International Humanitarian Response (at HSPH)

This course offers practical training in the complex issues and field skills needed to engage in humanitarian work. Students will gain familiarity with the concepts and international standards for humanitarian response. While providing a solid theoretical foundation, the course will focus on practical skills such as conducting rapid assessments, ensuring field security, and interacting with aid agencies, the military, and the media during humanitarian crises.

The course culminates in a required three-day intensive humanitarian crisis field simulation during 26-28 April 2019. Students will camp for two nights in the forest as part of an aid agency team responding to a simulated international disaster and conflict. Student teams will carry out rapid assessments, create a comprehensive humanitarian aid plan, and manage interactions with refugees, officials, and other humanitarian actors. Students will face challenges that test their subject knowledge, team skills, creativity, and grit.

Topics covered: Humanitarian response community and history; International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law; Sphere standards (shelter, water and sanitation, food security, health); Civil-military relations, media skills, logistics, and budgeting; Monitoring and evaluation, accountability; Personal security, mental health, stress, and teamwork.

Lecture location: Harvard Yard, Cambridge. Course Fee: $300 to cover camping gear hire, food, and other equipment costs. Field Simulation: 8am, Friday, April 26 through 3pm, Sunday, April 28, 2019.

Course Note: This course is based at the Harvard Chan School as GHP 515 and GHP 518. This course is the equivalent of 3 GSD units, not 4

This course will be held in Fong Auditorium in Boylston Hall (Boylston Hall 110) on Harvard’s Cambridge Campus.