US$713 – US$1,760

Essentials of Humanitarian Practice USA

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Josef Korbel School of International Studies

University of Denver

2201 S. Gaylord St.

Denver, Colorado 80208

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Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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Event description


Are you ready for the realities of relief work? Essentials of Humanitarian Practice will give you an insight into life working in the field. This workshop also aims to increase your understanding of the characteristics of emergencies induced by natural disasters and conflict and the requirements for an effective humanitarian response. You will learn how to work in a team in an emergency environment and identify individual responsibilities.

Practical learning is at the heart of the course. During the 4-day course, we will put you at the centre of an emergency response in an engaging simulation. This will challenge your motivations and beliefs, giving you first-hand understanding of what it is like to work in the field. You will also have the chance to explore your own motivations for engaging in humanitarian work.

What does the course cover?

  • Humanitarian context

  • Concept of humanitarian principles

  • International humanitarian system

  • Accountability

  • International law

  • Needs assessment

  • Individual responsibility

  • Potential impacts and dilemmas of humanitarian response

  • Cross-cutting themes such as gender, culture and security

  • Reflection on your own motivations and competencies for relief work

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Explain the characteristics of natural disasters and complex emergencies

  • Describe the different activities required for a comprehensive response to an emergency situation

  • Analyse the roles and relationships of humanitarian agencies and the people affected by disasters

  • Describe and apply international legal instruments and humanitarian principles to a humanitarian response

  • Discuss potential impacts and dilemmas associated with humanitarian responses

  • Apply skills of teamwork, coordination, communication and cultural sensitivity in a simulation environment

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key skills, personal attributes and competencies required for an effective humanitarian response

  • Reflect on and evaluate your individual performance in relation to these key skills, attributes and competencies

  • Identify further personal development steps

Course Overview:

Registration will take place from 8.45 am the Monday morning. The course will run from 9 am and conclude by 5.40 pm daily. Each day is broken up into four sessions, separated by an hour lunch break and coffee/ tea breaks in the morning and afternoon.
From the second day, each day begins with a review of the topics covered the previous day to ensure that the concepts, tools, and frameworks are fully understood. Every day ends with a period of reflection, evaluation, and questions.

Participants will be actively encouraged to engage in classroom discussions, group work and a desk based simulation. The trainers will draw on both theoretical and practical knowledge in order to make the experience and learning applicable to the realities of humanitarian practice.

Day 1

The theme of the first day is ‘The Humanitarian Context’. Following registration and introductions, you will be introduced to the humanitarian context and humanitarianism, including its codes and standards. The course will delve into the legal framework in the afternoon and then examine the international relief system and the cluster approach in the last session of the day.

Day 2

‘The Humanitarian Professional’ is the theme of day two. You will begin the day by examining your motivations for entering into humanitarian relief work. The course will move in to discussing individual responsibility in relief work later in the morning. After lunch, the course covers accountability to beneficiaries before examining the subject of teamwork, leadership, and building trust. There is an optional session on the assessment process at the very end of the day, concluding at 18.00 pm, which is recommended if you wish to work toward the credit-rated certificate.

Day 3

The theme of day three is ‘Putting it into Practice’. You will learn about needs assessment in the first session, paying attention to gender and cultural awareness. The majority of the day will be spent working on and presenting a hands-on operation planning simulation.

Day 4

The theme of the last day is ‘The Realities’. You will begin the day by debriefing the operational planning simulation. Next, the course will guide you through a discussion of working with the media and on psychological health. After lunch, you will look at staff safety and security, and the realities and perspectives of a returned relief worker.

Later on, in a session aimed at helping you find a job in the sector, you will learn about the HR and recruitment side of humanitarian practice. The course examines what agencies want, tailoring your CV for the humanitarian sector, jobs and roles, training, volunteering and internships, employment resources, making a personal action plan.

The end of the day is spent wrapping up the course: recapping the key points, answering any lingering questions, and completing course evaluations. Letters of attendance will be sent out electronically after the course.


Early Bird tickets (10% Discount) are available until 1 month before the course start date, after which standard fees will apply.

For full RedR UK terms and conditions, click here

Who should attend?

This is an introductory course suitable for anyone who has recently started working in or is thinking about entering the humanitarian sector, including staff of humanitarian aid organisations, governments, UN agencies, and individuals actively seeking work in the sector. There are no prerequisites for this course. All participants are expected to have theoretical knowledge of humanitarianism, although humanitarian aid experience is not presumed.

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

The minimum age for this event is 18.

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

The training will be held at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. You can read about directions by car, train and bus on their website here:

What's the refund policy?

-For bookings cancelled two or more weeks before a course, administrative charges will apply. Applicants will be entitled to a refund of 85% of the course fees paid, or if places are available will be offered a transfer of 90% of the course fees paid onto the next instance of the course.
-For bookings cancelled one to ten working days* before a course begins, 25% of the course fee will be refunded (*during normal UK working days, Monday-Friday and working hours 9am-5pm).
-For bookings cancelled less than 24 hours (working days only) before a course, or after a course has started, no refund will provided.
-If the applicant chooses to transfer to another course and then cancels their booking a second time, neither a further transfer nor a refund will be offered.
-The refund must be claimed within two months from the cancelled course start date.
-Please note that unfortunately we are only able to cover our local bank charges and not the recipient’s bank charges when we make refunds.
-Refunds may take up to 30 days.

Full terms and conditions can be found on our website here.

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Date and Time


Josef Korbel School of International Studies

University of Denver

2201 S. Gaylord St.

Denver, Colorado 80208

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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