CAS: Foundations of Humanitarian Action

Foundations of Humanitarian Action

Never before have so many people worldwide been dependent on humanitarian action as today. In addition, there is an increasing number of protracted crises, which can require the capacities of humanitarian organizations for years. In order to be able to provide fast and effective humanitarian action, organizations are expanding their capacities allowing newcomers and career changers to find their way into humanitarian action. Due to the increasing need for humanitarian action, not only the actor landscape itself, but also the collaboration of humanitarian actors is subject to high dynamics. This makes it difficult for newcomers and career changers in particular to gain an overview of the structure and functioning of the humanitarian system. The program "Foundations of Humanitarian Action" provides the most important basics for an entry into the professional field of humanitarian action, which is highly complex and characterized by a multitude of different actors.

Competence Profile

With the rising complexity and professionalization of the humanitarian sector, the demands on the staff of humanitarian organizations are also increasing with regard to the successful implementation of humanitarian responses.

In order to meet these requirements, the program provides you with basic competencies in various core areas of humanitarian action. In addition to knowledge of central basic concepts, you will acquire relevant knowledge about the most important actors, forms of financing and coordination mechanisms in the humanitarian system. The program also teaches you skills in implementing existing quality standards. Additionally, you will learn about the international legal framework for humanitarian work and how to apply it to concrete situations. With regards to a successful implementation of humanitarian programming, you will gain skills in the field of management, understand how humanitarian measures can be designed to be impact-oriented from the beginning and monitored on the basis of indicators. You will also have the opportunity to deepen your basic knowledge of humanitarian action by gaining sector-specific expertise.

Learning Objectives

  • Create awareness for the legal foundations of humanitarian action
  • Enhance knowledge of the principles and standards of humanitarian action
  • Enable you to navigate through the humanitarian system
  • Learn about “best practices” and proven tools and approaches in the management of humanitarian projects
  • Acquisition of sector-specific expertise

Teaching and Learning Methodology

  • Online and on-site trainings
  • Lectures
  • Group work
  • Group discussion
  • Case studies
  • Group presentations

Audience

The training is aimed at staff of humanitarian organizations and students and professionals, regardless of their specialization, who want to work in humanitarian action. Prior knowledge is not required, but a short letter of motivation is necessary when registering for the individual courses for definitive admission.

Language

The courses are held in English and German. Good language skills are strongly recommended. We cannot guarantee that the five courses required to obtain the CAS will be available in one language only.

Accreditation

A “Certificate of Advanced Studies” is a further education degree at master's level. It has a scope of 10 credit points according to ECTS (10 ECTS). Five „Intensive Training Programs“ (ITPs) can be combined to a „Certificate of Advanced Studies“ (5 ECTS). The courses can be chosen individually based on the courses offered on the aha webpage in each core track.  Upon completion of the five ITPs you need to hand in an essay paper which is worth an additional 5 ECTS.

Quality Control

To ensure the quality of the courses, there is the possibility to give feedback after each course by means of an anonymous and standardized evaluation procedure. The evaluations are immediately assessed and flow into the qualitative development of the course offer, the selection of trainers and the organization of the program.

Location

The courses will be held online or in different locations in Germany. The locations are indicated in the course section.

Application and Fees

You need to apply for each individual course of your certificate via the registration button in the course section. Please note that some courses are free of charge and others charge a participation fee. Spots are allocated according to availability. If a course is fully booked, kindly register for another one. Course participants must cover the costs for own transportation, meals besides the course catering, and accommodation. A list of cost-effective accommodation options can be provided by the course organizers.

Schedule

Courses are offered on a rolling basis. Over time, more courses will be added meaning that you can start your certificate whenever you want. Either register for all your courses today or do it one by one and sign up for a “Certificate of Advanced Studies” later. It's flexible, just like we are.

Information

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us using the form below!

Basics of Humanitarian Action

Fully booked

© Aktion Deutschland Hilft /Zanettini

INFORMATION: This course is fully booked. Please register for a different course.

