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International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance

Shaping Humanitarian Leaders

Students standing in a group

The International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA), the flagship program of the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs, equips mid-career professionals to drive the humanitarian sector of the future in a more effective, sustainable, and dignified direction. Students will also develop a holistic perspective on global humanitarian issues to propel them to the next level in their careers, helping them create positive social change both in and out of the field.

For over 20 years, the intensive, four-week residential training of the International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA) has welcomed thousands of humanitarian workers in cities around the world – from Kathmandu to Amman, New York to Geneva. Unique among other academic trainings of its kind, the IDHA emphasizes cultural diversity, cooperation and teamwork. Students join a cohort of diverse and highly qualified aid and development professionals from all over the world.

Directed by alumni practitioners, the IDHA centers around the Ignatian principle of being men and women for others by enhancing students’ knowledge and skills in complex emergency and protracted crisis intervention. Students are also encouraged to critically examine global humanitarian processes in order to identify necessary reforms in both the public and private sectors.

Upcoming International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance:

IDHA 56 

When January 10 - February 5, 2021

Geneva, Switzerland

Email to be notified when registration opens! 


When March 13 - April 8, 2021

Amman, Jordan

Email to be notified when registration opens! 


When May 30 - June 25, 2021

New York, New York

Email to be notified when registration opens! 

Learning Goals

Students standing in a group laughing with balloon

Graduates of the International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance will gain:

  • Extensive insight to the needs of people affected by conflict, disaster, and displacement
  • Skills in facilitating cooperation and dialogue between international, governmental, and nongovernmental agencies
  • Awareness and understanding essential for effective service in emergency and protracted humanitarian crises
  • Opportunities to collaborate and network with colleagues working for diverse range of international, governmental, and nongovernmental humanitarian agencies
  • Tools to evaluate interventions and identify examples of good practice; and methods for anticipating and preventing humanitarian crises

Program Highlights

Students working in a group
  • Students receive lectures from world-renowned humanitarian experts
  • Presentations, debates, case studies, practical exercises, and scenarios allow for collaborative learning opportunities in a cohort of field-experienced humanitarians
  • Covers a full range of disciplines involved in humanitarian response, including: management, logistics, health, psychology, social sciences, anthropology, communication, agriculture, environment, education, conflict resolution, international law, civil/military relations, security, media, politics, and economics
  • Upon completion, graduates will receive eight graduate-level credits accepted toward the Master of Arts in International Humanitarian Action, or potentially their studies at other academic institutions

Program Basics

  • Certified by the New York State Education Department
  • Course cost of U.S. $6,000 includes tuition, course materials, lodging, and weekday meals. Transportation costs are not included. Fall and Spring IDHAs are subject to university fees.
  • Private loans or payment plans may be available
  • Program is not eligible for U.S. federal aid programs

General Approach:

Students standing in a group holding balloons

To bring participants to the cutting edge of operational humanitarian issues in a month-long, residential, intensive course of lectures, exercises and tests, both individual and in syndicates, with an emphasis on interactive participation.


Teacher using post-it notes

Participants will have the opportunity to meet, listen to and dialogue with United Nations, Military and Non-Governmental officials, as well as political, diplomatic, and academic figures.

Academic Credit:

Formal academic credit through Fordham University is available as Pass/Fail to successful graduates of the IDHA. In order to qualify for academic credit, the participant must receive the IDHA, and must have already had the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree or better at the beginning of the IDHA. For academic credit, students must submit official transcripts for all previous university degrees. Academic credit forms will not be accepted and all transcripts must come to Fordham directly from the applicants' universities.

SAMPLE Daily Time Table (5 days per week: Monday to Friday):

Breakfast 7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

Morning Sessions 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Lunch 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Afternoon Sessions 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Dinner 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Occasional Group Discussions 8:30 p.m.

SAMPLE Daily Schedule:




8:30 – 10:30

 Education in Emergencies

Humanitarian Lecturer

10:30 – 10:45

Coffee Break

10:45 – 12:30

 Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH)

Humanitarian Lecturer

12:30 – 2:00


2:00 – 3:30


Humanitarian Lecturer

3:30 – 3:45

Coffee break


3:45 - 5:15

 Climate Change: Impact on        Vulnerable Populations

Humanitarian Lecturer

 5:15 - 6:30 

 Communicable Diseases

Humanitarian Lecturer




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