Introduction to Humanitarianism in Urban Settings (London)

Training, International Development

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The role of International aid agencies in urban humanitarian response is changing as their available resources are often dwarfed by those of existing service providers. It is crucial for effective urban disaster response to build strong relationships with national and municipal authorities as well as private sector service suppliers, and to work within existing legislation and long-term plans for the cities.

The Introduction to Humanitarianism in Urban Settings course is a blended learning course which will equip private sector technical specialists, service suppliers, municipal and national authority representatives with the necessary skills and knowledge to work effectively in the early stages of an urban emergency. This course aims to outline key issues associated with the humanitarian sector and the realities of working in urban emergencies. Whilst part of this course bears a strong parallel to our existing Essentials of Humanitarian Practice course, the material and case studies will be original and focussed on the urban and private sector context.

The course will examine the humanitarian context, the concept of humanitarian principles, the international humanitarian system, accountability, international law, individual responsibility, the potential impacts and dilemmas of humanitarian responses and how all actors can support a successful humanitarian response.

What you will learn


  • Explain the timeline for a fast onset natural disaster.

  • Describe the urban post disaster context and the challenges that it presents.

  • List the actors in a humanitarian response, and to describe their roles and how they work together.

  • Explain the humanitarian guiding principles including standards and accountability.

  • Explain key words, terms and acronyms specific to the humanitarian sector.

  • Identify personal risks working in an urban emergency environment.

  • Describe their role within the humanitarian context and what will enable them to carry out that role.

What you require


Project managers, urban planners, engineers and technical specialists from private sector organisations, service suppliers, or municipal/national authorities. Participants may have limited or no experience of working in a humanitarian setting but should have an interest in understandinghow their role and/or skills can support an emergency response effort alongside and engaging with the humanitarian aid agencies.



The course is made up of two separate modules.

Module 1: On-line self-study and asynchronous training (5th-13th September) prior to:

Module 2: One day face-to-face training (14th September)

Participants must attend/complete both modules to receive the course certificate.

Training methods will include a mixture of presentations by experts, group discussions and practical exercises.



RedR UK, 250A Kennington Lane, London, Greater London, SE11 5RD

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