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MSc International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Emergency Humanitarian Assistance (blended)

Unit code HCRI71060
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Humanitarian Conflict Response Institute
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course aims:
o To introduce students to the diversity of political, economic, social and health factors in time of emergencies
o To develop a holistic understanding of complex health issues in times of emergencies
o To understand the limitations and possibilities of emergency humanitarian medical assistance.
o To encourage critical analysis of emergency humanitarian assistance
At the end of the course the students will be able to understand (humanitarian practice) in:
o The common causes of disease in displaced populations and their prevention and treatment.
o How to carry out basic health surveillance and health needs assessment
o The food, water and sanitation requirements of populations
o Medicine and Surgery in low resource settings
o The special needs of women and children
o The common consequences of "natural" and man-made disasters
o Complex Emergencies
o Conflict Medicine
o The roles of governments, international organisations, non government organisations and the military in humanitarian crises
o The psychological and social consequences of humanitarian crises

Teaching and learning methods

The face to face element of the course will be delivered via 2 face to face sessions of 2 days each. This will comprise
o 4 case studies and 2 interactive lectures
o 3 simulation workshops
o 3 group project discussions
o 1 humanitarian conference with group project presentations
The face to face element will be supported with online materials available through Blackboard throughout the semester. As this EHA module aims to adopt your critical understanding and knowledge of humanitarian crises into practice, we will provide reading materials and database once we release the assigned case of humanitarian crisis. Students will have to contribute to focused discussion board sessions as well as complete their private reading and research.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will be able to:
o Increase understanding and broaden knowledge on the humanitarian space, particularly regarding the environmental, political, logistical, cultural, security, human, economic and health challenges
o Define the roles, and understand the dynamics and need for integration of the multiple agencies and organisations involved in emergency humanitarian response.
o Recognise the challenges in decision making surrounding low resource environments.
o Demonstrate broader understanding of the impact of water and sanitation requirements in humanitarian emergencies
o Improve understanding of the influence of politics and aid
o Increase awareness of the psychological and social consequences of humanitarian emergencies

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:
o Adjust and critically reflect on decision making processes according to context (low resource, political instability)
o Improve application of ethical thinking and decision making
o Evaluate evidence from the humanitarian space
o Synthesise and apply flows of information from multiple sources

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:
o Improve ability to work cohesively as a team across professions and cultures
o Undertake extensive self directed learning and group tasks to achieve shared outcome
o Improve communication and diplomacy skills across multiple languages and cultures
o Deploy team work skills to achieve timely outcomes in challenging environments

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will be able to:
o Undertake time efficient self directed learning and group tasks and organise multi-professional and cultural teams of individuals
o Problem solve in complex contexts
o Demonstrate leadership and management skills
o Demonstrate skills in negotiating in challenging situations

Assessment methods

The assessment comprises of:

A group project (40%): Group simulation role playing and table top task, exploring roles and responsibilities within emergency humanitarian assistance and promoting collaboration and cohesiveness across the student cohort to achieve objectives: Assessment includes assessment of:

o Communication skills (written and verbal)
o Timely and priority decision making
o Contribution to team
o Planning and time management
o Problem solving skills
o Data and information analyses
o Organisation skills
Preparation exercise (10%): planning and group work pre simulation exercise using wiki discussion.
Reflective essay on the learning outcomes of the simulation exercise (50%).

Feedback methods

o Observed during simulation exercise with key objectives per station / task to be met
o Written feedback on wiki discussion planning exercise and reflective piece
o Additional one-to-one feedback (during consultation hour or by making an appointment)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 19
Independent study hours
Independent study 131

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jiho Cha Unit coordinator

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