McGill Humanitarian Studies Initiative

Participants in the Disaster and Humanitarian Response Training Program simulati


The humanitarian sector is a multi-billion dollar industry and the number of people who are employed in international humanitarian care is growing at 6% per year. However, until recently, humanitarian assistance has been provided in an ad hoc manner with little coordination, accountability, or quality standards of care in service delivery. Humanitarian providers come from a variety of backgrounds and while they may bring specific skill sets like project management, logistics, security management, medicine and nursing, to name a few, they often lack the skills, tools and the knowledge-base specifically required to work effectively in complex humanitarian settings and to adjust and adapt their professional skills to resource poor settings and increasing security threats. The demand for better coordination, accountability, and training has thus led to a need for standardized humanitarian training programs for providers.

The Humanitarian Studies Initiative (HSI) based in Montreal, Quebec is a multi-disciplinary program affiliated with the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University. We are dedicated to finding innovative and collaborative solutions to the most pressing challenges of humanitarian work, and to providing the next generation of humanitarians with the most effective and accessible training. 

HSI holds active collaborations with renowned academic and professional humanitarian experts, who draw upon experience in countless international organizations and institutions. Some of our key academic partners include the Harvard Humanitarian Health Initiative (HHI), Massachusetts General Hospital Global Disaster Response, Tufts University and more. 

Training programs for HSI are delivered through Humanitarian U, an organization dedicated to providing competency-based, expert designed and performance measured trainings. Humanitarian U's training modules include self paced online programs and annual face to face training sessions with intensive simulation based exercises.

For more information regarding programs, costs, and the Humanitarian U advantage, go to




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