A One Year Masters Degree Program

Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance

for Mid-career Professionals


Tufts University

offered by

The School of Nutrition Science and Policy


The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy


see also :


1. Introduction

Tufts University's School of Nutrition Science and Policy (SNSP) and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy offer a one year combined Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance for mid-career professionals with significant field experience in the areas of famine, conflicts, complex emergencies and other disasters.

The School of Nutrition Science and Policy (SNSP), the only school of its kind in the United States, was established in 1981 with the mission of bringing together biomedical, social, political, and behavioral sciences to conduct research, education , and community service programs in nutrition. SNSP has now achieved international reputation for its cross-disciplinary training of professionals to work in nutrition and related programs, such as human nutrition and nutritional epidemiology, applied nutrition and food policy, world hunger, malnutrition, development and policy making.

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy is the oldest school of international affairs in the United States devoted exclusively to graduate study in international relations. It educates professionals from throughout the world for careers leading to positions of leadership or influence in the national and international arenas, such as, negotiation/mediation, environment, refugees and migration, population issues, development, international law, global business, foreign service and other world issues.

2. Educational Mission

The mission of the Masters Degree program is to offer an academic setting for mid-career professionals to develop their professional knowledge and skills in the areas of nutrition and food policy, and economic, political and social analysis, as they relate to humanitarian assistance in famine, conflicts and complex emergencies. The one year program provides an opportunity for practitioners to study, read, reflect and write about current issues and trends of international humanitarian theories, programs and policies.

3. The Need

Major shifts have occurred in the field of disaster interventions over the past several years. Humanitarian assistance is not a transitory phenomenon. It is part of a full web of responses over time to change and development, particularly in complex socio-economic and political situations. The examples of Afghanistan, Bosnia, Haiti, Kosovo, Rwanda, Somalia, and Sudan have led to major challenges to development and relief theory and approaches. There is growing appreciation both of humanitarian assistance as an important field in and of itself ( not as an appendage to development studies), as well as the need for innovative analysis and research on new models for effective humanitarian assistance.

This program fills a vacuum in the academic world in the United States, identifying important shifts and providing a place for mid-career professionals to learn and to contribute to innovative theory, research and policy. This program will therefore affect the academic and the professional worlds of international humanitarian and development assistance. It builds on the recognition of Tufts as a leading institution in nutrition and international issues.

4. Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance consists of two semesters of academic work, totaling eight semester courses. These are taken principally at the School of Nutrition Science and Policy and/or the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Students are expected to complete the following four required courses: 1)Humanitarian Aid in Complex Emergencies, 2) Applied Nutrition for Humanitarian Crises, 3) an Independent Seminar in Humanitarianism, exclusively for practitioners in this one year program, and 4) one course selected from a limited range of specialized courses offered by the program. 5)The remaining four courses can be chosen from SNSP/Fletcher offerings, as described in appendix 1.

Students are required to write a Masters thesis as part of the second semester independent seminar. Typically, the thesis applies theory and analytical skills learned in the program to the professional's previous experience. Upon entering the program, each student will have an advisor who will help to tailor the individual year-long program to the interests and professional needs of the student, ensuring that the thesis forms a coherent body of material.

Students are expected to: a) pass eight SNSP-Fletcher approved courses, including four core courses; b) submit a satisfactory Masters Thesis; c) pass an oral examination in the subject area of the Masters thesis or pass a comprehensive examination covering the core concepts of humanitarian aid learned during the year of study; and d) pass a reading and oral foreign language examination.

5. Participants

The Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance is offered to mid-career professionals and officials from government, international, national and private agencies. The program is tailored for practitioners who expect to continue working in related fields, including those who will return to their agencies upon completion of this degree program and those who are between jobs or anticipating a change of focus in their humanitarian assistance careers. The recruitment and admissions process seeks to attract a healthy mix of people from different countries, backgrounds, and experience, creating an environment where participants learn not only from the classroom experience, but from each other as well.

6. Criteria for Admissions

Candidates must have an undergraduate degree; be mid-career ordinarily with a minimum of 5 years of experience; have demonstrated leadership qualities; and have shown by their career paths that they have potential for making a significant contribution to the field of humanitarian assistance in the future.

7. Student Advising

Upon admission to the program, every student will be assigned an Academic Advisor who will work with the student throughout his/her enrollment. The advisor will be assigned by the Director of the program. The Advisor oversees the student's progress, advises the student on course selection, and ensures that degree requirements are met.

8. Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for the 2000-2001 academic year is currently $20,564. Financial aid is available through financial aid procedures of the School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Limited scholarships are available.

