Training & Workshops: The Humanitarian Space

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06 Oct Capacity Development

Capacity development has been emerging as a central approach within development for more than two decades. This approach has gradually shifted the focus of development practice from simple financial aid and technical cooperation towards a complex new paradigm that encourages and demands active involvement and ownership from the people and communities involved in aid programmes. The approach takes into account the broader political, social, and economic environment in which change takes place. Capacity development co-exists and is supported by older forms of development practice, and is a continuously shifting paradigm as experience informs policy, practice and theory.
To help you better understand and master this complex paradigm, this course introduces the key concepts, principles and values of capacity development. The main focus is on building practical skills for better design, planning, implementation and assessment of capacity development initiatives.
Course materials were developed with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), LenCD, and Learn4Dev.
We are very pleased to offer this unique new online course, which combines Diplo's effective online format with some of the leading available materials/resources on capacity development. The course starts on 6 October 2014 and the application deadline is 1 September. Enrollment is strictly limited to 20 places, and a limited number of scholarships are available to capacity development practitioners from developing countries.

This course will be of interest to practitioners of capacity development and other professionals working in the development field who plan to start working specifically in capacity development.

This course is conducted entirely online over a period of nine weeks. Reading materials and tools for online interaction are provided through an online classroom. The course is based on a collaborative approach to learning, involving a high level of interaction. Each week, participants read an assigned module text, adding questions and comments as hypertext entries. Lecturers, guest experts, and other participants read and respond to these entries, creating interaction based on the module text. During the week, participants complete additional online activities (e.g. further discussion via blogs or forums, group tasks, short assignments). At the end of the week, participants, lecturers, and guest experts meet online in a chat room to discuss the week’s topic.

Please note that due to the spread of course participants across time zones worldwide, scheduled online session times may not fall within working hours for all participants. Some participants may need to attend online sessions during the morning or evening hours.

This course requires a minimum of five to seven hours of study time per week. Before you apply, please consider carefully whether you can commit the necessary time in order to complete the course successfully.

Successful participants will receive a certificate issued by DiploFoundation and LenCD.

Applicants must have:

  • At least two years experience working in the development field at the sector, national, regional or international level, with preference given to applicants already working in capacity development.
  • Sufficient knowledge of the English language to undertake postgraduate-level studies (including reading academic texts, discussing complex concepts with other course participants, and writing short essays).
  • Regular access to the Internet (dial-up connection is sufficient, although broadband is preferable).
  • Sufficient time for online study, which requires five to seven hours per week.

Tuition fees are 790 euros per participant, due upon acceptance into the course.

A limited number of partial scholarships are available for applicants from developing countries. Please indicate in your motivation letter if you are requesting a scholarship.Please read more on our website ( and share this news with friends or colleagues who may be interested to apply.

To apply, please fill out the online application form for this course.

Please upload a motivation letter with your application (maximum 1 page) indicating:

  • Details of your relevant professional and educational background, including your personal objectives and plans for the future.
  • Reasons for your interest in this course.
  • Why you feel you should be selected to participate in this course: how your participation will benefit you, your institution and/or your country.
  • If you are applying for a scholarship (only available to developing country applicants) please include the name and e-mail address of a referee in your organisation.

Late applications will be considered only if places remain in the course. In case of enquiries, please contact us at

Selection process

A selections committee composed of representatives from LenCD and DiploFoundation will select a maximum of 25 participants to attend this course. Preference will be given to applicants currently working in the capacity development field. Selected applicants will be notified after the application deadline.



19 Oct Strengthening policy and practice: meeting the challenges of working in complex environments

Dates: 19-24th October 2014

Location: Birmingham, UK

Course fee: £1100 (includes full board accommodation from the evening of 19th– afternoon of 24th October)

Course description:

Strengthening Policy andPractice: meeting the challenges of working in complex environments is designed to draw on the experience and practice of participants, working in development, humanitarian aid or peacebuilding to influence internal policies and programmatic approaches. The course will identify how organisations can strive to balance their organisational mandate with the demands of working in complex and rapidly changing political contexts.

Course aims:

The course will enable participants to contribute to developing constructive organisational and programmatic policies that will guide practical responses in the development, humanitarian and peacebuilding fields. It will draw on the experience of participants and tutors to examine the key issues that are emerging from field-based work.

Course objectives:

Participants will:

  • deepen their understanding of their work, from a conflict transformation perspective
  • apply appropriate conflict analysis to their own organisational contexts
  • explore the relationship between organisational policy and practice in situations of instability, conflict or violence
  • examine issues relating to aid and conflict in order to develop conflict sensitive policies for their organisations
  • consider the key policy and practice issues relating to the prevention of violent conflict and of building peace
  • strengthen their competence to contribute pro-actively to the development of appropriate policies and best practices in their organisation/ institution for working in environments affected by conflict or violence

Suitable for:

This course is for staff of international and national agencies and those with advisory and management responsibility for emergency, relief, development, and peacebuilding programmes. It is particularly relevant for those engaged in the planning and implementation of field-based programmes, and those concerned with developing policies for appropriate responses in complex political emergencies.

