Disaster and Humanitarian Response Program

Participants in the Disaster and Humanitarian Response Training Program

2015 Canadian Disaster and Humanitarian Response Training Program

The 2015 Disaster and Humanitarian Response Training Program is specially designed for people with little or no prior field experience who wish to undertake a career in the humanitarian sector. The training program offers evidence-based training on the globally-recognized core humanitarian competencies that are essential for anyone involved in disaster response and/or humanitarian assistance.

Participants will learn about the background and context of humanitarian emergencies, international humanitarian law, doctrines and operating procedures for technical areas.  Instructed by a community of humanitarians and faculty from around the globe the program also offers an occasion to join an exciting network of humanitarians.

Program Details:

Dates: Classroom training will be from 4th to 17th May 2015

Time: From 8h30 to 18h00 (Classroom Training) + additional full-3 days (24hrs each day!)

Fees:  Full program is $2,500.00 CDN (early-bird registraion from February 2 to 27, 2015 fees for early-bird registration are $2,300.00)

Location: Classroom Training will be on McGill University Campus. Location of simulation exercise to be confirmed.

More information: To subscribe to our emailing list for updates and further information, please contact our Program Manager, melanie.coutu [at] humanitarianu.com.

How to apply: please contact Mélanie Coutu at melanie.coutu [at] humanitarianu.com.


Further details

For further details on the Disaster and Humanitarian Response Training Program, expand the topics below.

Classroom training

The classroom part of the training program includes up to 55 hours of lectures and learning activities offered in weekly sessions over 22 weeks at McGill University.  Participants will learn about the background and context of humanitarian emergencies, become familiar with international humanitarian law, and understand some of the current trends and dilemmas to humanitarian disasters. We also cover the technical areas of interventions such as water and sanitation; food security and nutrition; shelter and logistics; public health in emergencies; education and protection, only to a name a few. Finally, the program also touches on research and advocacy; ethical dilemmas; accountability, and more.

3-Day field-based simulation exercise

The simulation exercise is specially designed to simulate a complex humanitarian emergency that requires participants to have a solid understanding of cultural contexts, politics of war, natural disasters, and forced migration of local populations.  In addition to these, there will be other challenges put forth to add a realistic level of stress to the simulation.

Participants are in the simulation for 72 hours, working in multidisciplinary teams to perform a series of activities, such as assessments on the fictional populations. Teams must find ways to identify and potentially overcome a series of complicated problems including security incidents, disease outbreaks, child soldiers, environmental shocks, limited resources, supply issues and populations on the move. In order to build a stronger curricular understanding of the material, participants will be expected to apply the content learned throughout the 22 weeks of classroom sessions in order to solidify the understanding of the course content.

Participants should draw on knowledge from various areas of humanitarian practice such as health, water and sanitation, food, shelter, protection, international humanitarian law, negotiations, population sampling, information management, and crisis mapping along with other technologies used specifically during humanitarian emergencies.

A joint effort

The Canadian Consortium for Humanitarian Training (CCHT) is a Canadian-based consortium founded in 2012 by Dr. Kirsten Johnson.  The CCHT is a collective of individuals, organizations and institutions who are committed to enhancing Canadian coordination around national training initiatives

The CCHT is a community of practice that aims to increase the preparedness and effectiveness of humanitarian aid workers in disaster situations by providing accessible, affordable, competency- based training programs. The consortium works collaboratively to leverage the expertise and ideas of partners and the humanitarian sector as a whole to provide maximum knowledge and usability for humanitarian aid workers around the globe and to promote best practices and recognized standards for performance in humanitarian action. The Canadian Consortium for Humanitarian Training aims to set the global standards and best practices for the professional in training of aid providers and create excellent in evidence-based curriculum on core humanitarian competencies

The CCHT is a leader for the innovative design of standardized performance-based professional accessible training programs, meeting a need in the global sector of humanitarian response. 

Teaching concepts and methods

The course concentrates on concepts, doctrines, and approaches proven to be relevant for humanitarian field activities during emergency situations. Teaching methods are chosen to maximize student learning and include multimedia, didactic, case-based discussions, tabletop exercises and a field simulation. Participants are encouraged to share their personal experiences as well as their cultural background.

Preliminary program - to be confirmed soon-


Working languages

This course is only offered in English.


Students and professionals from across Canada, North America and the World that are interested in humanitarian response. 

How to apply

To apply for the training program, please contact Mélanie Coutu at melanie.coutu [at] humanitarianu.com.