Series Description

Humanitarian assistance is aid designed to save lives, alleviate suffering, and protect human dignity during, and in the aftermath of, human-made crises and natural disasters, as well as action to prevent such situations or prepare for them. Around 170 million people worldwide are in need of some form of emergency assistance, and more than 70 million of these people have been forcibly displaced from their homes. With increasing frequency, intensity, complexity, and length of emergency situations caused by natural disasters and conflicts worldwide, the humanitarian sector is constantly tested and in need of innovative approaches and solutions. This course seeks to prepare students to recognize and analyze emerging challenges in the humanitarian field, and to develop skills critical to understanding or pursuing professional activities in and around the field of humanitarian assistance. Thoughtfully engaging with this course will prepare students to be informed and aware humanitarian practitioners, scholars, policy-makers, and global engineers.

This course sequence, composed by the following one-credit hour modules.

 

Module 1: Introduction to Humanitarian Aid

EDEN 5001-001

Fall, 1 credit, 5-week Session 1, Tu/Th 1:00-2:15pm, Lecture: SEEC N125

Instructor: Carlo Salvinelli, N285D

 

Course description

Working toward sustainable solutions requires close coordination among humanitarian and development agencies. Too often this has been hampered by artificial divides. Momentum is building to address this gap and foster greater join-up, and it is critical that professionals from both sector understand the principles that guide humanitarian aid. This course will give an overview of the main principles, standards, and key stakeholders involved in humanitarian response. The course explores the ethical and professional principles that guide humanitarian response to conflict and disaster. Students will learn the legal and historical frameworks that shaped these principles, and test their applicability to the challenges faced by humanitarian actors today. Disaster definition and classification will be presented and the different phases of disaster and crisis management will be analyzed with emphasis on the disaster risk reduction and resilience perspective. The importance of community engagement and accountability will be presented as well as methods to assess community resilience. Both the management of immediate post-disaster humanitarian assistance and the dynamics of longer-term community recovery will be considered.

 

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the global system of humanitarian assistance and aid.
  • Understand the opportunities and challenges of the humanitarian-development nexus.
  • Discuss the theory and practice of the various phases of emergency management.

 

Course Calendar

 

Week

Topic

1

Humanitarian Principles and Humanitarian-Development Nexus

Humanitarian Reform and Architecture

2

Case Study: Haiti 2010

The Sphere Standards

3

Placing global standards in local context

Protracted Crisis

4

Case Study: Somalia 2011

The Humanitarian Program Cycle

5

The Cluster Approach

Planning and Funding the Humanitarian Response

 

Assignments

Class participation (20% of final grade): class participation is an essential component of the requirements for successful completion of this course. Points for class participation are not simply guaranteed by attendance (which is required); participation consists of being present in class, reading all assignments prior to the beginning of class, and being an active member in class discussions and presentations.

Essays and presentations (each is 15% of final grade, 60% total): Students will write essays and present in class about assigned readings and case studies. Directions will be given in class and posted in Canvas.

Sphere Standards e-learning courses (20% of final grade): Take the Sphere e-learning courses "How to be a Sphere Champion" and "The Sphere Handbook in Action" and upload the certificate of completion in Canvas.

 

 

Module 2: Disaster Risk Reduction

EDEN 5001-002

Fall, 1 credit, 5-week Session 2, Tu/Th 1:00-2:15pm, Lecture: SEEC N125

Instructor: Carlo Salvinelli, N285D

Course Description

The humanitarian community needs to shift from a reactive to a proactive approach. This course discusses disaster governance and global policy perspectives for disaster risk reduction. It focuses on resilience theory, adaptation, and transformation in societies impacted by disasters.  The course explores the issues of participatory disaster governance, the role of decentralization of disaster resources and responsibilities, and best practice in preparedness and mitigation.  By investigations of the application of human security and sustainable development principles, the course will take the student into the intersecting research communities of development, climate change, disasters, and poverty alleviation in studying how disasters impact on human, social and political behavior, and how disaster impacted populations respond to these crisis events. Students will learn how to use data, tools, and geospatial techniques (GIS) that can enhance vulnerability assessments, mitigation planning, and response operations.

