Training Opportunities for Humanitarian Aid Workers
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Training Opportunities for Humanitarian Aid Workers

International humanitarian work is a challenging feat. There are many aspects of it, which are specialized and require aid worker training. The good news is that there are plenty of different opportunities for humanitarian aid workers to advance their careers. Here are just a few great training opportunities which are worth it!

  1. Humanitarian Academy at Harvard

The Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative offer a variety of courses for humanitarian aid workers. There are both online and on-site options at varying cost levels. The benefit of these is, of course, adding Harvard to your CV. Plus, you get to network with other students.

An example of their online courses is the International Humanitarian Law Distance Learning Series. The courses are self-paced and interactive. So even though you are learning online, the classes feel more hands on.

  1. Sphere Standards

A group of organizations designed the Sphere Standards to promote excellence in humanitarian work. Most organizations strive to adhere to the Sphere Standards, provided in the Sphere Handbook.

For those looking for an excellent general training applicable to most organizations, Sphere is a great option. There are courses specifically on the standards, but also dozens of others. They cover critical humanitarian issues that aid workers may face. Plus, they are entirely free!

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  1. Centre of Competence on Frontline Negotiations

In conflict settings, negotiation is key to successful missions. Humanitarian aid workers often find themselves negotiating with governments, guerrilla groups, communities, and others. That’s why the Centre of Competence on Frontline Negotiations offers many courses on this topic.

Their aid worker training includes negotiation courses in various languages, both onsite and online. They also have Train the Trainer programmes in case you want to teach the course to others.

  1. BCN Peace Centre

While humanitarians travel to different zones, the principles of work remain the same. For example, do no harm is a crucial aspect of humanitarian aid. As such, the BCN Peace Centre offers Humanitarian Action Training to apply in different situations.

This includes a variety of specialized programs. Some examples are courses on forced migrations, humanitarian negotiations, logistics, disaster management, communications and media and more.

  1. Disaster Ready

Disaster Ready offers a range of free online aid worker training. They focus on general topics, which can help you to improve your understanding of the field. For example, humanitarianism and humanitarian standards are some of their most popular courses.

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  1. HELP Course by ICRC

The International Committee of Red Cross offers an onsite HELP course. This aid worker training is for managing relief operations in humanitarian crises. It touches on subjects such as protection, health promotion, and human dignity.

  1. PHAP

PHAP is a professional association where aid workers can become members. The organization serves as a think tank and provides a wide range of tools and resources for humanitarians. Among these are various certifications and courses.

Courses that PHAP covers include conflict analysis, humanitarian law, protection, negotiation, coordination, and program design.

  1. International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance

If you are looking to get a diploma, then the International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA) is a great choice. The Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs offers the course. It targets mid-career professionals who want to propel their careers.

Some of the topics that it covers are how to manage and implement humanitarian aid. The focus is on adequate, sustainable and dignified program implementation. The institute also offers short courses and a Master’s degree.

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  1. Core Professional Training and Certification

Looking for certification without financially investing? Then Humanitarian U’s Core Professional Training and Certification is a perfect choice. You can take their self-paced online courses for free and still get a digital certificate. Of course, this won’t have the same weight as a diploma, but it’s a great alternative.

To get certified, you will need to pass a number of online exams successfully. Preparatory courses include Humanitarian Context, Systems and Standards, Building Blocks for Humanitarian Practice, and Cross-cutting Themes and Future Directions.

  1. Joint Master’s Degree in International Humanitarian Action

Last but not least, you can get a Master’s Degree in Humanitarian Action. If you know that this is the career for you and want to advance your academic knowledge, then NOHA is one of the most recognized degrees out there. The course gives an overview of humanitarian issues, as well as specialization in your area of interest.

Students in the Joint Master’s Degree in International Humanitarian Action take four semesters, each at a different university. They also participate in field work to complete their studies. NOHA also offers shorter courses, including summer school and workshops.

Want to find more aid worker training opportunities. ReliefWeb is a great resource that lists training courses all over the world!

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