March 2014 participant feedback:

This "training has enabled me to assess my organisation, to identity our strengths and weaknesses and how to begin transforming our weaknesses to our strengths."

There was "a positive environment for learning and encouraged us to learn from each other."

"These are useful tools for strengthening and building capacity at all levels – as a freelance consultant – there are many opportunities to be transformative and technical".

"The shared discussions among participants were very helpful for better understanding.... It helped me to see the wider image of the work that I am doing".

For more information about the course and to apply, please visit our website www.respond.orgor contact us at


13 Nov Evidence Aid systematic review training course: 13-14 November 2014, Belfast


Building on his successful and popular 2-day courses on systematic reviews, Professor Mike Clarke will run an Evidence Aid course, placing systematic reviews in the context of disasters and the provision of humanitarian aid, both medical and non-medical. The course provides learning and practical experience for many aspects of systematic reviewing, including question formulation, setting the eligibility criteria, searching and critical appraisal of studies, data extraction, analysis, and reporting.

Examples used to illustrate the key steps will be relevant to the humanitarian sector and participants should leave the course feeling much more comfortable about using reviews for decision making and confident about conducting a systematic review.

Location and course times

The course will take place on 13-14 November 2014 in Queen's University Belfast's Mulhouse Building on the Royal Victoria Hospital site, off Grosvenor Road in Belfast.

The timing will be 10.00-16.30 on 13 November, and 09.30-15.30 on 14 November (subject to slight change if necessary).

Registration fee and certificates of attendance

The registration fee is £150 for the two days, which will include lunch, tea and coffee on both days. Certificates of attendance will be available for those who request them.

As noted in the 'How to apply' section below, attendees will be allocated a place on a 'first come, first served' basis.

How to apply

Applicants should contact Claire Allen (, providing their contact details and up to 100 words on why they would like to attend the course.

Attendees will be allocated a place on a 'first come, first served' basis and a wait list will be held.



08 Dec Workshop Opportunity: Effective Partnerships for Research in Humanitarian Crises

Date: 8–10 December 2014
Venue: Thistle Barbican Hotel, London

ELRHA is inviting proposals for our facilitated workshop from those wishing to set up a new research partnership between academics and humanitarian practitioners.

Successful proposals will receive bespoke support packages valued at £5100. The package will nurture partnerships through early programme development and teams will be invited to attend a three-day residential workshop that will culminate in the drawing up of a working agreement for an identified project with aims, objectives and outcomes as well as outline activities.

Core Workshop Outcomes:

  • Partner roles and responsibilities identified
  • Contributions of each partner member identified
  • Identifying what is important for each partner member
  • Identified activities / next steps
  • Longer term strategy developed to sustain the collaboration
  • Outline agreement created as to how the partnership will be managed
  • An understanding of the business aspects of partnering and their impact for planning

Criteria for applying:

  • One of the participating partners must be based at a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) but not necessarily the lead organisation
  • The research focus must be of humanitarian relevance

Please click here for more information on the workshop and to apply
The deadline for applications is 30th September 2014.

If you have any questions please email


13 Apr Health systems through conflict and recovery

Date: 13th to 24th April 2015 
Venue:  Pisa, Italy 
Millions of people do not have access to health care, because health systems in many countries are either non-existent or dramatically failing. Most of them live in areas chronically affected by violent conflict or slowly re-emerging from it. 
The volatility and complexity of conflict and post-conflict contexts post daunting challenges to health workers - both national and international - who are called to rehabilitate derelict health structures. Lack of properly prepared professionals in this field has often resulted in reconstruction efforts characterised by weak analysis, little understanding, inadequate planning and poor implementation. This training programme intends to alleviate this gap. 
The Course aims to:
- Introduce participants to the main features of conflict-ridden environments
- Identify and discuss the main features of health systems during protracted crises and recovery processes and the most common distortions plaguing healthcare provision
- Analyse and reflect upon the challenges faced by health actors in countries affected or recovering from a conflict
- Introduce participants to recovery processes to the dangers they pose and to the opportunities they provide for correcting long-standing distortions and creating more efficient and fair health systems
- Familiarise participants with the existing literature in this field and stimulate their interest in conducting further research
The following topics will be covered: 

- The conflict environment; international and humanitarian law; the aid system and its politics; aid management;
- Information and intelligence in protracted crises
- The interpretation of epidemiological and mortality data in protracted crises; communicable diseases and conflict
- Health policy analysis, planning and financing in troubled health sectors
- Health-related resources: personnel, medicines, facilities, and their management
- Contributing to the recovery of disrupted health sectors, through analysis, research, negotiation, appraisal of options, and forecasting



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