Prepare for Humanitarian Action

The academy for humanitarian action (aha) provides advanced training courses for the humanitarian community. It combines unique insights from humanitarian practice and academic research. Join us on our mission to spread the skills we need when crises hit – start today.

Upcoming courses

Introduction to Mapping with QGIS


January 2023


© academy for humanitarian action (aha)

This course is an introduction to QGIS; it is a crash course for regular, “non-technical” people who are interested in using maps in their professional life but don’t know where to start: Exploring data is already a key competence for a wide range of positions ranging from politics to energy, journalism to humanitarian work. There is a wealth of geo-spatial data available (think how often Google maps is used) and this trend will only increase, yet very few people know how to engage with these information. Mapping data to make complex ideas and schemes understandable in a matter of seconds is the next step to increase the impact and reach of complex ideas. This course is the basic training needed to understand the fundamental concepts of mapping and become autonomous and confident in using maps in a professional setting.

The course is planned as an online event from January 23 to 26, 2023.

Introduction to Humanitarian Negotiations


February 2023


Certificate of Advanced Studies: Foundations of Humanitarian Action

© Aktion Deutschland Hilft / Trappe

The ability to negotiate is one of the most shared and used soft skills among Humanitarian workers. From Head of Mission to truck driver, almost all personnel involved in humanitarian operations does negotiate, every day, on various topics ranging from access to protection. Interestingly though, despite the sensitivity of negotiation and its potential positive or negative impact on humanitarian organizations and interventions, the recognition of the need to prepare and train current and future relief workers in this regard is fairly recent. The first humanitarian negotiation manual was issued in 2004, and it is only in the last decade that systematic training on humanitarian negotiation was developed and provided to humanitarian staff and teams. This course introduces you to the planning and implementation of humanitarian negotiations, including context analysis and engagement with interlocutors. The adult-education and experiential methodology approach of the course, based on real case scenarios and role play, enables you to get first-hand experience of soft skills and inter-personal competences required for negotiation in humanitarian action.

The course is planned as an in-present training from February 15 to 17, 2023. It is eligible for the Certificate of Advanced Studies at the academy for humanitarian action in the area of "Foundations of Humanitarian Action". The course fee covers the costs for participation as well as catering during the course. The participation fee can be reimbursed for staff of Aktion Deutschland Hilft member organizations.

For international/non-EU participants, the deadline for registration is: November 1st, 2022. This should allow you enough time to obtain a visa for Germany. Register by November 30th, 2022 to receive your EARLY-BIRD discount and pay only 350€.

Sphere Training


March 2023


© © Aktion Deutschland Hilft/Leo Frey

The Sphere Handbook presents a principled approach to quality and accountability in humanitarian response. This basic training course provides an introduction to the Sphere Handbook with the basic principles of humanitarian aid - the Humanitarian Charter together with the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) and the Protection Principles - and the technical standards in the four sectors WASH, food security and nutrition, shelter and settlement, and health. The training focuses on the practical application of the manual in concrete humanitarian situations. To this end, numerous small group exercises are conducted.

The training is designed as face-to-face training. Depending on the current situation, the training can be switched to an online format.

Who we are

The academy for humanitarian action (aha) is an institution for further education in the humanitarian sector. It is located at the intersection of humanitarian practice and research and pools the expertise from over 25 years of work in the humanitarian sector. The aha carries out high quality trainings and offers a platform for other training providers in the field of humanitarian action. Our trainings are based on internationally established initiatives to systematize and standardize education in humanitarian action. Visit the about us section to find out more!

What we aim for

Our work is inspired by the desire to create a positive impact and advance the professionalization of humanitarian action in Germany and beyond. Our aim is to support humanitarians in their continuous effort to further improve the quality of their work, address new challenges and meet important requests for reform, such as the commitments that were made in the course of the World Humanitarian Summit. A special emphasis of our work is on anticipatory humanitarian action and community-led response. Visit the about us section to find out more!

What we offer

The academy for humanitarian action offers a wide range of different training courses on topics related to humanitarian action and international collaboration. The trainings are carried out by aha members and by external providers who have proven expertise in selected areas. Our curriculum is based on the indicated needs of target communities and will be continuously updated and adapted in collaboration with experts from different practical and academic disciplines. Click here to get an overview of our current course offer. Participating in several courses of the curriculum will allow you to gain a “Certificate of Advanced Studies” (CAS).

Aktion Deutschland HilftRUBInstitut für Friedenssicherungsrecht und Humanitäres VölkerrechtFH MünsterKompetenzzentrum Humanitäre HilfeAkademie der Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Your tailor-made certificate

The academy for humanitarian action offers flexible and tailor-made certificates that can be adapted to your purpose. You may opt for a simple certificate of attendance, a course certificate or a “Certificate of Advanced Studies” from one of the core tracks: Foundations of Humanitarian Action, Anticipatory Humanitarian Action or Locally-led Humanitarian Action. Each “Certificate of Advanced Studies” comprises five course certificates. To get a more detailed overview of our modular certification scheme, click here.