International Humanitarian Response (at HSPH)

This course offers practical 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. The course culminates in a required three-day intensive humanitarian crisis field simulation at Harold Parker State Forest in North Andover, MA, during May 1-3. 2020. Students will camp for two nights in the forest as part of an aid agency team responding to a simulated international disaster and conflict. Student teams will carry out rapid assessments, create a comprehensive humanitarian aid plan, and manage interactions with refugees, officials, and other humanitarian actors. Students will face challenges that test their subject knowledge, team skills, creativity, and grit.

Topics covered:         
– Humanitarian response community and history
– International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law
– Sphere standards (shelter, water and sanitation, food security, health)
– Civil-military relations, media skills, logistics, and budgeting
– Monitoring and evaluation, accountability
– Personal security, metal health, stress, and teamwork
– Humanitarian technology, and crowdsourcing, and GPS skills

Course Fee: TBD (In previous years, $300 to cover camping gear hire, food, and other equipment costs).

This course is cross-listed with the Harvard Chang School (HSPH) as GHP 515 and GHP 518, and with Tufts University as NUTR324 and DHP213.  All cross-registrants and Harvard Chan students must apply for instructor permission here.

Please note that this course is the equivalent of 3 GSD units, not 4.

This course will take place in Fong Auditorium in Boylston Hall, Harvard Yard, not at HSPH.