This course will introduce you to the basics of humanitarian aid. In the three-day online course, you will learn what you need to start a career in humanitarian work. From terminology to legal basics and quality ensurance, we will cover a lot of reallife examples and look at case studies to understand the major challenges and work areas of humanitarian action.

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). Together with the course "Basics of the Humanitarian System", this trainings forms a starter package to humanitarian action. Both courses are par of the aha's certification program and are eligible for a Certificate of Advanced Studies in the Field of "Foudations of Humanitarian Action".

Introduction to the Mechanisms of Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

Fully booked

© Mozambique RC/ GRC

INFORMATION: This course is booked up, please register for a different training.

Mechanisms for anticipatory humanitarian action, such as Forecast-based Financing (FbF), enable early action before extreme weather events occur through the use of forecasting models and risk data as well as the rapid availability of funds. In this way, humanitarian consequences of disasters can ideally be mitigated and the response time and efficiency of humanitarian efforts can be improved.

In this three-day online course, you will gain an overview of the opportunities and limitations of anticipatory humanitarian action using Forecast-based Financing as an example. You will learn about existing examples of the use of extreme weather forecasts and become familiar with the basics of setting thresholds ("trigger levels") to enable anticipatory humanitarian action.

The training sessions will be held in English and include regular breaks.

Basics of the Humanitarian System

Fully booked

© Aktion Deutschland Hilft

INFORMATION: This course is fully booked. We will offer both courses of the introductory training package again in late 2021 and early 2022. Information on the registration process will be communicated via our newsletter.

In this course we will explore the international humanitarian system and its actors in depth. The course complements the "Basics of Humanitarian Action" course and puts actors, mechanisms of finance and coordination into the focus. We recommend to follow both courses for a well prepared career start into humanitarian aid, but you can also take the courses seperately.

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 planned as an online course and includes regular breaks. It is part of the aha's certification scheme and is eligible for the Certificate of Advanced Studies in the area of "Foundations of Humanitarian Action".

The Basics of MEAL in Humanitarian Action

Fully booked

© Aktion Deutschland Hilft / Freccia

The four phases of project management are important pillars of humanitarian projects: In this course, you will learn about each component of the project management cycle: Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning, or MEAL for short. You will learn how to develop good indicators for humanitarian projects and how to submit successful project proposals based on these indicators. We will also discuss how to monitor projects based on your own indicators and how to report project progress to the respective donors.

The training will take place on 26 and 29 April as well as on 03 and 07 May 2021 and is part of aha's certificate "Foundations of Humanitarian Action". Between the individual course sessions, you will have time for group work and self-study phases. The sessions include regular breaks and will be held in German. For further details on the schedule, please visit the German version of this website.

The International Donor Landscape in Humanitarian Action

Fully booked

© Aktion Deutschland Hilft / Loeffke

The international donor landscape has changed considerably in recent years and new actors have gained importance. Therefore, this training will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the international donor landscape in humanitarian action as well as the related trends and developments. You will get to know donors from different areas, for example from the cosmos of the United Nations or the institutions of the European Union. "Non-traditional" donors such as companies or foundations are also considered. You will also learn about the structural challenges that the humanitarian (funding) system as a whole faces.

The training is planned as a three-day online workshop on 17, 21 and 24 September 2021. One additional day will be required for offline group exercises. This training is eligible for the Certificate of Advanced Studies in "Foundations of Humanitarian Action".

WASH in Emergencies

Fully booked

© Thorsten Reckerzügl

In the 5-day course "WASH in Emergencies - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Humanitarian and Transitional Aid" you will get a comprehensive overview of the field of action WASH in humanitarian and transitional aid, technical and non-technical intervention options as well as specifics and challenges in the WASH sector. In the course, we will look at the basics of humanitarian assistance in the WASH sector including related humanitarian principles and WASH standards. Approaches and technologies for water, sanitation and hygiene in humanitarian crisis situations will be presented, and WASH-specific project planning approaches and cooperation structures in humanitarian assistance will be discussed. Experienced speakers from the WASH Network and external experts will provide technical input and bring current practical examples to the course.