 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the importance of a disaster risk reduction and resilience perspective.
  • Use mapping and GIS software to conduct a hazard impact scenario analysis
  • Develop a disaster risk reduction management plan.

 

Course Calendar

Week

Topic

1

Preparedness and Disaster Risk Reduction

Disaster Risk Reduction Tools

2

Mapping: Open Street Map

Case Study: The Philippines DRR National Strategy

3

QGIS and Inasafe - Hazard risk mapping

QGIS and Inasafe - Hazard impact scenario analysis

4

Hazard Impact Scenario Analysis and DRRM Plan

The Drought Resilience Impact Platform

5

Project presentations and discussion

Project presentations and discussion

 

Assignments

Class participation (20% of final grade): class participation is an essential component of the requirements for successful completion of this course. Points for class participation are not simply guaranteed by attendance (which is required); participation consists of being present in class, reading all assignments prior to the beginning of class, and being an active member in class discussions and presentations.

Essays and presentations (each is 10% of final grade, 20% total): Students will write essays and present in class about assigned readings and case studies. Directions will be given in class and posted in Canvas.

Mapping project (15% of final grade): Using high-resolution Digital Globe satellite imagery, students will map existing road and building infrastructure, terrain features, and land use in the urban area of an assigned municipality. The requested mapping will be completed using OpenStreetMaps (OMS).

Hazard Impact Scenario Analysis and DRRM Plan project (Plan 30%, presentation 15% of final grade): Geospatial data from OMS and hazard maps will be used for the analysis of hazard impact scenarios. Students will use open source QGIS and InaSAFE software to model different hazards. The product will be the identification of high risk communities and areas within the municipality, and the development of a disaster risk reduction management plan that will be submitted and presented in class. Directions for the projects will be presented in class and posted in Canvas.

 

 

Module 3: Refugees and Displacement

EDEN 5001-003

Fall, 1 credit, 5-week Session 3, Tu/Th 1:00-2:15pm, Lecture: SEEC N125

Instructor: Carlo Salvinelli, N285D

 

Course Description

This course gives students an understanding of the major causes of contemporary migration and population displacement. Worldwide, there are over 70 million displaced people. Refugees (those displaced populations that have fled their countries) account for 25.9 million of the displaced population. This course examines the global, regional, and national processes contributing to and driving refugee and migration flows. Contributing factors to be studied include poverty, uneven development, competition for resources, political instability, weak governance, violence, environmental degradation and natural disasters. Engineering solutions, particularly in the settlement context, are examined. This course examines appropriate provision of covered living space to adequately shelter displaced populations, while also promoting safer, healthier settlements that link emergency shelter and settlements (S&S) assistance to longer-term recovery efforts.  It covers basics of humanitarian S&S activities, including shelter modalities, the relationship between shelter and its context (settlements), how to promote the recovery of affected settlements, and relationships between S&S activities, disaster risk reduction, sectoral activities, and larger trends.

 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the factors affecting short and long-term recovery and rebuilding.
  • Describe the current settlement approaches
  • Assess the current challenges presented by migration, refugees and displacement.

 

Course Calendar

Week

Topic

1

Transitional Settlement and Reconstruction

Shelter Cluster and Shelter Projects

2

Case Study: Nepal 2015

Camp Coordination and Camp Management global cluster

3

The settlement approach

Stronger Cities Initiative and Area Based Approach

4

The refugee crises

Case Study: Lebanon

5

Case Study: Bidibidi, Uganda

Case Study: Jordan

 

Assignments

Class participation (20% of final grade): class participation is an essential component of the requirements for successful completion of this course. Points for class participation are not simply guaranteed by attendance (which is required); participation consists of being present in class, reading all assignments prior to the beginning of class, and being an active member in class discussions and presentations.

Essays and presentations (each is 15% of final grade, 60% total): Students will write essays and present in class about assigned readings and case studies. Directions will be given in class and posted in Canvas.

Camp Coordination and Camp Management e-learning course (20% of final grade): Take the Global CCCM cluster e-learning course "Camp Management” and upload the certificate of completion in Canvas.