Course Website Locator: pih511-01

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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Fall 2006

Dr. J. Leaning
1.25 credits
Seminar, case studies. One 3-hour session/week

This course will offer a very practical overview of the skills needed to engage in humanitarian work in the field. Enrollment is limited to students participating in the Humanitarian Studies Initiative program. Through presentations offered by the faculty of the Humanitarian Studies Initiative and guest speakers who are experts in their fields, students will become acquainted with the primary frameworks in the humanitarian field (human rights, human security, livelihoods, do no harm, Sphere standards, international humanitarian law) and will begin to focus on practical issues that arise in the field, such as rapid public health assessments, minimum standards for food security, and civil-military relations in humanitarian settings. These topics will build the foundation for a weekend-long simulation of a humanitarian crisis that will take place in April. Topics will be presented in case studies or in an interactive style.
Course Activities: Students are expected to: 1) attend all sessions; 2) complete all assigned readings prior to each session; 3) participate actively in the discussions; and 4) attend and participate in the weekend-long simulation in April. Each presenter will provide a reading list in advance of his/her session, and the readings will be provided to the students either in electronic or hardcopy form.
Course Note: Enrollment is limited to students participating in the Humanitarian Studies Initiative program. For more information about the HSI program, visit

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