The course is offered within the Master's Programme in International Humanitarian Action 120 ECTS credits and is only available to exchange students from partner universities in the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA).
While working in humanitarian action, a person will be confronted with challenging, extraordinary situations that will require their very best efforts. Most of the time a person will be in some kind of managing position, with or without previous experience of leadership. They must be in control, not only of their own safety and security, but also of that of others, and at the same time handle logistical challenges. This course aims to provide a foundation for developing capacities in the three areas of leadership, security and logistics.
After the course the student is expected to have:
an ability to apply theories in leadership and management in humanitarian contexts;
an ability to use theories from management and logistics in practical situations in order to have control in difficult contexts;
an understanding of practical decision-making and management during crises;
a better understanding of the requirements of good leadership;
an awareness of the difference between safety and security risks, both on a personal level and for the team, and of how to analyse and mitigate these risks;
studied a research topic in depth, and conducted and completed a medium-length research project largely self-directed;
a critical understanding of the humanitarian principles and standards and the problematic nature of the dilemmas involved;
demonstrated the ability to formulate adequate and ethically sound recommendations for humanitarian action grounded in the humanitarian principles and values, translating these in innovative, practical terms to policies, strategies and programme management;
the ability to take responsibility for specifying clear ethical standards informed by the humanitarian principles, values and professional codes of conduct; the ability to apply the humanitarian principles and standards to dilemmas in complex and insecure contexts in an innovative and strategically correct manner;
specialised skills to conceptualise, interpret and critically analyse complex humanitarian crises and interventions on the basis of a variety of sources, generating new interdisciplinary expertise to help solve complex humanitarian problems;
demonstrated the ability to position one's own research findings in the broader context of humanitarian action; developed an open attitude towards acquiring new knowledge and understanding about professional and academic developments in humanitarian action;
a thorough understanding of personal security risks in humanitarian fieldwork and possible techniques and strategies to reduce the impact of external stressors;
specialised problem-solving skills to promote the best and safest response in humanitarian emergency contexts in terms of personal and social implications and foreseeable harm by humanitarian interventions;
the ability to act firmly and appropriately in insecure situations according to the security rules, taking into account advice from security sources and other stakeholders;
a critical understanding of opportunities and threats of current trends in the humanitarian sector;
demonstrated a range of coaching and management skills to carefully assess the relevant factors for decision-making in terms of operative context, possible effects and risks and the best way for successful implementation of strategic decisions;
demonstrated the ability to act on decisions made; adopted the reflective practice of analysing personal learning goals and ways to achieve them; the ability to stimulate the involvement and development of team members and partners to achieve a successful humanitarian project;
a highly specialised knowledge of the diversity of actors and stakeholders, their interaction and competition, and a thorough understanding of the importance of coordination between different levels in the humanitarian system;
demonstrated the ability to listen to beneficiaries and stakeholders and taking into account their considerations, to communicate humanitarian expertise and research findings in a structured, intelligible way to specialists and non-specialists in a multi-cultural humanitarian setting; the ability to cultivate relations of sensitive respect in terms of cultural and gender diversity and to cooperate in a quest for mutual benefit or compromise;
the ability to involve partners and team members in different levels of decision-making and to act in a responsible and accountable manner concerning one’s own decisions; the ability to contribute actively to team- building, a balanced distribution of work, and the fostering of a good atmosphere and cohesion in group projects in an effort to achieve the common goal;
a highly specialised knowledge and critical understanding of the impact of various humanitarian action interventions on the needs and rights of crisis-affected people and their interaction with interests of relevant actors in a certain professional regional context;
specialised problem-solving skills combining interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of the range of needs and capabilities of crisis-affected people in a certain regional context toward relevant, evidence-based solutions for effective response;
an ability to learn from past experiences, identify opportunities to overcome humanitarian dilemmas and propose new work methods for increased efficiency, effectiveness and stakeholder accountability in complex and unpredictable humanitarian environments.
The course focuses on the real-world challenges of managing people in humanitarian settings. The raising of different issues in the three fields of leadership, security and logistics will illustrate some of the key challenges and possible remedies.
The teaching on this campus course includes both lectures and seminars. Attendance at seminars and at least 75% of lectures is compulsory. Students who miss seminars must compensate for this absence. In general, students who miss more than 25% of lectures must also compensate. However, students who are absent for substantially more than 25% of lectures must instead take part in lectures the next time the course is provided. Participation in all lectures is highly encouraged since the lectures facilitate reading and analysis of the course literature.
The language of instruction is English.
The course is examined through a written paper and individual and group presentations. Grade: VG, G or U (Pass with Distinction, Pass or Fail).
If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University’s disability coordinator.
Students retain the right to be examined on the course according to this syllabus for 3 semesters after their course instance has ended. Normally, instruction will be given according to the latest version of the course syllabus only