About this courseSkip About this course
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.
Through four case studies covering the responses to crises in Goma (Zaire), Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan and Pakistan, participants will engage with Harvard faculty, current practitioners, and one another. These cases introduce major trends affecting the current landscape of humanitarian response – including rapid population displacement, violence against aid workers, and civil-military engagement. Thoughtfully engaging with this course will prepare participants to be informed and aware humanitarian practitioners, scholars, policy-makers, and global citizens.
What you'll learnSkip What you'll learn
- Legal and historical frameworks shaping the professionalization of the humanitarian field
- An applied understanding of the principles guiding humanitarian response and the tensions that arise when operationalizing these principles in modern crises
- How to recognize and adapt to major trends affecting the scope and implementation of humanitarian work
Meet your instructors
Pursue a Verified Certificate to highlight the knowledge and skills you gain$99.00
Official and Verified
Receive an instructor-signed certificate with the institution's logo to verify your achievement and increase your job prospects
Add the certificate to your CV or resume, or post it directly on LinkedIn
Give yourself an additional incentive to complete the course
Support our Mission
EdX, a non-profit, relies on verified certificates to help fund free education for everyone globally
HarvardX Honor Code
HarvardX requires individuals who enroll in its courses on edX to abide by the terms of the edX honor code. HarvardX will take appropriate corrective action in response to violations of the edX honor code, which may include dismissal from the HarvardX course; revocation of any certificates received for the HarvardX course; or other remedies as circumstances warrant. No refunds will be issued in the case of corrective action for such violations. Enrollees who are taking HarvardX courses as part of another program will also be governed by the academic policies of those programs.
HarvardX Nondiscrimination/Anti-Harassment Statement
Harvard University and HarvardX are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which no member of the community is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination or harassment in our program. All members of the HarvardX community are expected to abide by Harvard policies on nondiscrimination, including sexual harassment, and the edX Terms of Service. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and/or report your experience through the edX contact form.
HarvardX Research Statement
HarvardX pursues the science of learning. By registering as an online learner in an HX course, you will also participate in research about learning. Read our research statement to learn more.