Training & Workshops: The Humanitarian Space

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06 Dec Health and Humanitarian Response in Complex Emergencies

DATES: 6-7 December 2014


Complex emergencies can result in movements of populations, widespread malnutrition, disease, mental illness, suffering and other outcomes that trigger humanitarian responses from a wide range of national and international actors. Many deleterious outcomes of complex emergencies could be prevented through effective programming directed toward physical and psychological health and well-being.

This two day short course will present critical examination of the normative frameworks for humanitarian responses in addressing the health and well-being of populations in complex emergencies. Alternative approaches to complex emergencies will also be presented and assessed.

The topics reviewed in this course will include:

  • appropriate assessments of population health and well-being;
  • community mobilisation;
  • health services;
  • food security and nutritional maintenance;
  • health considerations for shelter and site planning;
  • water and sanitation;
  • the relationship between health and human rights.

Case studies and group discussions provide a forum for critical examination of the appropriateness of the reviewed standards and facilitate assessments of alternative ways for addressing: the health needs of populations; community participation; and appropriate programming in complex emergencies.

This course is suitable for: experienced practitioners; graduate researchers; parliamentarians and staff; government officials; and personnel of inter-governmental and nongovernmental organisations.



Professor Dawn Chatty is a social anthropologist whose ethnographic interests lie in the Middle East, particularly with nomadic pastoral tribes and refugee young people. Her research interests include a number of forced migration and development issues such as conservation-induced displacement, tribal resettlement, modern technology and social change, gender and development and the impact of prolonged conflict on refugee young people.



Dr Paul Kadetz completed his DPhil in Development Studies at the University of Oxford with an examination of the local implementation of the World Health Organization policies for health care integration, focusing on the eradication of Traditional Birth Attendants in rural communities of the Philippines.

Paul has also trained in Medical Anthropology (MSc, Oxon) and International Health and Development (MPH, Tulane). As a clinician, Paul has worked as a nurse practitioner, critical care nurse, and acupuncturist/herbalist. Paul has served as a researcher, facilitator, and rapporteur for the Western Pacific Region Office of the World Health Organization.

Paul has also served as a researcher for projects with UNHCR, UNAIDS, and the Department of Primary Care Health Services at the University of Oxford. His research has concerned local health care systems and health reform; integrative medicine; health diplomacy; health care governance and equity; and disaster recovery. Paul is an Associate of the China Centre for Health and Humanity at University College London.


Dr Holly Scheib is a Fellow at the Center for Global Health Equity and Instructor in the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioural Sciences at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Holly is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College and serves as Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Consultant to International Medical Corps Mental Health and Psychosocial programmes in Amman, Jordan. Her work involves the study of community level interventions in the lives of displace migrant and disadvantaged groups, specialising in participatory methods action research, ethnography and monitoring evaluation.

Holly has designed academic programming and instructed graduate coursework in psychosocial health development, monitoring and evaluation, complex emergencies, social and behavioural theory, social theory, social change theories and international social work.


Fee: £350. The fee includes tuition, lunch and all course materials. Participants will need to meet their own travel and accommodation costs and arrange any UK entry requirements.

Instructions for payment of course fee will be sent with your offer of place. Your place will be confirmed once payment has been received. Offers are made on a first-come-first-served basis to suitably qualified and experienced applicants.

Maximum thirty spaces

Click here to complete the online application form


For all enquiries, please contact:

Heidi El-Megrisi
Refugee Studies Centre
Oxford Department of International Development
University of Oxford
3 Mansfield Road
Oxford OX1 3TB, UK

Tel: +44 (0)1865 281728 


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


19 Jan Capacity Development course, January 2015

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 are based on the Learning Network on Capacity Development (LenCD) Learning Package on Capacity Development, and were developed with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), LenCD, and Learn4Dev.

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.
How to register:

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


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



23 Feb Humanitarian Diplomacy Diploma Course (Feb 2015)

We are now accepting applications for the February 2015 session of the Humanitarian Diplomacy online diploma course, offered by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in cooperation with DiploFoundation. This 12-week course, led by Ambassador Christopher Lamb, extends the knowledge base and develops practical skills of current and future practitioners in humanitarian diplomacy and policy. In a supportive international online environment, the course familiarises participants with basic definitions, concepts, actors, and institutions in the field of humanitarian diplomacy, introduces international humanitarian law, hones advocacy and negotiation skills, develops participants’ research skills, and increases their understanding of national and regional humanitarian diplomacy activities.

This course is currently offered in English, however participants who are more comfortable with French will have the option to write and submit some course assignments and the final research paper in French.

The course starts on 23 February 2015. The application deadline is 12 January 2015. For more details and to apply, please visit the course webpage. Contact us in case of questions. 
What do former participants say about the course?

In this short video, alumni member Sabrina Konzok from the German Youth Red Cross explains the value of the international exchange of ideas and experiences which the course facilitated.

In another video, alumni member Dolf van Muijen from the Netherlands Red Cross explains how the course was both inspiring and enabling due to the interaction with highly experienced tutors and other participants from diverse backgrounds. The course allowed him to take a step back from his day-to-day work to reflect on his practice and how it fits into a wider humanitarian diplomacy strategy.

Margarita Griffith, Learning Officer, America Zone Office, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Panama, says that ‘both professionally and personally, I now have a broader understanding of the humanitarian world, the fundamental laws and principles, and the different actors who are part of it. This has expanded my thinking about possible partnerships and alliances in order to strengthen my work in the Federation, and the different aspects and steps I need to consider in order to make such partnerships happen.’ Read an interview with Margarita on Diplo’s blog.


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