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Online Humanitarian Training Courses

The Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs offers online humanitarian training courses for humanitarian students and practitioners around the world. Each online course for Spring 2021 is designed to prepare current and future aid workers with the knowledge and skills needed to respond effectively to humanitarian crises and disasters.

The five online courses offered from February 1, 2021 - May 17, 2021 are:

Below you will find descriptions and outlines for each course, along with professor bios.

You will also find FAQs and contact information regarding registration, fees, course materials, and structures at the bottom of the page.


Disaster Management 

February 1, 2021 - May 17, 2021

From hurricanes to epidemics, from conflict to climate change, the economic and social impacts of natural and man-made hazards are increasing around the world. Disaster Management is the professional discipline which lessens these impacts by reducing disaster risk. This course will promote understanding of the principal determinants of disasters and provide an evidence-based approach to the interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral frameworks required to efficiently and effectively manage humanitarian disasters. It will cover key concepts in disaster management policy and practice, including hazard risk, vulnerability, resilience and governance through the cycle of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and early recovery. It will also integrate epidemiology, health economics and public administration into the disaster management mix for the first time. Using case studies of recent humanitarian crises, students will have a more complete understanding of the direct and indirect drivers of disaster risk and how they interact, enabling them to think critically about the appropriate allocation and management of resources in times of crisis.

This course will be taught by Professor James Shepherd-Barron. Former UN official at the World Health Organisation and Head of Emergencies for CARE International, Professor James Shepherd-Barron is a practicing disaster management consultant with over 25 years of experience advising governments, UN agencies, the Red Cross, and NGOs. He has been a Health, Shelter, WASH, and Early Recovery coordinator in nine separate emergencies and developed the IASC Reference Module for Inter-Cluster Coordination on behalf of OCHA.

Course Outline

Week 1:

Course Introduction

Week 2: 

Introduction to Disaster Risk Reduction

Week 3:  Introduction to Disaster Management
Week 4: 

Risk

Week 5: 

Natural Hazards

Week 6: 

Disaster Epidemiology

Week 7: 

Health Economics

Week 8: Vulnerability & Exposure
Week 9:

Technology

Week 10:

Resilience

Week 11:

Resource Management

Week 12:

Coordination & Management (Theory)

Week 13:

Coordination & Management (Practice)

Week 14: 

Information Management

Week 15:

Cash & Markets Approaches

Registration Deadline: January 27, 2021


 

Security Management: Delivering Aid in Potentially Dangerous Situations 

February 1, 2021 - May 17, 2021

This course will examine security management of humanitarian personnel working in high-risk environments. Students will analyze the most common security threats and trends and the ways to be proactive in order to reduce exposure to such threats. Students will also analyze organizational duty of care and learn to develop compliant security plans and to conduct security risk assessments. The concept of acceptable risk will be explored, as will the idea of balancing security risks with program delivery. Upon gaining an understanding of security planning, students will be introduced to techniques for critical incident management to reduce the impact of such events. In the final module, students will be taught how to better protect themselves during high-risk events to increase their chances of survival if deployed to work in high-risk environments.

This course will be taught by Professor Kjell Lauvik. Kjell Lauvik is originally from Norway and has a Ph.D. in Conflict Resolution (Hostage Management) and a Masters in Emergency Management and Planning, in addition to a number of industry certifications. After serving in the military, he joined UNHCR as a Field Safety Advisor where he worked for 19 years, lastly as UNHCR Chief, Security Operations. He joined the Aga Khan Development Network on September 1, 2018, as their Director of Security.

