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5 NGO Courses You Can Take Anywhere, Anytime

Nongovernmental organizations play an essential role in our society. They fight against human rights violations, bring perpetrators to justice and change discriminatory laws. Without NGOs our world would be a much darker place. We have compiled a list of online courses offered by renowned NGOs. You can audit all courses for free or opt-in for a paid certificate for an extra fee.

SUNY: Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector

Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector, Nonprofit Organizations, Nonprofit Leadership and Governance is a online NGO management and leadership course offered by the State University of New York in the United States. The class focuses on nonprofits in North America; however, many of the concepts covered can be applied to nonprofits in other parts of the world. Lasting for five weeks, the course is taught through online videos, interactive exercises and assignments. Students are invited to analyze case studies, participate in online discussions, take quizzes and complete a course project. The units of the course include: The Nonprofit Sector, Nonprofit Organizations, Leadership and Governance; Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Organizational Governance and Boards of Directors; The Board’s Role and Responsibilities; Concept Testing and Application; and Assessment of Learning: BEAR Peer Review and RAT Discussion Forums.

Oxfam: Make Change Happen

Make Change Happen is a free online social sciences course offered through a partnership between the Open University and OXFAM. The purpose of the course is to inspire activists and change agents to drive social change and to provide these individuals with practical tools that they can use to further their work. In this course you will learn how to use power dynamics in our societies to your advantage to trigger and foster positive social change. You will learn to develop and refine your own action plan and how to overcome challenges that may be put in your way. Consisting of eight units, the course lasts for approximately eight weeks. Each unit involves a time commitment of roughly three hours to watch the video lectures and complete readings, discussions and assignments.

Oxfam: Research for Impact

Research for Impact is a free online course offered by the University of Cape Town in South Africa and Oxfam. The course can be beneficial for anyone who is involved in scientific and academic research in humanitarian and human rights fields. Broken down into six modules, the class lasts for six weeks. The modules are: Introduction to Research for Impact, Planning for Impact, Engaging and Partnering, Communicating for Impact, Building Capacities, and Influencing for Impact. Each module requires a time investment of about three to four hours. At the end of the class, students can pay to receive a certificate of completion. Financial aid to cover this cost is available for those with demonstrated need.

Amnesty International: Human Rights Defenders

Human Rights Defenders is a free online human rights course offered by the organization Amnesty International. In this course you will explore what human rights defenders are doing and how you can become one yourself. You will explore tools and strategies human rights defenders use to mitigate risks and take action to claim and defend their rights. You will learn how you can use your voice to defend human rights and how you can join forces with others to generate positive change in the world. You will also investigate the role of governments in protecting human rights and how you can influence powerholders to do the right thing. The course is available in multiple languages including English, Spanish, French and Arabic.

Amnesty International: The Rights of Refugees (Currently unavailable, click here for alternatives)

Human Rights: The Rights of Refugees is a online human rights course that is offered by Amnesty International. One of the most successful online courses with more than 100,000 learners, this course will follow the chronology of a flight from displacement to resettlement. In the course you will learn about the hardships refugees are facing in every stage of their perilous journey. You will learn to explain the and defend the rights of refugees and you will investigate the role of governments in preventing human rights violations against refugees. You will develop strategies to challenge misconceptions, prejudice and discriminatory attitudes towards refugees and you will learn how you can take action to protect the rights of people in need for international protection.

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Human Rights Careers

Human Rights Careers (HRC) provides information about online courses, jobs, paid internships, masters degrees, scholarships and other opportunities in the human rights sector and related areas.