The Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster is an online course that is currently being offered by the prestigious Harvard University. Humanitarian emergencies seem to have reached an incredible volume as of late, with the West Africa Ebola outbreak and the Syrian refugee crisis that is occurring. While the need for abundant humanitarian aid skyrockets, the question is posed: how can humanitarian efforts help to relieve some of the human suffering that comes along with such crises?
This course will allow learners to become prepared to recognize and evaluate the different challenges that are emerging from all over the world in direct relation to the humanitarian sector. This course will explore the professional and ethical principles that help to guide the response of humanitarian aid to disaster and conflict. Those who participate will learn both the historic and legal frameworks that have been put in place to boost these principles and test their real-world applications to different challenges that are faced in the present day.
By using four different case studies from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Goma (Zaire) and the Balkans, those enrolled in this course will work with current practitioners, other students and the staff at Harvard University to learn. Each of those cases will show major trends that currently affect the landscape of the humanitarian relief effort. This includes violence against aid workers, population displacement, and engagement with civilians and the military. Engagement through this course will prepare you to inform yourself and become aware of humanitarian scholars, practitioners, global citizens and policy makers.