Denmark, Copenhagen

Humanitarian Action in the 21st century

when 17 July 2017 - 11 August 2017
language English
duration 4 weeks
credits 5 EC
fee DKK 533

The humanitarian landscape is changing, challenging past decades of humanitarian action. Closing the gap between population needs and humanitarian response requires new approaches, new paradigms.

This summer course will provide you with an introduction to the theories and practices of humanitarian action in a global perspective: its historical and legal foundations, the international system in place to support it, different typologies of humanitarian crises, challenges and trends, as well as possible career paths in the field.

The course encourages critical reflection on humanitarian action and lessons learnt from contemporary humanitarian crises by providing participants with an overview of the historical, conceptual as well as operational aspects of humanitarian intervention.

The first two weeks are part-time online distance learning and introduces learning resources, participants and facilitators to foster interaction and dialogue. The next two weeks on campus include a range of interactive learning- as well as social activities: facilitator-led presentations and self-assessment exercises, on-line fora, real-life case studies, role play, student wikis to support the learning process, and site visits with high-level experts and practitioners.

The course is offered in collaboration with the NOHA network, which consists of ten international universities that are working to further professionalisation in international humanitarian action.

Course leader

Tania Dræbel

Target group

This course is open to final-year Bachelors and master students.

Course aim

At the end of the course participants should be able to:
•Describe the Nordic and international actors, organizations and systems in the field of humanitarian action;
•Analyse and discuss the various typologies of disasters and humanitarian responses (including wars, natural hazards, complex emergencies);
•Understand, evaluate and critique different types of humanitarian intervention (e.g. feeding programs, cluster surveys, programme design, advocacy efforts, etc.);
•Critically examine the paradoxes and dilemmas of the changing humanitarian landscape through multiple perspectives and academic disciplines
•Build and sustain professional relationships and networks

Fee info

DKK 533: EU/EAA citizens
DKK 833: Non EU/EAA citizens


Novo Nordisk International Talent Programme (NNITP) offers a scholarship to incoming students from IARU universities or from Harvard University.