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

Design Thinking Course


June 2021


CAS: Locally-led Humanitarian Action

© Aktion Deutschland Hilft/Brockmann

This course gives you an introduction into design thinking as a method. You will learn innovative methods to generate ideas and will also test it in practice. We will focus on humanitarian project work and design thinking exercises with people on the move, displaced persons or refugees. The course draws on entrepreneurial approaches but makes them applicable to humanitarian project work.

Please note: This course will be held in German and requires at least a working level of German language skills. For more information check the German section of this page (choose language settings at the right hand corner). The training is part of aha's certification scheme and can be credited towards a Certificate of Advanced Studies in "Locally-led Humanitarian Action".

Partner Dialogue


June 2021


CAS: Locally-led Humanitarian Action

© VENRO / Karoline Krähling

Many organisations are not sure how they can raise difficult issues with their partners without endangering the partnership. In an online learning series, you will discuss how difficult issues such as corruption prevention, safeguarding or conflict resolution can be addressed and discussed in a partnership. You will learn how to maintain a trusting partnership.

This course will be held on 16 and 23 June as well as on 7 July, 2021. and includes regular breaks. It is eligible for the Certificate of Advanced Studies in "Locally-led Humanitarian Action".

Introduction to the Selection, Planning and Implementation of "Early Actions" in the Context of Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

Fully booked

© German Red Cross

Anticipatory action means acting prior to the onset of predictable hazards and thus, prevent their impact, if possible, and reduce human suffering and losses. It has only been a few years since humanitarian agencies started to develop systems to take action based on forecasts and risk analysis. Hence, Early Actions are a core component of anticipatory humanitarian action as their implementation aims at reducing the impact of extreme events. This course provides an overview of early actions in some of those projects from the Red Cross Red Crescent movement as well as from different NGOs.

Hence, you will be introduced to the overall concept of Anticipatory Action and its current funding mechanisms, but the focus will be on the selection and planning of early actions for various hazards (e.g., short onset such as floods but also long onset such as droughts) by taking into account different lead times and identified impacts. In this course, you will learn about key principles for identifying Early Actions as well as tools for prioritizing, planning and evaluating their effectiveness. Overall, examples will be taken from both, larger humanitarian agencies such as German Red Cross and Welthungerhilfe, as well as smaller NGOs who have a stronger focus on community-based approaches.

The training is part of aha's certification scheme and can be credited towards a Certificate of Advanced Studies in "Anticipatory Humanitarian Action". The course is planned as an online-training in June 2021 and includes regular breaks. Further information on the registration process will be communicated shortly via our newsletter.

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 Hilfe

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.