Humanitarian Distance Learning


The course is designed for:

  • Professionals in the humanitarian, development or social sector looking to develop their competencies as well as reflect and capitalise on their experiences
  • Professionals from other sectors who wish to increase their understanding of the humanitarian sector for a potential career change
  • Graduate students with relevant volunteer or intern experience, looking to undertake a post-graduate course with a view to entering the humanitarian sector.


This course embraces the concept of 'blended learning', meaning it is a mix of distance learning and face-to-face learning via a two week residential course in Uganda. Blended learning is an ideal way for professionals to continue their training in a remote way, but also benefit from the interaction with fellow course students via the residential weeks, plus through regular online forums and activities. Blended learning gives students the opportunity to learn from one another, compare experiences and capitalize on joint expertise.

Find out more about the 2020 residential course in Uganda.


At the end of the CAS, you will be able to design and adapt humanitarian strategies and programmes in line with the specificities of each context.
You will be able to develop coherent flexible and creative humanitarian responses taking into account ethical issues, context prerogatives and the organization's mandate.

Learning outcomes in terms of knowledge - Understanding of:

  • The humanitarian sector, humanitarian trends, and professionalization issues and their link with an institutional strategic framework
  • The link between an institutional strategy, an operational strategy, and its concrete implementation
  • The global humanitarian context as well as the sociology of humanitarian actors
  • The fundamental elements of a context, a specific crisis and their influence on an adapted response
  • The type of humanitarian interventions, humanitarian dilemmas, and humanitarian options

Learning outcomes in terms of practical skills - Capacity to:

  • Analyse a humanitarian context
  • Frame an adequate strategy of intervention regarding both a specific crisis and the global strategy of the organization
  • Use specialized problem-solving skills
  • Develop creative and flexible procedures to implement a strategy of intervention
  • Monitor and evaluate strategies and programmes
  • Communicate and negotiate with stakeholders as well as facilitate participatory processes
  • Demonstrate leadership and innovation in managing programmes and teams
  • Enhance self-management in a pressured and changing the environment, identifying own strengths and limitations
  • Learn, interact and build personal and collaborative analysis within a distance mode

Learning outcomes in terms of analytical competencies - Ability to:

  • Choose and adapt best options in challenging and moving complex contexts
  • Compare and challenge different approaches from different organizations
  • Assess and consider ethical issues
  • Critically review strategies of intervention
  • Taking decisions in challenging and moving complex contexts


Around 250 hours of individual work, including:

  • E-learning (courses: E-learning modules, videos, documents, educational games, forum discussions, individual and collective work, research, exercises, reflective analysis
  • Face-to-face sessions (lectures, case studies, individual and collective work)
  • Personal work with coaching (reflective analysis, writing, and implementation of an individual plan of action, individual and bilateral work)

Phase 1:  Initialization process

2 weeks (4 hours/week) by distance

Phase 2: Foundation: Myself within this training + basic concepts

1 week (8 hours/week) by distance

Phase 3: Institutional strategic framework

3 weeks (8 hours/week) by distance

Phase 4: Operational strategic framework: Project Cycle Management and related operational stakes

6 weeks (10 hours/week) by distance

Phase 5: Decentralized residential session preparing/sharing/strengthening

4 weeks (96 hours in total) at distance and residential in Uganda

Phase 6a: Deepening my learning and preparing for my PoA design

11 weeks (8 hours/week) at distance with coaching

Phase 6b: Deepening my knowledge and my PoA in my current working context

6 weeks (8 hours/week) at distance with coaching

Phase 7: Closing: recap / evaluation / final feedback

2 weeks (8 hours/week) by distance


10 ECTS Credits - recognized by the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.