Taking short courses can be one of the best ways to learn the skills needed for a career in humanitarian aid. With a wide variety of courses available online and in-person, taking a course in humanitarian aid allows for a focus on specific areas of aid work.

Many courses are offered by large international NGOs and UN agencies and can be a great way to understand how aid agencies operate as well as to gain an understanding of specific tools and practices used in the aid industry.

Online and in-person courses in humanitarian aid also give a chance to gain knowledge of the underlying historical events and key theories of international aid without needing to undertake a bachelors or master’s degree.

Disaster Management Courses

Disaster management is key to effective disaster responses. Earthquakes, floods, extreme weather, and wildfires are just some of the examples of disasters that affect communities and cause widespread destruction and loss of life. When disasters strike, a range of stakeholders often respond. These can include emergency services, community groups, local and national governments, local NGOs, and international humanitarian organisations.

Taking an online course in disaster management is ideal for those wanting to learn more about disaster response. Students and recent graduates looking to gain a better understanding of disaster management can learn new skills and methodologies from taking an online course. Those already working in the field of disaster management can refine their practice and explore new areas of the field.

Most online courses in disaster management cover a range of key aspects. These can include the disaster cycle, tools and practices used in disaster response, as well as related areas such as disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness. If you want to work in disaster management, or wish to learn more about it, consider taking an online course.

Emergency Response Courses

Responding to an emergency requires mobilising the resources and people needed to assist those affected. In areas at risk of disasters, people need to become trained in how to respond to emergencies themselves, as well as how to assist others around them. All emergencies are unique, but there are an established set of tools and methodologies that responders need to know.

If you are interested in knowing what you should do during an emergency, consider taking an online course in emergency response. If you live in an area that may get hit by a disaster, or are traveling to a place at risk, an online course in emergency response can assist you in knowing how to act if a crisis hits.

Many of the online courses on emergency response focus on how individuals, and organisations, should act when an emergency occurs. Emergency responders need to first know how to protect themselves, before being able to help others. An online course in emergency response is an ideal way to learn this.

Gender-Based Violence Courses

Gender-based violence in endemic in humanitarian crises, conflicts and disasters. As communities are disrupted, support networks break and vulnerable women and girls increasingly become victims of violence and exploitation. Humanitarian NGOs are seeing gender-based violence as one of the key areas to respond to and so are seeking humanitarian workers with increased knowledge and skills related to GBV. There are now several humanitarian NGOs offering online and in-person short courses in GBV to build capacity in this area.

Available online, often for free, and taught in-person, these courses on gender-based violence cover the theories and foundational concepts of the causes and impact of gender-based violence, as well as effective tools and practices used to prevent it.

Online courses on GBV often also focus on identifying victims of gender-based violence, how specifically to assist individual women and girls affected as well as how to manage programmes working on GBV. Created by some of the leading NGOs working in GBV, these courses are ideal for those wanting to increase their knowledge of preventing violence against women and girls in humanitarian crises.

Humanitarian Child Protection Courses

Child protection is crucial in humanitarian crises to prevent children becoming victims of violence, neglect, abuse or exploitation. Children are especially at risk in humanitarian emergencies and NGOs are increasingly understanding the need for technical skills related to child protection. These courses focus on the limiting the negative effects of crises, disasters and conflicts on children, whilst also covering how to better protect children and assist child victims. These courses can be taken either online or in-person and are offered by some of the leading international organisations working in humanitarian child protection.

Taking a course in humanitarian child protection involves exploring the main themes, theories and practices in how children can be better protected during crises. These courses also cover practical tools, key resources and methodologies used in humanitarian child protection, as well as explain how effective child protection in emergencies programmes are set-up and managed.

Taking a course in humanitarian child protection is ideal for those already working in the aid sector and wanting to increase their knowledge as well as students or graduates looking to work in child protection in humanitarian crises.

Humanitarian Communications Courses

Effective communications and information management is crucial in humanitarian crises. Humanitarian NGO’s are increasingly seeing how internal and external communication management improves their responses. There is also a growing understanding of how people affected by humanitarian crises, disasters and conflicts need access to communications and information. How data, records and information is stored by humanitarian organisations is also becoming vital. Therefore, taking a course in humanitarian communications provides some of key skills being seen as vital in the humanitarian aid industry.

Offered by some of the leading humanitarian organisations, these courses on humanitarian communications provide the knowledge and skills needed to effectively oversee information management in humanitarian crises. They also provide practical methods for increasing beneficiary access to information and communications. Included here are also courses on the role the media plays in humanitarian crises as well as how humanitarian NGOs and their staff and interact with the media effectively.

An online or in-person short-course in humanitarian communications is ideal for current aid workers and those wanting to work in humanitarian comms.

Humanitarian Health Courses

Humanitarian crises can have a massive impact on people’s health. Humanitarian agencies establish health projects to meet peoples medical and mental health needs. Within the aid sector, health is considered a technical function and there is a specific area of expertise in delivering health projects to people affected by crises, conflicts, and disasters.

There is a huge range of online courses on humanitarian health. Many are developed by leading academic institutions that focus on health in developing countries or have degree courses in humanitarian health. There are also online courses on humanitarian health that are created by some of the leading medical NGOs.

If you are medically trained and want to begin specialising in humanitarian health, consider taking an online course. If you already work in the humanitarian sector and want to better understand the impact of humanitarian crises on people’s health, an online course may also be beneficial. Also, if you are interested in working in the humanitarian sector, especially in a medical role, taking a short course online can be a great place to start.

Humanitarian Mental Health Courses

People who are impacted by humanitarian crises often experience extremely traumatic events. The humanitarian sector is beginning to focus more on meeting the mental health needs to crises affected communities. MHPSS – mental health and psychosocial support, programming is now a major part of most humanitarian responses.

As MHPSS becomes a more important part of the humanitarian sector, a range of online courses have been developed to train people on the core principles of mental health work in humanitarian contexts. These range from focusing on psychological first aid and running mental health projects in disaster zones, to seeing mental health in the broader context of public health or complex humanitarian crises.

Taking an online course in humanitarian mental health is ideal for those wanting to enter the aid sector in an MHPSS role. It’s also ideal for students who want to get a better understanding of the role mental health plays in humanitarian response and how aid agencies run MHPSS programmes. An online course in MHPSS is also great for humanitarians already working in the sector who want to gain a broader understanding of MHPSS.

Humanitarian Nutrition Courses

Nutrition programming is an important part of many humanitarian responses. When communities are affected by crises, conflicts, or disasters, often people’s access to quality food is disrupted. If crises become protracted, and assistance is not provided, people can begin to suffer from malnutrition or die of starvation. Humanitarian nutrition projects aim to prevent these happening.

Taking an online course in humanitarian nutrition is a great way to learn more about how nutrition provision can help people in crises. Many online courses are developed by leading humanitarian agencies and aim to provide a broad understanding of nutrition in humanitarian emergencies.

If you are interested in working in humanitarian nutrition, or are already working in the aid sector but want a broad overview of nutrition in emergencies, consider taking an online course.

Humanitarian Project Management Courses

Project management is a key skill set in the humanitarian sector. All aid workers need to know how to effectively run projects in the field, as well as how projects are designed, monitored, and evaluated. Donors that fund humanitarian interventions require projects to be designed to industry standards. Aid workers need to know what challenges humanitarian projects often face and the tools at their disposal to resolve these.

If you are looking to work in the humanitarian and development sector, consider taking an online course in project management. Many online courses provide a basic overview of humanitarian project management which can be foundational for understanding how the sector works. Taking an online course in humanitarian project management can also be beneficial for aid workers wishing to refresh their skill set, or those already working in aid who wish to move to a frontline project management role.

The online courses on offer in humanitarian project management often combine standard project management techniques with specific tools used within the aid and development sector. Many combine learning on project management with an introduction to the Logical Framework Approach – the foundational methodology in humanitarian and development project design.

International Humanitarian Law Courses

International humanitarian law aims to establish a set of norms and practices that govern armed conflict. It aims to protect civilians and limit the impact of wars on non-combatants. International humanitarian law was first established by the Geneva Convention of 1864. Since then, a wide body of law has been developed and a specialised legal discipline has been created that aims to ensure those that break international humanitarian law are held to account.

There are many online courses you can take on international humanitarian law. Many give a broad overview of the history of international humanitarian law, as well as some of its applications and shortcomings.

If you would like to learn more about international humanitarian law, an online short course can be fantastic. Some of the leading institutions teaching international humanitarian law has distilled there learning down to easily accessible short courses. These are ideal for those wanting a broad introduction to international humanitarian law, as well as those working in the aid sector who want to update their understanding of how international humanitarian law works in practice.

NGO Fundraising Courses

Fundraising is the seeking of financial support for a non-profit organisation. NGOs used fundraising to acquire donations to support their work. Fundraising in the NGO sector can cover donations from the general public, as well as from institutional donors – such as governments, the United Nations or intergovernmental organisations, and from private businesses. Fundraising is almost always the main source of income for an NGO.

Doing an online course in NGO fundraising allows students to gain a better understanding of the tools, resources, mechanics, and methods of how NGOs raise money. Anyone looking for a career in fundraising in the NGO sector would benefit from completing an online course. Those looking for other roles working within NGOs would likely also benefit from a stronger understanding of how the money that funds their projects is raised.

There are a wide range of online courses in NGO fundraising. Many cover different aspects of fundraising, including public donations, campaigning, branding, advertisements and grant writing. If you want to gain strong knowledge of how NGOs can raise funds, the online courses included here are ideal for you.

NGO Marketing Courses

Marketing is the promotion of a product or service. For NGOs, this means promoting their work, campaigning for their cause and fundraising. All NGOs undertake marketing. Large NGOs will have a marketing department and spend millions of dollars a year on promoting themselves. Effective marketing is key to an NGOs success as it ensures a positive public view and the continuous flow of donations.

Doing an online course in NGO marketing is one of the best ways to gain an understanding of how marketing can be effectively harnessed by non-profit organizations. Marketing in the NGO sector differs greatly from marketing for private companies. Taking an online course allows you to gain the skills needed to successfully promote an NGO.

If you are already working for an NGO and wish to gain stronger knowledge of NGO marketing, or you want to get a job in the NGO sector in a marketing role, explore the range of online short courses on offer.

Proposal Writing Courses

Developing successful funding proposals is key to a humanitarian organisations success. All NGOs must continuously apply to donors in order to keep their programmes funded. When proposals are being developed, almost all staff within an organisation will feed into the grant application. A solid understanding of proposal writing, and grant applications, is key for anyone wanting to build a career in humanitarian aid.

If you wish to get a better understanding of how proposals are developed in the humanitarian sector, as well as the terminology and tools used, and how to research and find new funding opportunities, consider taking an online course.

The courses we have included here are ideal for those beginning their career in humanitarian aid who want to gain a broad overview of proposal writing, as well as those new to the sector who wish to get a better understanding of grant applications.

Refugees and Migration Courses

With around 26 million refugees worldwide currently, humanitarian NGOs are increasingly responding to refugee needs, as well as further crises caused by mass-migrations. Taking a short course, either online or in-person, on refugee and migration issues provides a foundational understanding of the causes of the current refugee crises, as well as practical tools and programmes that can be used to assist refugees.

The courses included here also explore ideas of how policies and laws can be improved to better assist refugees, as well as practical advice on working with refugee communities.

Taking a short course on refugees and migration provides a background understanding of the specific needs of refugees and migrants, as well as the challenges they face. From some of the largest humanitarian organisations working on refugee and migrants’ issues, these courses are ideal for those wanting to get a strong understanding of refugee issues, as well as learn practical skills to work with refugee and migrants. They are also ideal for those currently studying refugees and migration as well as for current aid workers wanting to gain a fuller understanding.