Taught jointly by faculty from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the Feinstein International Center, this course offers training in the complex issues and field skills needed to engage in humanitarian work. Students will gain familiarity with the concepts and international standards for humanitarian response. While providing a solid theoretical foundation, the course will focus on practical skills such as conducting rapid assessments, ensuring field security, and interacting with aid agencies, the military, and the media during humanitarian crises. Other key topics include:
- Humanitarian response community and history
- International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law
- Sphere standards (shelter, water and sanitation, food security, and health)
- Program design, budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation
- Mental health and responder resilience
- Humanitarian technology
- Localization and diversity
- Ethics and accountability
Over the semester, it will also explore questions about how the current model of humanitarianism needs to evolve in a changing world. The course culminates with a mandatory, three-day intensive field simulation that will take place from Friday, 28 April to Sunday, 30 April. The fee to cover camping gear, food, and other equipment is still to be determined, but in past years has been in the range of USD 300.
The course starts on 25 January and ends on 03 May. It is cross-listed with The Fletcher School (D213) and enrollment is limited to eight Friedman students and 10 Fletcher students.