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Changes to Spring Academic Calendar Fordham is modifying its academic calendar in anticipation of a national resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic this winter. Full Details

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:

  • Cash, Commodities, and Services in a Humanitarian Response
  • Disaster Management 
  • Integrity, Accountability and Transparency in Humanitarian Operations 
  • Security Management: Delivering Aid in Potentially Dangerous Situations 
  • Urban Humanitarian Operations 

Below you will find descriptions for each course, professor bios, and sample syllabi topics. 

These three-credit, semester-long courses can be taken for 3 academic credits or for no academic credit at a reduced cost.

Cost with credit for all courses: View GSAS Tuition and Fees

Cost without credit for all courses: $915 

Online Course Application and Registration Inquiries

Ellen Bratina
International Programs Officer, Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA), Fordham University
Email: miha@fordham.edu


Cash, Commodities, and Services in a Humanitarian Response

February 1, 2021 - May 17, 2021

For decades, humanitarian assistance was delivered by the supply of commodities and services, often by international humanitarian organizations. More recently, technological advances have made it practical, and cost-effective, to provide humanitarian assistance through cash transfers. This development has both been welcomed as the new way forward and viewed with some suspicion by others who view it as lacking in accountability. This course will examine the roles played by cash transfers, commodities, and services in response to humanitarian crises, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each. The course will also examine the mechanisms now in place for the further development and regulation of cash transfers.

This course will be taught by Professor Floor Grootenhuis

Sample Syllabus Topics Coming Soon

Registration Deadline: December 30, 2020

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

Registration Deadline: December 30, 2020


Integrity, Accountability and Transparency in Humanitarian Operations 

February 1, 2021 - May 17, 2021

This course will examine the values, principles, and ethical standards that humanitarian personnel must follow when engaged in humanitarian work. Adherence to these values, principles, and standards is critical in developing and maintaining beneficiary confidence, in promoting a strong public image, in cultivating an effective workforce, and in nurturing accountability and transparency. At the end of this course, students will have a better understanding of the meaning of ethics in the context of humanitarian work; the standards of conduct applicable to humanitarian personnel; how to systematically approach ethical problem situations; key ethical and corruption risks pertaining to the humanitarian sector; how to report and deal with ethical breaches, including sexual and other interpersonal misconduct; and how to make ethical decisions and where to seek help. 

This course will be taught by Professor Lex Takkenberg

View Sample Syllabus Topics

Registration Deadline: December 30, 2020


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

Sample Syllabus Topics Coming Soon

Registration Deadline: December 30, 2020


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

View Sample Syllabus Topics

Registration Deadline: December 30, 2020