Humanitarian Distance Learning


MOOC Communication in Humanitarian Settings

Photo legend: Communications Officer Sophie-Jane Madden assists a French journalist interviewing members of the Liberian national staff - © Caitlin Ryan/MSF

OFFERED SEVERAL TIMES throughout the academic YEAR

Communication in humanitarian settings is key to ensuring effective key programme implementation and beneficiaries' satisfaction. Communication is central before, during and when closing a humanitarian programme as it is the main medium of interaction between the different actors (populations, humanitarian actors, stakeholders) and within the different groups (organizations, communities etc.).

Although communication is a daily practice, professional communication requires specific competencies, particularly for people working in humanitarian contexts or taking part in the humanitarian response (professionals, volunteers, population affected involved in humanitarian projects), such as:

  • To mobilize knowledge and know-how; and to choose appropriate behaviours;
  • To contextualize the implementation of a communication plan;
  • To adapt skills acquired to a complex and changing environment.


The Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) "Humanitarian communication, addressing key challenges" will allow participants to gain some of the competencies by focusing on:

  • the main challenges of communication in humanitarian settings
  • the means to address these challenges


  • Duration: 5 weeks
  • Target audience: persons working in humanitarian contexts/taking part in humanitarian responses, professionals, volunteers, population affected involved in humanitarian projects, people interested in communication in humanitarian contexts
  • Cost: Free
  • Working hours: 3-4 hours per week of work
  • Online platform: Coursera
  • Language: English
  • Deadline: one week before it starts
  • At the end of the course, participants will obtain a "Statement of Accomplishment".