9. Governance and Administration

This program is offered jointly by the School of Nutrition Science and Policy (SNSP) and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Fletcher). It is administered academically by a joint Fletcher-Nutrition Academic Affairs Committee, comprised of two representatives from the faculty of each participating School. Students will be selected for admissions by this joint Academic Affairs Committee, and subject to review and approval by the Admissions Committee of each School.

Administration, management and financial control of the program is provided by the School of Nutrition Science and Policy. The Director of the MAHA program is also the Director of the Feinstein International Famine Center of the SNSP.

10. Core Teaching Staff at the Famine Center

Dr. John C. Hammock is Director of the Feinstein International Famine Center at Tufts University. He also directs the Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance program. As President of Oxfam America for over 11 years, Dr. Hammock was closely connected to programs that offered disaster assistance and community development in many countries in the global South. Prior to Oxfam, Dr. Hammock served as Executive Director of Accion International, an organization offering micro-credit and technical assistance in Latin America. He has consulted with the Inter-American Development Bank, Women's World Banking, the Costa Rican Government and USAID. Dr. Hammock holds a doctorate from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts and an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Denison University.

Sue Lautze is Director of the Livelihoods Initiatives Program at the Feinstein International Famine Center at Tufts University. She has done extensive relief and development work in Sudan, North Korea and China, and has worked for various United Nations organizations and USAID. Her current teaching responsibilities focus on the humanitarian, economic and political aspects of external interventions in complex emergencies. Ms. Lautze's field research concerns patterns of trade across conflict zones, emergency asset production strategies, capacity building and strategic humanitarian response. Sue Lautze studied Agriculture and Managerial Economics at U.C. Davis and International Development at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Angela Raven-Roberts is director of the Displacement and Social Change Initiatives program at the Feinstein International Famine Center. She also teaches a course in Gender, Culture and Conflict for the One Year Masters program. Ms. Roberts was formerly Senior Project Officer in the Policy Unit of UNICEF's Office of Emergency Programmes where she was responsible for policy development in gender and conflict issues, post-conflict recovery programmes and internally displaced children. She was also a facilitator for UNICEF's Emergency Training Programmes, including Emergency Response Teams. Prior to her work with UNICEF, Ms. Raven-Roberts was the Programme Director for Save the Children and Oxfam America in Ethiopia. Angela Raven-Roberts is finishing her doctorate in Anthropology at the University of Minnesota. She holds B.A. in African History and Social Anthropology from the London School of Oriental and African Studies and M.Litt. in Social Anthropology from Oxford University.

Dr. Helen Young, is director of the Public Nutrition Programme at the Famine Center. She was formerly the Food and Nutrition Adviser in Emergencies for Oxfam UK responsible for policy development, institutional learning, and operational support. Dr. Young is also Co-Editor of the journal of Disasters and Editor of the UN ACC/SCN Reports on the Nutrition Situation of Refugees and Displaced People (RNIS). She holds a B.Sc. from Oxford Polytechnic and a Ph.D. from the Council for National Academy Awards, Bournemouth University, UK.

11. Core Teaching Staff at SNSP/Fletcher

Dr. Eileen F. Babbitt, is assistant professor international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Professor Babbitt holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkley; an M.P.H. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard; and a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Richard H. Shultz, is an associate professor of international politics at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Professor Shultz holds a Ph.D. in political science from Miami University and participated in post doctoral studies at the University of Michigan

Dr. Patrick Webb, is a professor at The School of Nutrition Science and Policy. He currently teaches a courses in "Daily Risks and Crisis Events: How People and Planners Cope with Vulnerability" and "Malnutrition and Socio-Economic Development". Dr. Webb was formerly a Senior Policy Analyst at the UN World Food Programme. He has also served as acting division director at the International Food Policy Research Institute, Nutrition Division, and as a consultant for WHO, WFP, CARE, and OFDA/USAID. Dr. Webb holds a B.A. from the Universitv of Sussex and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham.


Please refer to the SNSP and Fletcher catalogues for the descriptions of other core staff.

12. Contact Information

For further information and application procedures please contact The Feinstein International Famine Center, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155 - USA

Phone # 1- 617-627-3423, Fax # 1-617-627-3428 or by E-mail Gloria.Gambaattufts.edu


Appendix 1


Course Offerings

This program builds on the existing expertise of SNSP and Fletcher professors and on the activities of the centers also involved in these areas.


A. Core Courses

*Humanitarian Aid in Complex Emergencies; by Hammock/Lautze

This course puts complex emergencies and acute hunger situations within a global perspective. It articulates the role of institutional actors in the field and offers students tools for work in complex emergencies. The course provides an innovative theoretical framework linking relief and development. The discussion focuses on the question of humanitarian intervention within an ethical perspective. Through individual papers, students explore such topics as food for work, the monetization of food, and the use of markets in complex emergencies.

