8 months     10 ECTS CREDITS

26 August 2019 - 26 April 2020

CERAH has developed a Certificate of Advanced Studies 'Designing Strategies & Projects for Humanitarian Action' that can be studied remotely. The modular, flexible and skills-based course is ideal for managers working in the humanitarian sector who want to enhance their existing skills particularly in the areas of project management, partnerships and collaborative leadership and gender & diversity.  The course  can be studied remotely, taking eight hours per week.  

Registration deadline: 31 May (for scholarship candidates) and 12 July for all other applicants.



September 1, 2019 (for 1 year Master)

April 29, 2019 (for 2-3 years Master)

1-3 years             60 ECTS CREDITS

The Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) aims to develop managers' in-depth competencies. It provides them with a strong understanding of the main conceptual and operational aspects of humanitarian action as well as the capacity to define and implement strategic humanitarian responses. 

Registration deadline: July 30, 2019 (Please note the scholarship deadline has expired)



September 2, 2019

19 weeks             30 ECTS CREDITS

The Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) aims to offer professionals a strong understanding of the contemporary humanitarian challenges through a comprehensive overview of conceptual and operational aspects of humanitarian past and present crises. 

Registration deadline: July 30, 2019 (Please note the scholarship deadline has expired)


CERTIFICATE OF ADVANCED STUDIES in Communication, Advocacy and Negotiation in Humanitarian Settings

April 29-June 14, 2019

7 weeks               10 ECTS CREDITS

This course explores how and why clear and efficient communication is essential to the success of projects carried out in humanitarian settings.


CERTIFICATE OF ADVANCED STUDIES in Health of Populations affected by Humanitarian Emergencies

April 29-June 14, 2019

7 weeks               10 ECTS CREDITS

This course explores how and why maintaining and improving the health of populations affected by emergencies lies at the heart of humanitarian preparedness and response.



1 week                 2 ECTS CREDITS

Communications, Advocacy & Negotiation

Media and Humanitarian Action - Approaches and Challenges

May 20 - 24, 2019

Negotiation in Humanitarian Settings
June 3 - 7, 2019


Health & Sexual Violence

Food and Nutritional Crises: Origins, Consequences, Interventions

May 20 – 24, 2019

Sexual and Reproductive Health
May 27 – 31, 2019

Health in Humanitarian Emergencies
October 29 - November 2, 2018

Sexual Violence in Conflict Settings and Emergencies

September 9 - 18, 2019 Geneva

November 25-29, 2019, Entebbe, Uganda




The humanitarian sector faces various challenges, one of which is the diversity of understanding of the humanitarian concepts. 

Although practitioners and scholars acknowledge that humanitarians share a common set of principles, values and concepts, the definition and uses of such terms is by no means consensual. “Resilience ”, “Humanity”, “Protection”: these central concepts in humanitarian action refer to a range of meanings and associated practices, depending on the geographical, organizational, but also disciplinary background of the people using them.

Hence, in an expanding and ever more diverse sector, understanding each other in humanitarian contexts has become particularly important.

CERAH, together with a range of partners is developing the Humanitarian Encyclopedia which intends to collectively interrogate how humanitarian concepts are used across time, geographical contexts, organizational cultures, disciplinary backgrounds and professions.



The power of courage and altruism: Reflections from Rwanda to the present day


Tuesday, 28 May 2019, The Humanitarium, ICRC - Geneva. 18.00-20.00

Why do some people help others even if this means putting themselves at risk? The power of courage and altruism has been seen many times throughout history, from the 1st World War through to the present day. When the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda unfolded 25 years ago, at break-neck speed, catching the world by surprise, a few individuals risked their lives and freedom to help those being targeted. What makes people put the safety and humanity of others first, completely selflessly, even when the law, government or regime forbids them to?

This conference will draw on witness accounts and testimonies to reflect on how courage and altruism are present even in the most challenging and shocking circumstances and how this can help us understand their combined power during future crises.


CERAH at 20


In the 1990s, in the aftermath of the Rwanda genocide and the ensuing mass mobilization of new humanitarian actors, the need to 'professionalize’ humanitarian action emerged. With it emerged a range of efforts in setting joint standards, developing guidelines, and training programmes. There simply were no academic courses on humanitarian action, but thanks to the vision of two University of Geneva professors, Timothy Harding and Jean-Jacques Wagner, a first post-graduate training in humanitarian action was delivered in 1998. Ten years later, a formal partnership between the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies strengthened the CERAH as a centre devoted to the development of critical thinking and analysis to enhance the quality of humanitarian response, through both education and research.

Now twenty years on, the CERAH has become a true reflection of the current humanitarian world in all its diversity - of actors, approaches, and cultures - with increasingly complex realities. 


The importance of evidence


Last week CERAH hosted an event at the Graduate Institute with Evidence Aid, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and ICRC to discuss how evidence can help humanitarian programmers understand what works, where, why, and for whom. A new guide explores this subject.
The event heard that evidence can also tell us what does not work to avoid repeating mistakes in the future. There are challenges however, including gaps in evidence gathering, the length of time it can take to gather while the situation changes, a lack of understanding in the findings and jargon used, and a lack of integration of the evidence into planning. But when it works it proves worthwhile with programmes adapting, sometimes radically, based on the evidence.


CERAH Annual Report


We are pleased to share the CERAH Annual Report for the academic year 2017-18.  This year the CERAH celebrates 2o years as a unique and innovative academic platform for humanitarian action and its contribution to the strengthening of humanitarian professionals and actors.

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