Humanitarian Aid: Principles and Practice

Do you know how many traditional birth attendants should be trained for a mass influx of 10,000 refugees?

How familiar are you with humanitarian law?

Do you understand what a rights based approach is?

Can you respond to either question with confidence? If not, read on to find out more about the latest IHE workshop, Humanitarian Aid: Principles and Practice

12 to 14 January 2001
6 to 8 July 2001
A three-day course run by
nternational Health Exchange

Training Programme Background

For 20 years, the International Health Exchange has been training relief and development workers for overseas assignments with international agencies such as Oxfam, Save the Children Fund, the Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Christian Aid and UN agencies such as UNHCR and UNICEF.  Resource people have extensive experience in their particular fields as well as being skilled trainers.

Why a Course on Humanitarian Aid Principles?

In emergency situations aid workers are frequently confronted with difficult questions about minimum standards, humanitarian law and the longer-term impacts of their work.  This course provides current or prospective field workers with up-to-date information on topics they need to know about.

Course Topics

·         The Nature of Emergencies

Aid workers need to understand the complex and diverse causes of emergencies and country and beneficiary vulnerabilities and capabilities that they are required to respond to rapidly.  They also need to be aware of the global context within which they work and to be able to anticipate post emergency needs. This section of the course will introduce participants to the nature of emergencies with a brief history of humanitarianism, the different types of emergencies and the ongoing debate about how they are defined.

·         Training in Humanitarian Law

Rights-based approaches are becoming common practice in humanitarian interventions. Aid workers are required more than ever to be familiar with the basic principles of humanitarian law and ethics.  In this part of the course, participants will be introduced to the principles of humanitarian law, rights and ethics and their application in complex emergencies.

·         Actors in Emergencies

Within aid operations the variety of agencies operating with differing mandates and objectives can often make the original goals of the intervention even more challenging to achieve. The course will look at the different humanitarian agencies, their mandates and objectives, and conceptual and practical issues around co-ordination.

·         Training in the Sphere Project

In 1997 the Sphere Project was launched to establish universal minimum standards in relief assistance.  This monumental undertaking led to the creation of the Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response. These guidelines for minimum standards of assistance are being tested and evaluated by aid agencies as part of an ongoing process of development.  IHE is one of the first independent agencies to provide training in the Sphere concept. During the workshop, participants will be familiarised with the concepts that underlie the project and Sphere standards.

Who is the Course for?

This three-day course is aimed at both experienced aid workers and those who are interested in working overseas.

Course Format

The methodology uses a variety of participatory training methods such as case studies, simulation exercises, problem-solving activities and group discussions,  along with formal presentations.

Throughout the course, participants are encouraged to share ideas and discuss issues arising from their own experiences through group discussion and presentations.

Venue:  London                                

Dates:   12 / 14 January 2001 non-res, 1 / 3 June 2001 res                                                       

Fees:    non-residential: £ 175 individuals / £ 225 organizations; residential: £ 225 Individuals / £ 275 Organizations

All fees include tuition fees, course materials and meals.


International Health Exchange
134 Lower Marsh
London SE1 7AE
Tel.+44 (0)171 620 3333 / Fax. +44 (0)171 620 2277

Click here for APPLICATION FORM (MS Word format)

The International Health Exchange (IHE) provides:

·         information about health jobs and development issues through The Health Exchange  magazine and its Job Supplement,

·         international organizations with health workers we identify from our international register,

·         training, information and advice to aid workers working in international health.