Basics of Humanitarian Action

Fully booked

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.

© Aktion Deutschland Hilft /Zanettini

You will learn

what the most important basic terms in humanitarian aid are and what they mean

what the most important foundations of international law are as well as central quality standards and principles of humanitarian action

what challenges and difficulties have to be overcome in this field of work

how you can critically reflect on and apply the content you have learned

Target group

Young professionals, students, interested persons, no previous knowledge required


9:00 - 12:00

Basic Concepts in Humanitarian Action

Definition of humanitarian action

Explanation of the main types of disasters

Clarification of other terms

Definition of the target group of humanitarian aid

12:00 - 13:00

Lunch Break

13:00 - 16:00

Humanitarian Standards and Principles and their Origin (I)

Introduction to International Humanitarian Law (IHL)

Presentation of humanitarian principles

Interactive exchange in plenary on the basis of filmic inputs

16:00 - 16:30

Conclusion of Session

Recap of day 1 and perspectives for day 2

Peter Zihlmann


Peter Zihlmann has extensive operational experience in the field of humanitarian aid and in connection with long-term development cooperation in the management sector. Between 1997 and 2014 he headed the Disaster Relief Division of Caritas Switzerland, where he was responsible for setting up and implementing projects in 15 countries.

He has also been active for many years as a consultant for organizations and as a lecturer at various universities on the subject of humanitarian action. Since 2013 Peter Zihlmann has been conducting training and evaluations as head of the non-profit association ebaix. Among other things, Peter Zihlmann has already led two entry-level trainings at the academy for humanitarian action (aha) in spring 2020 with great success.

23.11.2021 - 30.11.2021

22 hours of training


ProviderThis Training is part of a joint programme by IFHV and VENRO and is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.
This training is organized by the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict.