Geneva - at the heart of humanitarian action


Geneva is the European Headquarter of the United Nations, its main Agencies - OCHA, UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR, IOM - as well as of a few hundreds of international organizations and NGOs, centres of competencies and think-tanks. 

Located in the heart of the commonly known as International Geneva, CERAH benefits from privileged access to and ties with an important number of these organizations. Hence, CERAH provides its students with a global understanding and reflection about their vision and work. 

Additionally, CERAH is regularly collaborating with the main academic institutions in Geneva in order to develop its topic and insure both a high level of its programmes' scientific standards and a perfect match of these with the practical approach of the humanitarian action. 


"Nowadays, humanitarian contexts are constantly changing and are becoming more and more complex. Emergencies occur in places affected by underdevelopment, involved in armed conflicts or facing natural disasters or endemics. Each of these situations requires a specific and adapted response. Humanitarian workers are at the front line of these contexts and therefore have to display a variety of skills and competencies to cope with them.

CERAH – as a unique and innovative academic platform for humanitarian action – has been contributing for 20 years to the strengthening of humanitarian professionals’ competencies and institutions’ capacity to respond to the humanitarian action’s challenges".

Prof Doris SCHOPPER, Director 

education and Research


CERAH offers a wide range of training programmes and conducts academic research projects, drawing on Geneva’s network of international institutions and non-governmental organisations.

CERAH’s courses provide in-depth training on topics such as communication, health, sexual violence as well as project management in humanitarian setting. They are based on an innovative pedagogical model in order to strengthen the practitioners' competencies and apply the theoretical knowledge developed during the courses, directly to their professional environment. 

CERAH’s interdisciplinary research projects foster critical analysis of the humanitarian sector to encourage reflection on professional practices as well as the politics of humanitarianism and humanitarian organizations.

Academic excellence

Academic Excellence

CERAH offers post-graduate joint degrees (Master, Diploma and Certificate of Advanced Studies)for humanitarian professionals as well as Short Thematic Courses (TSC). 

The completion of a degree must be in line with the high Swiss academic standards as they are given by both well known institutions: the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) and the University of Geneva (UNIGE). 

Courses are provided by lecturers from both institutions as well as from humanitarian organizations' representatives in order to simultaneously cover the theoretical part of CERAH's programmes and a real insight vision of international organizations.