Courses & Certificates
Protecting Children in Humanitarian Settings
This course examines how children’s social environments at different levels, such as the family, community and societal levels, influence children’s adversity, development and resilience. Course participants will engage in critical thought about current international child protection practice and how to strengthen it. The course will invite participants to identify opportunities for using the learning from science and practice, to enrich current child protection approaches in humanitarian settings.
International Humanitarian Law
This course will help you understand these complex legal issues by teaching you the norms governing armed conflicts, also known as ‘International Humanitarian Law’ (‘IHL’).We will address these issues in light of recent practice, including the fight against ISIS and Al-Qaeda in different regions of the world, as well as other recent and older conflicts, such as those in Armenia, Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, and the Israeli-Palestinian one.
The course will provide essential theoretical and practical knowledge for students, researchers and academics who wish to specialize in International Humanitarian Law as well as professionals, including members of NGOs, involved in armed conflict situations, or even members of armed forces.
International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice
In this course, Prof. Robert Heinsch, Dr. Giulia Pinzauti and Dr. Emma Irving will give you a deep insight into the rules that govern armed conflict, and aim to mitigate human suffering on the battlefield. You will explore the why and how of IHL, followed by the different types of conflict. In no time you will find out which rules apply to the civil war in Syria, the military intervention in Ukraine and the occupation of the West Bank. During this course, you will learn how hostilities should be waged: Which weapons can be used by combatants and other fighters? And, who should never be a target during military operations? We will also look into the concept of protected persons, and you will find out how IHL affords protection to the sick and wounded, medical personal, detainees, children, journalists and other persons who are not - or not anymore - fighting. At the end of this course, you are introduced to the different implementation and enforcement mechanisms that aim to increase respect for IHL. Here, you are invited to think critically whether IHL works!
Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster
From the Syrian refugee crisis to the West Africa Ebola outbreak, humanitarian emergencies have reached unprecedented dimensions and proportions. As need for humanitarian aid grows, how can efforts to alleviate human suffering evolve with it?
This course from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and HarvardX seeks to prepare learners to recognize and analyze emerging challenges in the humanitarian field. The course explores the ethical and professional principles that guide humanitarian response to conflict and disaster. Participants will learn the legal and historical frameworks that shaped these principles, test their applicability to the challenges faced by humanitarian actors today.
Humanitarian communication: Addressing key challenges
Learn how to address the main challenges of communication in humanitarian settings and how to implement a communication plan in the midst of humanitarian action.
Public Health in Humanitarian Crises
This course, Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 1, introduces discussions about the public health approach to problems experienced by people affected by disasters, both natural and related to conflict. The course discusses the many changes which occur in people’s lives when they are uprooted by a disaster, ranging from changes in disease patterns, access to health care, livelihoods, shelter, sanitary conditions, nutritional status, etceteras. We will explore what humanitarian interventions could look like if we want to mitigate the effects of disasters. The course content is a mix of theoretical knowledge and many practical examples from recent disasters. We think this course is unique because it contains so many practical ‘real-life’ examples and is taught by instructors and guest lecturers who together have over 200 years of experience in this field.
Non-Communicable Diseases in Humanitarian Settings
NCDs are the leading cause of death in almost every region of the world, and place a huge burden on individuals, families and societies. Humanitarian settings have a negative effect on the levels of disease, and the possibility of treatment. The importance of NCDs in global health is acknowledged by their inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals, which call for a reduction of a third in premature mortality from NCDs by 2030. However, NCDs have until recently received little attention in humanitarian settings, leaving prevention, care and treatment needs largely unaddressed among some of the most vulnerable populations. According to the World Health Organization, 70 percent of global deaths are due to NCDs. The four main disease groups which cause the greatest number of deaths are cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (including asthma).
The course will provide knowledge about issues and dilemmas that occur around NCDs in humanitarian settings and possible solutions.