*Public Nutrition in Complex Emergencies: Practice, Policies and Decision Making; by H. Young

This course examines the value of nutrition in humanitarian aid. It is meant to provide basic understanding and applied skills in nutritional and health issues affecting populations in complex emergencies. The course will look at the questions of malnutrition, population displacements and refugees, and socio- economic policies and strategies for intervention.

*Gender, Culture, and Conflict; by J. Hammock/A. R-Roberts

This course examines humanitarian aid in conflict situations from a gender perspective and highlights the policy and program implications that this dimension presents. It looks at the ways in which gender relations are affected by the conflict, the relationship between gender and the militarization of societies and communities, violations of human rights and women's rights, women in peace building and conflict resolution, and the gender dynamics of aid and post- conflict resolution.

*Daily Risks and Crisis Events: How People and Planners Cope with Vulnerability; by P. Webb

This seminar serves as bridge between classes on nutrition in a developmental context and those focused on relief in complex emergencies. Manifestations of household and national vulnerability differ in these contexts, but only by a matter of degrees. Risks of individual nutrition failure are related to risks of household food security, which in turn relate to risk inherent in the physical, economic, cultural and political environment that is the backdrop to household behavior. The conditions that determine food and nutritional stresses persist in countries undergoing economic transformation and political unrest, but also in those ill equipped to cope with the stresses of globalization, increasing poverty, and declining public sector responsibility.

*Coordinating International Intervention for Conflict Prevention; by E.Babbitt

The changes of international politics brought about by the end of Cold War have left many countries in a dilemma about when and how to intervene in foreign conflicts. This course begins with two assumptions: 1) current international conflicts progress through broadly conceived stages whose indicators can be identified; and 2) effective intervention in such conflicts requires a knowledge of the dynamics operating at each stage, and a coordination of efforts by the political, military and non-governmental actors on the ground. The course will look at conflict prevention, conflict management, and post-conflict peace building. It will investigate the problems and opportunities posed by multiple international actors whose policies and strategies of intervention may be at odds initially, and ask how coordination among them might be improved.

*Seminar on Ethnic and Religious Violence; by R. Schultz

In the aftermath of Cold War, ethnic and religious conflicts continue to grow. They have profound implications for the survival of a large number of individual states and the integrity of international system. This seminar explores the sources and preconditions of ethnic-religious conflict and examines the forms it can take. It will also look at the links between various ethnic groups, various forms of state support, and the implications of these developments for US foreign and national security policy.

*Independent Seminar on Key Issues in Humanitarianism; by Hammock/ Lautze/ Raven-Roberts

This seminar will be exclusively given to the students enrolled in the Masters program in Humanitarian Assistance. It will analyze and synthesize the field experiences of the students and visiting experts. The course work will form a foundation for the thesis requirement as part of the Masters Degree.


B. Other Related Courses

The following is a partial listing of existing courses at the School of Nutrition and Fletcher that could be of interest and of importance to the students in this Master of Arts program.

--Seminar on Program Monitoring and Evaluation, Levinson

--Statistical Methods for Nutrition Research, Dallal

--Survey Research in Nutrition, B. Rogers

--Seminar on Policy and Program Implementation, TBA

--Income, Food Prices and Nutrition, B. Rogers

--Determinants of US Food Policy, B. Rogers

--Malnutrition and Socio-economic Development, Webb

--Applied Human Nutrition Programs, Levinson

--Environment and Food Supply, Anderson

--The Global Food Business, Tillotson

--Seminar on the Legal Regulation of Armed Conflict, Rubin

--International Human Rights Law, Hannum

--Self-Determination and Minority Rights, Hannum

--Seminar on Identity, Nationalism and Sovereignty, Hannum

--Processes of International Negotiation, Babbitt

--International Organization, Persaud

--Legal and Institutional Aspects of the I M F. and World Bank, Persaud

--Seminar on UN-Associated and Regional Organizations, Persaud

--International Peacekeeping, Hannum

--Law and Development, Salacuse

--Modern Southeast Asia, Bose

--The Arabs and Their Neighbors Since World War I, Fawaz

--The Politics and Culture of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Hess

--Crisis Management, Pfaltzgraff

--The Third World and International Relations, Thompson

--Security and Development, Thompson

--Seminar on Low Intensity Conflict and Power Projections in the Third World, Schultz

--Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict after Communism, Schultz

--Seminar on Global Issues in Forced Migration, Jacobsen

–International Migration, Jacobsen

–Political Modernization and Social Change in Developing Countries, Segarra

--Economic Development in Less Developed Countries, Block

--Seminar on Agriculture and Rural Development in Developing Countries, Block