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Top 10 online humanitarian courses with certificates

Public Health in Humanitarian Crises

Public Health in Humanitarian Crises is a free online public health course offered by Johns Hopkins University in the United States. The class includes the following modules: Emerging Risks, Challenges, and Opportunities for Future Humanitarian Emergencies; Protection of Displaced Populations: Human Rights & Humanitarian Law; Shelter in a Humanitarian Setting; Health Care in Humanitarian Emergencies; Management of Diseases in Humanitarian Crises; Nutrition in Humanitarian Crises; Livelihoods and Food Security in Humanitarian Crises; Water and Sanitation; Humanitarian Actors and Coordination; and Humanitarian Disasters and Public Health. Students spend one week on each of the video modules. Roughly two to three hours of study time is required weekly to view the videos and complete all supplemental assignments

International Humanitarian Law

International Humanitarian Law is a free online law course offered by the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium. Anyone who is interested in learning more about how international laws are used to protect human rights can benefit from the class. The course is comprised of seven modules: Introduction, Sources and subjects, Scope of application, Conduct of hostilities, Protection of persons, State responsibility, and Individual responsibility. Students are free to complete the course at their own pace. As a guideline, the instructor provides a schedule where students complete the coursework over an 11-week period, devoting between four to 12 hours to the class weekly.

Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster

Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster is a free online public health course offered by Harvard University in the United States. The class explores how humanitarian efforts are mobilized to assist individuals suffering from the effects of natural disasters and human conflicts. Specifically, the class examines case studies from Goma (Zaire), Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Self-paced, the course can be completed at a rate that fits into each student’s schedule. The instructor recommends that students complete the video lectures and supplemental modules at a rate of one per week over a five-week period, devoting three to four hours to the class weekly.

International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice

International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice is a free online human rights course offered by Leiden University in the Netherlands. Ideal for anyone who is interested in human rights, the class explores the theory behind international human law and assesses how well laws work in practice. The class is presented through a series of video modules that include: Introduction, Conflict classification, Conduct of hostilities, Protection of persons, and Implementation and enforcement. With each module, students receive supplemental readings and assignments. The class lasts for five weeks with students focusing on one module each week. Students should expect to devote about five hours of study time to the course each week.

Humanitarian communication: Addressing key challenges

Humanitarian communication: Addressing key challenges is a free online public health course offered by the University of Geneva in Switzerland. The class begins with an exploration of the fundamentals of communication during humanitarian crises. Next, the class breaks down the different types of communication that can be used in these situations. During the third week, students will learn about the challenges to communication and explore ways of overcoming these hurdles. The fourth and fifth weeks focus on developing and implementing communication plans. Students will need to spend about three to five hours each week watching videos and completing supplemental assignments.

Protecting Children in Humanitarian Settings

Protecting Children in Humanitarian Settings is a free online social sciences course offered by Columbia University. The course thoroughly explores the impact of humanitarian crises on children and what can be done to protect minors during times of crisis. The course material is presented through video lectures, supplemental readings and assignments. Although the class is self-paced, the instructor recommends that students complete the work over a 12-week period, spending three to five hours on the course material weekly. Some topics covered include: Child Development, Adversity, and Resilience; Supporting Children’s Agency; Enabling Families as Protective Environments; Enabling Communities as Protective Environments; Enabling Protective Social Norms and Policies; and Enriching and Transforming Practice.

Non-Communicable Diseases in Humanitarian Settings

Non-Communicable Diseases in Humanitarian Settings is a free online public health course offered by the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. The course lasts for three weeks and is intended to benefit public health workers and medical professionals who work in humanitarian settings. By the end of the class, students will have an understanding of why managing non-communicable diseases during times of crisis is important, how health professionals currently address these diseases, what challenges exist to successful management and what can be done to overcome the obstacles. The class lasts for three weeks and involves a weekly time commitment of two to three hours.

Introduction to Humanitarian Aid

Introduction to Humanitarian Aid is a two-week free online environmental science course offered by Deakin University in Australia. As an introductory level course, the class is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about how humanitarian aid can be delivered to individuals. Each week, students will spend about three hours watching video lectures and completing supplemental readings and assignments.

Global Health and Humanitarianism

Global Health and Humanitarianism is a free online course offered by the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. The six-week class is taught by three leading experts in global health. Each instructor is featured on two video lecture modules and has selected supplemental assignments for students to complete after viewing in order to deepen their understanding of the course material. The three units included in the course are: An Introduction to Global Health; Humanitarian Responses and Dilemmas; and The Right to Humanitarian Assistance and the Responsibility to Protect. Students complete one half of each unit weekly, spending roughly one to three hours on the class. The time commitment is two to three hours weekly.

Health in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies

Health in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies is a free online health care course offered by Emory University in the United States. The four-week course includes the following modules: Setting the Stage: Refugees, Displaced Persons, Conflict, and Complex Emergencies; Healthcare in the Emergency Phase; and Disease Control and Program Management. By the end of the class, students will be ready to calculate common epidemiology measures, interpret this data and utilize it to tailor a response to a humanitarian crisis. The class lasts for four weeks and is presented through online video lectures as well as supplemental readings and assignments.

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