoretical knowledge of humanitarianism, although humanitarian aid experience is not presumed.

Course Organizers:



In order to demonstrate their understanding of the course content, students will be required to submit three assignments.


DURATION: 3 Months



ORGANIZERS: Capacity Africa Institute

LANGUAGE: English and French

FORMAT: Online Learning

GENERAL COURSE CONTACT: info@capacitybuildingonline.com