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 strain 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

Examination formats

  • Written exam (open questions, multiple choice questions)
  • Oral examination (individual or group work)
  • Final presentations in the course

Instructors

  • Our instructors are experienced trainers who have several years of experience in humanitarian action or development policy practice as well as experience in teaching and leading workshops and trainings

Target audience and admission requirements

This certificate program is particularly suitable for newcomers and career changers with little previous experience in humanitarian action. The training is aimed at employees of humanitarian organizations as well as students and professionals of all disciplines who wish to work in humanitarian action. Therefore, no special previous knowledge is necessary but for a definite admission a short letter of motivation is required when registering for the individual courses.

Currently, aha offers courses in German or English. Good language skills are strongly recommended. However, we cannot guarantee that all five courses required to obtain the CAS are available in only one language. Please check the respective course page for the language of instruction of the courses and make sure that you are capable of independent language use (B1/B2 of the European Framework of Reference) of the course language. Otherwise, we will not be able to admit you to the course. The applicable admission requirements for the individual courses can be found on the respective course website.

Accreditation

A “Certificate of Advanced Studies” is a further education degree at master's level and obtaining a CAS is two-step procedure. First, you have to complete five courses in ITP format, each with one ECTS-point from the respective subject area. The courses can be chosen individually based on the courses offered on the aha webpage in each core track.  Afterwards, you can register for the final examination in the form of a 10 to 15 page essay by sending an e-mail to aha-anmeldungen(at)akademie.ruhr-uni-bochum.de with proof of the five completed courses. You will receive all relevant information for the final exam as well as a selection of possible topics for the essay by e-mail. The essay paper is worth an additional 5 ECTS. After you have passed the final exam, we will immediately issue you with a certificate.

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. The schedule for your Certificate of Advanced Studies is flexible, just like we are. You can register for any of the unlocked courses that fit in your schedule. You will be the first to know when a new course is offered via our newsletter. You can also decide at any time whether you would like to complete a "Certificate of Advanced Studies" after taking individual courses. It is only important that you take part in the exams of the training. A certificate can usually be acquired within 1 to 2 years.

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

Fully booked

© 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.

Sphere Training

Already over

© © 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.

Introduction to Humanitarian Negotiations

Already over

© 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 online training from June 8 to 10. 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.

WASH in Emergencies - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Humanitarian and Transitional Action

German

September 2022

1 ECTS

CAS: Foundations of Humanitarian Action

© Thorsten Reckerzügl

In the 5-day course "WASH in Emergencies - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Humanitarian and Transitional Action" you will receive a comprehensive overview of the field of action WASH in humanitarian and transitional action, technical and non-technical intervention options as well as specifics and challenges in the WASH sector. The course will cover 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 German WASH network and external experts will give technical input and bring current practical examples into the course.

This course will be taught in German and is part of aha's certification scheme and can be credited towards a Certificate of Advanced Studies in "Foundations of Humanitarian Action".

The Basics of MEAL in Humanitarian Action

German

September 2022

1 ECTS

CAS: Foundations of Humanitarian Action

© 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. Between the individual course sessions, you will have time for group work and self-study phases.

The course is planned on 21, 28 and 30 September as well as 5 October and is part of the aha's certification program in "Foundations of Humanitarian Action".

Sphere Training

German

October 2022

1 ECTS

CAS: Foundations of Humanitarian Action

© © 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.

Participatory Methods in Humanitarian Action - Navigating Ownership, Opportunities and Dilemmas

English

November 2022

1 ECTS

CAS: Foundations of Humanitarian Action

© Anisa Goshi

The Grand Bargain has boldly called for a “participation revolution” in humanitarian action. However, truly designing projects from the bottom up, with and for people who are directly affected by crises, often proves difficult in practice. Not every method fits everywhere and with each community. Time pressure and moral dilemmas make it even harder.

In this experiential training we will explore in detail what methods are available and which to select at what time. This requires a good look at the context, our own roles and responsibilities, and limitations of methods and mandates. The training itself is designed in a highly engaging way getting you to use the methods from the outset.

The in-person training will take place in Bochum in autumn 2022 and includes group-learning activities. The course is eligible for the Certificate of Advanced Studies at the academy for humanitarian action in the areas of "Foundations of Humanitarian Actions " as well as "Locally-Led Humanitarian Action".