Humanitarian Action Leadership

The Humanitarian Action Leadership program offers an 18 semester hour graduate certificate. This course work is applicable for mid-career and entry level individuals and cohorts. This certificate includes specific disaster, sustainable development and leadership courses. Threads through all courses include conflict analysis and peacebuilding, justice issues, faith based development and relief, capacity building, resiliency and climate change. Best practices and preparation for certification where available are emphasized. The delivery model includes short term (one week) on site courses in Harrisonburg or at international locations and semester long on-line courses. This certificate may be customized for your organization.

Applications are now being accepted. Apply Now


Leadership in Crisis, Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Recovery (3SH) 
This course provides an overview and history of disasters (type, cause, sequel and response) caused by a complex mix of natural hazards (i.e. floods, earthquakes, or drought) and human action or inaction. This course will explore how humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery efforts can best promote resilience by reducing vulnerability and risk. Community and organizational responses to humanitarian crises will be examined, emphasizing efforts to improve aid quality and accountability along with the effects of disasters on long term development. An analysis of leadership in humanitarian need situations will provide the student with an understanding of the challenges for leadership.

Collaborative Sector Analysis and Assessment (3 SH) 
Successful engagement in humanitarian landscapes requires an understanding of the big picture at the community, regional and national levels. In this course emphasis will be placed on processes and tools to create a robust and holistic picture of assets, needs and opportunities. Major sectors addressed include but are not limited to health, housing, economic, civil, educational, and social.

Trauma, Vulnerability and Resilience (3 SH) 
Individuals and communities in crisis both experience trauma and are amazingly resilient. Leaders in the humanitarian context must be equipped to understand and work within these complexities. Individual and community assets and resilience will be studied as means of transforming trauma and enhancing psychosocial well-being within, but mainly after, complex violence and disaster situations. Students will be equipped to work with communities to recognize and build on their resilience as well as name and respond to the trauma experienced.

Transformative, Facilitative Leadership (3SH) 
Humanitarian workers throughout the world are faced with the need to collaborate, to quickly assess and to plan and manage projects. Personal traits and new leadership skills are essential for successful engagement. This course will start with personal formation including a focus on interpersonal and intercultural relationships along with leadership self-assessment and a plan for development. Moving to the group, organization and community level, the course will encompass a survey of and engagement in requisite skills for humanitarians including creating collaborative coalitions and partnerships. Current emerging theories of leadership will be addressed.

Program/Project Planning, Management, and Evaluation (3SH) 
This course explores management needs through each phase of the project life-cycle, from initiating, planning, performing, and closing projects. Projects are often funded differently than ongoing operations, and this course provides special consideration of funding streams, grant writing and the effect of projects on overall organizational work. Secondly, this course is designed to help students perform qualitative and quantitative program evaluations. The course format is participatory, experiential and adaptive. Students will conduct an actual professional engagement either in project planning or evaluation of an on-going program.

Internship (3 SH)
A required internship provides HAL graduate certificate students with direct experience in a humanitarian situation either domestically or internationally. During this internship the student is required to work on a significant project defined by the partner agency. Internships will be arranged through the HAL center director and with relevant agencies such as Mennonite Disaster Service, Mennonite Central Committee, or other relief and development agencies.

Contact Us

To learn more email or call 540-432-4192.

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