Course Outline

Week 1:

Protection of Humanitarian Organizations

Week 2: 

The world today, The Aid Worker Security Database

Week 3:  Understanding Accountability for Security
Week 4: 

Duty of care

Week 5: 

Introduction to Risk Management

Week 6: 

Threat & Vulnerability Assessment

Week 7: 

Determining Risk

Week 8: Reducing Risk
Week 9:

Country Security Plan

Week 10:

Contingency Plans

Week 11:

Critical incident response

Week 12:

The Terrorist Threat

Week 13:

Surviving Active Shooter + Survive Kidnapping 

Week 14: 

Mines + Weapons 

Week 15:

Crowds + Vehicles

Registration Deadline: January 27, 2021


Urban Humanitarian Operations

February 1, 2021 - May 17, 2021

This course will examine the interconnected systems that make up today’s urban contexts, the impact on urban populations when these systems are disrupted by conflict and disasters, and the programmatic models used by humanitarians to respond to the needs of conflict and disaster affected populations. Students will analyze programmatic models that are specific to urban contexts, as well as those traditionally used in camp and rural settings that can be modified for use in urban areas. Through case studies, students will also analyze existing best practices and ways of increasing the resilience of affected populations in both formal and informal urban settlements. At the end of this course, students will be able to create a desk review summary and stakeholder analysis of an urban context; plan a multi-cluster/sector initial rapid assessment (MIRA) of a disaster/conflict affected urban setting; and develop a cluster/sector specific urban program plan.

This course will be taught by Professor Rick Fernandez. Rick M. Fernandez is an independent social impact and urban humanitarian operations consultant who helps organizations develop plans and partnerships to maximize social impact and then communicate that impact to their stakeholders. He also currently serves as the Executive Director of Innovation and Planning Agency, USA (IPA USA) which focuses on leveraging entrepreneurship and innovation to meet humanitarian and development challenges. Previously he has served as both a Program Development Officer and an International Protection Officer with Nonviolent Peaceforce in South Sudan, worked as a program manager with IBM’s Corporate Service Corps Program, scouted social enterprises in Nairobi, Kenya, developed emergency plans at the NYC Department of Emergency Management, and helped manage foreign police assistance programs at the US Department of Justice.

Course Outline

Week 1:

Urban Context Preview- System of Systems + Systems Thinking

Week 2: 

International Legal Instruments and Guiding Frameworks 

Week 3:  Coordination + Cross Cutting Issues
Week 4: 

Defining and Mapping the Urban Space 

Week 5: 

Conflict and Disaster Affected Urban Populations

Week 6: 

Crisis (Conflict/Disaster) Cycle + Project Cycle Management 

Week 7: 

Program vs. Operational Planning + Design Thinking 

Week 8: Mutli-Cluster/Sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) Review
Week 9:

Social Enterprises and Socal Impact Investment

Week 10:

Operations Session 1

Week 11:

Operations Session 2

Week 12:

Recovery, Evaluation and Learning

Week 13:

Tabletop Exercise

Week 14:

Cluster-Specific Urban Program Proposal

Week 15:

Cluster-Specific Urban Program Proposal

Registration Deadline: January 27, 2021


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Costs

These semester-long courses can be taken for 3 academic credits or for a Certificate of Completion from Fordham University at a reduced cost.

Cost with Academic Credit: View GSAS Tuition and Fees

Cost for Certificate: $915 

How to register

To apply to an Online Humanitarian Training Course:

  • Create an application
  • Select "Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs"
  • Select Online Humanitarian Training Course
  • Select credit option
  • Select online course or courses

What is the difference between taking a course for credit and for a certificate?

For each online course the IIHA offers, students may choose to earn 3 academic credits or a certificate. Students earn the credits through Fordham University's Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GSAS) and must pay the GSAS fee per credit and fulfill the course requirements described in the syllabus. GSAS credit costs are available here. When taking the course for a Certificate of Completion, students must pay the reduced fee of $915 and fulfill the course requirements described in the syllabus. Upon completion of the requirements, students will receive a Certificate of Completion from Fordham University. 

How are the courses structured?

Each course is taught in an asynchronous format where professors will upload weekly units on Monday. Each professor may propose a few live online sessions throughout the semester. However, if this is the case, they will work with students on scheduling the synchronous meetings, which will not be mandatory and will be recorded and made available to students who cannot attend.

How do I access course materials?

Upon registering for each course, students are provided with access to Fordham's E-Learning system, Blackboard. Blackboard is the platform by which students will access all course materials, including the course lectures, readings, discussion boards, and other interfaces designed to enable students and professors to interact and engage throughout the course.

How can I get in touch with other questions?

For all registration inquiries, please connect with Ellen Bratina, IIHA International Programs Officer, at miha@fordham.edu.