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The Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance (MAHA) is a one-year joint degree offered by the Friedman School and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. The program is geared toward mid-career professionals who have significant field experience in humanitarian assistance. The program offers an academic setting where professionals can develop their knowledge and skills in the areas of nutrition, food policy, and economic, political and social development as they relate to humanitarian action in complex emergencies and other disasters. Practitioners study, read about, reflect on, and write about humanitarian theories, programs, and policies.
The mission of the MAHA program is to provide an academic setting for humanitarian practitioners seeking to develop their knowledge and skills in the areas of nutrition, food policy, and economic, political and social analysis. The one-year program provides an opportunity for practitioners to study, read, reflect and write about current issues and trends of in humanitarian theories, programs and policies as they relate to famines, complex emergencies and other disasters..
Major shifts have occurred in the field of disaster interventions over the past several years. Humanitarian assistance constituted a web of responses that change and evolve over time, in complex socio-economic and political situations. The emergencies in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Haiti, Kosovo, Rwanda, Somalia, and Sudan have posed major challenges to development and relief theory and approaches. There is growing appreciation of humanitarian assistance as an independent field rather than an appendage to development studies, and a growing need for innovative analysis and research on new models for effective humanitarian assistance.
Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance
The Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance consists of two semesters of academic work, requiring students to complete eight semester-long courses and one Masters thesis.
The Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance is offered to mid-career professionals from government, international, national and private organizations and agencies, as well as independent professionals. The program is tailored for practitioners who expect to continue working in related fields, including those who will return to their agencies upon completion of this degree program and those who are between jobs or anticipating a change of focus in their humanitarian assistance careers. The recruitment and admissions process seeks to attract a mix of people from different countries, backgrounds, and experience, creating an environment where participants learn from both the classroom experience and from each other.
Candidates must hold an undergraduate degree, have significant experience in the field of humanitarian assistance and have a demonstrated commitment to furthering their career in the field of humanitarian assistance. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required.
Please note, if you are a native English speaker, passing a reading comprehension and an oral language exam is required in order to graduate. Non-native English speakers who were primarily educated in an English speaking environment may also be required to demonstrate their proficiency in a second language by completing a reading and oral foreign language examination
Students must take all three of these Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy courses:
- NUTR 223: Seminar in Humanitarian Issues
- NUTR 229: Humanitarian Action in Complex Emergencies
- NUTR 308: Nutrition in Complex Emergencies
Students must take three of the following courses in the Friedman School or the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy:
- NUTR 201: Fundamentals of Nutrition Science
- DHP P222: Development Aid in Practice
- ILO L210: International Human Rights Law
- DHP D232: Gender, Culture and Conflict in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies
- NUTR 301: Nutrition in Life Cycle
- NUTR 302: Daily Risks and Crisis Events: How People and Planners Cope with Vulnerability
- NUTR 324: Humanitarian Studies in the Field
- DHP D221: Seminar on International Mediation
- DHP P227: Advanced Seminar in Development and Conflict Resolution
- EIB E242: Microeconomics of Development
- DHP D231: Human Rights Protection of Civilians During Situations of Armed Conflict
- DHP D235: Field Research Methods in Humanitarian Settings
- DHP D239 m01: Introduction to Forced Migration: Overview, Causes and Institutional Responses (1/2 credit first half of term)
- DHPD239 M02: Critical Issues in Forced Migration (1/2 credit second half of term)
For the thesis requirement, students must apply theoretical and analytical skills acquired during the program to their previous experience. The written thesis is then orally presented at the end of the year, as part of a group MAHA presentation of work. Each student is assigned an adviser from the Feinstein International Center, who will help tailor the program to the interests and professional needs of the student, advise students on course selection, provide guidance on thesis writing, and ensure that degree requirements are met.
In addition to the course and thesis requirements, students are expected to:
- Pass a reading and oral foreign language examination. (Please note, if you are a native English speaker, passing a reading comprehension and an oral language exam is required in order to graduate. Non-native English speakers who were primarily educated in an English speaking environment may also be required to demonstrate their proficiency in a second language by completing a reading and oral foreign language examination.)
- Pass a short on-line course on research ethics.
Additional Faculty from the Fletcher School
|Karen Jacobsen||Academic Director; Associate Research Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org||Refugee and migration issues; humanitarian assistance, livelihoods in complex emergencies, field methods, Africa; developing countries.
View full profile at: http://fletcher.tufts.edu/faculty/jacobsen/default.shtml
|Dyan Mazurana||Associate Research Professoremail@example.com||Civilian populations' experiences of armed conflict; women's human rights; war-affected children; armed conflict; human security; protection; ex-combatants; and peacekeeping.
View full profile at: http://fletcher.tufts.edu/faculty/mazurana/default.shtml
Famine, food security, livelihoods; Food aid; Humanitarian programs in both assistance and protection; Emergency...
|Sadler, Kate||Assistant Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org||
The identification and treatment of severe acute malnutrition, community-based programming, the nutritional support...
Household level coping strategies, shifts in land tenure during and after conflict, changes in intra-household...
|Walker, Peter||Irwin H. Rosenberg Professor of Nutrition and Human Securityemail@example.com||
Livelihoods and conflict: vulnerability and risk among different livelihood groups. Pastoralism, from...
Most student come to the MAHA program from the aid, diplomatic and military communities. After receiving the degree they return, usually to positions of more managerial and program-design responsibility. Recent graduates are running country-level aid programming for major NGOs; filling key advisory posts within donor aid agencies; managing emergency operations for UN agencies; holding ministerial level responsibility for refugee and asylum seeker portfolios; and advising on military civil affairs in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Feinstein International Center
The MAHA program is administered by the Feinstein International Center; as a joint program between the Friedman School and the Fletcher School. This center was established on the conviction that emergency responses grounded in solid political, economic, social, and military analysis can better contribute to durable survival strategies for people coping with violent social change. The center is committed to building strong partnerships with academic, international, national, indigenous, private, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations throughout the world. Applied research and field operations are designed to: 1) strengthen knowledge and promote innovative analysis, 2) build institutional and local capacity, and 3) influence policy. The center has taken a leading role in working with the United States Agency for International Development/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, the United Nations, and nongovernmental agencies to train staff in key areas of humanitarian intervention. They have implemented projects including the emergency livestock vaccination, health and nutrition program in countries such as Sudan, Burundi, Kenya and Uganda. Other projects at the Center include the Displacement and Social Change and Public Nutrition programs.
Web site: http://fic.tufts.edu
The Fletcher School
The Fletcher School is a leading professional graduate school of international affairs distinctive for its collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to theory and practice. Students representing over 70 countries join with an experienced faculty to inform classroom discussions with diverse viewpoints. Immersed in this dynamic environment, broadly knowledgeable and inquisitive leaders develop a thorough and nuanced grounding in the latest political, economic, business, and legal thinking and translate it into practical successful actions that shape international issues and events.
Web site: http://fletcher.tufts.edu