Please note: The course language is German. Presentations and course materials will be in English and presentations by international speakers may be in English. For more information and the detailled course schedule please see the German version of this page.

The participation fee includes lunch and coffee breaks.

The training is part of aha's certification scheme and can be credited towards a Certificate of Advanced Studies in "Foundations of Humanitarian Action".

Introduction to Humanitarian Needs Assessments and Analysis

Already over

© Aktion Deutschland Hilft/Thorsten Thor

The course aims to introduce to you the processes, skills and knowledge required to design and implement Asessment and Analysis (A&A) processes and make sense of available information in humanitarian emergencies. Therefore, it relies on the broad experience of ACAPS (initially: "The Assessment Capacities Project”), using guidance from ACAPS Technical Briefs and the Humanitarian Needs Assessment – The Good Enough Guide (GEGA) as backdrops. The pedagogical approach will follow a mixture of introductory presentations and group work, using virtual break out rooms, shared folders, etc.

The course is part of the aha's certification scheme and can be credited towards a Certificate of Advanced Studies in the field "Foundations of Humanitarian Action". The course is planned as an online format from 9 to 11 November 2021, but due to the dynamic developments in the context of the Corona pandemic, it might be changed to an face-to-face event. Participants will be in due time before the training.

The Basics of MEAL in Humanitarian Action

Fully booked

© Aktion Deutschland Hilft / Freccia

The four phases of project management are important pillars of humanitarian projects: In this course, you will learn about each component of the project management cycle: Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning, or MEAL for short. You will learn how to develop good indicators for humanitarian projects and how to submit successful project proposals based on these indicators. We will also discuss how to monitor projects based on your own indicators and how to report project progress to the respective donors.

The training will take place on 12, 18, 23 and 26 November 2021 and is part of aha's certificate "Foundations of Humanitarian Action". Between the individual course sessions, you will have time for group work and self-study phases. The sessions include regular breaks and will be held in German. For further details on the schedule, please visit the German version of this website.The four phases of project management are important pillars of humanitarian projects: In this course, you will learn about each component of the project management cycle: Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning, or MEAL for short. You will learn how to develop good indicators for humanitarian projects and how to submit successful project proposals based on these indicators. We will also discuss how to monitor projects based on your own indicators and how to report project progress to the respective donors.

Basics of Humanitarian Action

Fully booked

© Aktion Deutschland Hilft /Zanettini

In this course you will learn the basics of humanitarian action. This includes important basic concepts, such as different types of disasters or the differentiation of humanitarian aid from other fields of action such as development cooperation. Special attention is paid to international humanitarian law and humanitarian standards and principles. Using concrete case studies, you will be able to actively deal with various situations in which humanitarian principles play a central role or are at risk.

Together with the course "Basics of the Humanitarian System", this course forms a self-contained unit as a starter package into humanitarian action. Participation in both courses is therefore highly recommended. The training is part of aha's certification scheme and can be credited towards a Certificate of Advanced Studies in "Foundations of Humanitarian Action". The course is planned as an online training on November 23, 25, and 30 and includes regular breaks. Further details on registration will follow shortly via the aha newsletter.

Basics of the Humanitarian System

Fully booked

© Aktion Deutschland Hilft

Complementary to the course "Basics of Humanitarian Action", this course focuses on the international humanitarian system and its actors. You will get a comprehensive overview of the most important actors, coordination mechanisms and financial structures in the humanitarian system. Together, we will look at the key developments of recent years and the challenges that shape the future of the humanitarian system. By dealing with concrete case studies and scenarios, you will be prepared in the best possible way for a commitment in the exciting field of humanitarian action.

Together with the course “Basics of Humanitarian Action”, this course forms a self-contained unit as a starter package into humanitarian action. Participation in both courses is therefore highly recommended. The training is part of aha's certification scheme and can be credited towards a Certificate of Advanced Studies in "Foundations of Humanitarian Action“. The course is planned as an online training on 1, 3, and 8 February and includes regular breaks. Further details on registration will follow shortly via the aha-Newsletter.